A few years ago, I awoke from a rather strange and quite graphic dream in which I was still attending The New Seminary in NYC, studying to be an interfaith minister. In the waking world, I had already graduated years earlier. The setting was unfamiliar; not the sun drenched, tall windowed classroom on the Upper West Side of Manhattan I was accustomed to. The class was given an assignment, to create a special project that would symbolize who we were and wanted to show to the world once we were ordained. I was delighted with my creation and eagerly carried it to the dean, Reverend Diane Berke. In my outstretched hands, I held a heart shaped box. She opened it and inside beheld a pink silken heart. How it dazzled and shone, reflecting the emmanations of love. She reached in to lift it from the box and her hands dropped as if holding a great weight. With a dismayed look on her face, she handed it back to me and said, “Although this heart is certainly beautiful and reflective of who you are, it is very heavy. Please go back and work on it some more. When it’s lighter, bring it back to me.” I placed the hefty heart back in its box and turned to walk away. At that point, I awoke, with a sense of what the dream was wanting to communicate. Diane, playing the role of my inner wisdom, was attempting to inform me that regardless of what image I intend to put forth, what will truly shine through is the lightness or heaviness of my heart. I know that my own grief process with the passing of my husband in 1998 (which is what led me to become ordained in 1999) and the subsequent deaths of my parents (dad in 2008 and mom in 2010) may take awhile to move through and I need to be patient with myself, rather than doing what I have been inclined to do throughout the process, which is to rush through in the illusory service of keepin’ on keepin’ on and getting things done, lest the world stop spinning.
Today I was having lunch with a dear friend who I have known for a little more than 8 years. He has seen me through some emotional roller coaster rides and has even taken some of them with me; sometimes with seat belt fastened, sometimes with arms in the air, screaming both in joy and ‘holy shit terror’. I was sharing with him that since my mother’s death, I have felt a bit shut down emotionally. I used the phrase that I often do when describing my ongoing relationship with my parents, that “They raised me to be able to live without them.” He offered a somewhat sad and supportive smile and responded with something like it takes awhile to settle into the awareness of the loss or to integrate it. I told him that I have been cleaning out the room in my house for the past few days that holds their belongings and mine that I haven’t seen for a few years. Taking a trip down memory lane has been both fun and painful. Personal inquiry time as I look at photos of the 30-40 something year old woman who lived so many years as a (internally) raving co-dependent; not allowing the anger to surface often for fear of disapproval. Heavy heart ingredient for sure. Lately I have been having difficulty sleeping, with even more intense and vividly distressing dreams, being tossed and turned by gremlin-y thoughts, unresolved anger-it’s-not-fair-itis. Letting go over and over, of past gunk and junk that I have allowed to hold me back. I could literally feel the blood pulsing in my head with each distressing thought. Used reiki to soothe it back down and stabilize my heart rhythm. Our hearts are more than muscle, vein and blood. We have come to recognize them as a piece of our souls. I know that with each tear shed and each memory I allow to spring forth from the room marked OFF LIMITS, my heart lightens.
http://youtu.be/m0TfR9mgOiU Heartlight by Neil Diamond