For several nights, Ric Nausea (not his real name), an ex-colleague and boss has showed up in my dreams. My psyche has an uncanny way of weaving together the innermost feelings of my subconscious with the waking world through dreams. I think most everyone has the ability to do this, but most of us ignore it. So did I until about 12 years ago. So Ric showed up in my dream office a few nights ago and made me cringe. This guy, the son of the owner of a company I once worked for, thought everyone hated him. He felt insecure and incompetent about his position because instead of earning it on merit and professional qualifications, he imagined he’d obtained it only through his father’s goodwill. The guy was a wreck and his insecurity undermined the professional progress of the whole international department and kept everyone off balance. I was not happy to see him in my dream.
This morning, he showed up again. I waited at a hotel surrounded by his dad and the Director General. “Ric stole my books,” I said. “And I want them returned immediately.”
What did these dreams say about me?
I used to look at people in dreams and scratch my head. I’d moan at how inept or critical they might be. Now, more often than not, they represent a certain aspect of my own personality that comes into play. Like standing in front of a mirror, they reveal unconscious things about myself – and in this case about my relationship to my work. I’m preparing to send off a seventy page book proposal along with a completed book of fiction to an interested agent. But part of me feels a great deal of insecurity and doubt about the process. Feedback from several readers tells me the writing and the ideas are valid. But Ric Nausea came in to try to undermine me and prevent me from getting my work out the door. The false safety mechanism says that if I don’t send them off I won’t be rejected. The flip side is that I won’t be accepted for publication either.
So today I sat down, wrote out my dream, and decided I would overcome this insecure, doubtful and undermining, Ric Nausea part of me. As a writer, it is key to become conscious of this inner play of emotions and undercurrents. The result: I’ve practically finalized the proposal and should get it out the door in a week or two. There’s a subtle, yet important balance in the writing life to keep the creative fires burning. For a writer (and anyone really), listening to dreams with their rich variety of images and symbols, is like striking a vein of gold for a miner. The symbols, including ex-bosses, cut through mental gibberish and hold a resounding emotional impact that can move us to change and grow.
Copyright: Debra Moffitt, 2008 www.debramoffitt.com