I recently realized that I am grateful to be at an age where I have only 20 or 30 more years to be in body on this plane, maybe less if there is some surprise around the corner that I don’t foresee.
This is in no way brought on by depression or a non-love of life. My life is the best it’s ever been. It’s peaceful and abundant. At the moment I am typing this on the terrace of my dream apartment with the exact dog and cat I want sitting next to me. I have no personal beefs going with anyone, the villains seem to be ruining their own lives lately, and everyone in my close orbit is lovely and supportive. I have a job I genuinely enjoy. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, barring being at the end of recuperating from my first case of covid, which even that was mild.
But a yearning is growing, a yearning for the peace and ease of a different kind of existence free of guns and maga and sadness and illness and bad religion, maybe free of gravity and body, something bigger, grander. Not this minute, or this year, or this decade. I still have things I want to do in this life that I love. But I can feel a pressing of sorts, like I’m pushing at a membrane of consciousness that wants to break free. Maybe it’s not death at all, maybe just a readiness for a deeper kind of existence?
I don’t know. As I wonder if our country is in the middle of a fall of what might turn out to have been a very short empire, I can feel myself becoming disconnected. Not in a bad way, more in an oversaturated, I can’t foam at the mouth about it anymore. I haven’t given up the fight, I’m just internally quiet somehow. Like I can feel how temporary everything is, including me.
I get a lot of information from dreams. I have never been especially gifted psychically, but I travel a lot in my sleep and all kinds of magic can and does happen. I once accidentally flew to an alien planet and crash landed into a meeting of sorts. Happily the surprised aliens seemed amused and very gently flew me back to my body, like putting someone’s escaped dog back in their yard. Then after my father died unexpectedly I was able to process a lot of sadness and unfinished business in my sleep. We had long, meaningful conversations that I believe really happened. But even if it wasn’t real, only my subconscious talking back to me, it helped. I have come to believe that we can, and do, get important inner work done when our conscious mind is shut down.
I don’t like to write about my most recent ex (six years ago now) too much because he has a new life and deserves privacy, and because it’s in the past. And honestly he probably doesn’t deserve the airtime. But he brought me some real awareness in a dream last night that I think could be helpful to share.
He visits me in dreams regularly. I believe this is because he stopped speaking to me and moved onto his new relationship at lightning speed while there was still a lot left to process after our own thirteen years. At least on my end, as it was a devastating loss for me. And I took on all of the blame and felt like a genuinely vile person. I lost my mind during that period and completely self-destructed while I put him on a pedestal as the Good One.
I was raised in an atmosphere of Catholic self-loathing and a denial of intuition. I was herded into behaviors and thoughts that didn’t resonate with my inner voice and actual needs and personality. And because of that I had to relearn how to trust that intuition and sometimes have a hard time seeing my own desires and behaviors clearly. So I have always assumed deep down that I am irreversibly flawed and undeserving and that’s why I make such a mess of relationships.
There are SO many moments and events in my life that I wish I could do differently. I am not a no regrets person. I regret saying something shitty to a kid at a teen party in 1979. I still think about the look on his face and wish I could take it back. I have all kinds of self-blaming little anecdotes like this categorized and filed away in my brain. So you can imagine the internal dialogue that goes on with the big stuff. It’s exhausting.
Anyway, at some point I got irritated with these regular nighttime visits from this person who doesn’t care a whit about me during waking hours, and I said to myself, as I am a big believer in stating intentions out loud: “Enough! I choose to stop these stupid dream meet ups that lead nowhere and just make me feel sad. You are UNINVITED.”
It’s been great for a time, no visits. Until last night, when this fucker called me on the phone in my dream. Called me on my dream phone! Even in my sleep I knew this was a pretty clever way to get in. I looked at the dream phone as a truly comical and unflattering photo of him came up, and rolled my dream eyes and after a moment of internal debate I answered.
I said impatiently, “What??” And as soon as I said that he was in front of me in person and we were talking again.
After some of the usual jokes he said, “I couldn’t be alone. I needed someone.”
I responded lovingly, with no heat or sadness: “I know. But I had to go. I couldn’t do what I needed to do within that. It had nothing to do with how much I loved you. Because I did, and I miss you every day.” He smiled and nodded.
I woke up right after that, fully awake and blown away. Because I finally, finally felt clear. This entire time I have been operating under the belief that my simple badness made me destroy that one chance at growing old with someone. That I am and will always be too broken and this is simply the great tragedy of who I am. Which is, stamped with a big label: 100% Damaged Goods.
This is in no way a slight on Sam, btw, for anyone who is wondering what the hell I’m talking about because I have him. Our relationship is equally important to me. He, and it, have been instrumental in helping both of us heal from past trauma, and it has been an incredible gift after a lifetime of dysfunction to get a do-over with someone worthy, where I finally do and say the right things without creating more regret. And he is steadfast in a way that has taught me how to trust. We are always kind to each other and there is a lot of love and support. It’s just not a traditional partnership and we live apart and it remains very free.
Back to the dream train of thought – I have always considered myself a nontraditional person. I never wanted kids or a house, I never really cared about having a big wedding. I just wanted to move to the big city and live a rock and roll life. Which I did and continue to do, albeit with a much earlier bedtime these days. But underneath the rebel outerwear, I continued to carry judgment about myself and relationships that were very traditional.
I always assumed that after a period of wild oat sowing I would find “the one” and that would be it. But I kept choosing the wrong people well past that phase and if they weren’t terrible then I would take on the role of the terrible one and destroy it myself. So when I did finally find the one, despite my best efforts I still managed to smash it into a million pieces just like all the others.
What I hadn’t considered was the idea that our soul, or higher self, or whatever you want to label it, has plans for us that don’t necessarily have anything to do with what our brain tells us we should have or do. Right after that break up happened I saw a fantastic tarot reader who told me that I was doing inner work and that’s why it had to be this way, that I hadn’t run into the ditch but was on course. I wanted to believe her but I also secretly believed that maybe she just didn’t know how royally I had fucked things up.
Now I’m realizing that there was a reason I was pushed in the deepest way to break from my ideas of who and where I was supposed to be. And who all of us are supposed to be, which is attached or at least desirous of attachment. And that maybe those assumptions actually had very little to do with what I truly needed or wanted, just like when I was a kid.
This seems pretty basic looking at it written down, but to me it’s not. Because it means that I am not broken, which is something I never even dared to consider. It means that although I definitely careened through those events like a monkey on a motorcycle, I was on my path. It means that my soul simply had another plan for me (and maybe his did too) that I only thought was flawed because I viewed it through eyes clouded by upbringing, society, expectation, fear of loneliness and pain, fear of hurting people, all of that. And that maybe, instead of just being chaotic devastation, it was meant to be a graduation of sorts.
Essentially, I couldn’t trust in my own goodness.
So on a more global, or at least friends-who-are-reading-this scale, I am telling you some embarrassingly personal stuff because I know from writing experience that if it’s happening to me, it’s happening to someone else. What if some of those things that you and I are inexplicably driven to do, that land you in foreign, often uncomfortable territory, are a step toward something deeper and more spirit enriching?
And what if we forgive ourselves for not being who we thought we should be – richer, prettier, in a happy marriage, admired by our peers, whatever. What if we’re supposed to have all these horrible and wonderful twists and turns and if we open up to or at least forgive ourselves for change we didn’t ask for, we will have an easier time processing the sadness and loss that inevitably comes with that change? What if we let go of all of these expectations and just try to be our best selves no matter where we land? And what if, if we are trying hard to be our best selves, we simply trust in our own innate goodness and allow life to unfold with a few less regrets?
Epic, for me at least. So I guess I’m grateful this asshole found a way to get in last night.
Love to you my friends. Please be safe and kind to each other in this bananas world we live in right now.