I had a dream recently where I was very happy and not really able to walk. I jumped freely everywhere I went, similar to the effortless way that my four-year old daughter does everyday. But I was not a little kid in my dream. I was the grown woman that I am today but I was skipping over sidewalks, playfully jumping up to touch any fun thing that hung several feet over my head. When I woke up, my dream very strongly reminded me of what was really true in my life. Nothing else seemed true that day. I had been lying on a hospital bed for a couple of days, tucked in by the IV bags to my left and vital signs machines to my right.
When people refer to dreams, they often distinguish them from their reality. They’d say “I had a dream that so-and-so happened but in real life so-and-so happened”. In a dream class I took, our Teacher, Dr. Roger B. Lane, would lovingly clarify to the students that it is not “…in real life…” but rather “…in waking life…” that “…so-and-so happened”. It is an important distinction that I learned there because my happiness that day, in my dream, was more nearly real than the misery and fear that I had been running in my waking life. That day my dream, in fact, was the only lucid thing trying to wake me up.
When I opened my eyes that morning I saw the absurdity of the consuming worry that I have carried for very long; especially, since becoming a mother. This is the same worry that might have sent me to the hospital two days before with a bleeding ulcer. It was a medical mystery given than I am actually healthy but I knew how much this summer I had indulged in my fears. At several points, I actually felt as if I were being ripped apart inside, which turned out to be, well, not a metaphor. The way it looked to me was as if I had been in the middle of a tug-of-war. On one end there was a profound concern to be near my kid and, on the other, a need to do something professionally that would demand more time away from my kid. I wish it had been as simple as choosing one or the other but I felt unhappy choosing just one. I wanted “the balance” and what I discovered was that looking for balance outside myself was impossible.
It seems very obvious now. If I was looking for an actual balancing tool I would never have chosen one whose foundation, its center, had been neglected. I looked outside myself for balance, adding a little to this side and a little to the other side until the weight was unbearable and the world started to look cruel, all because I had abandoned myself. Something many of us parents do.
Parents, we get a lot of advice out there; most of it involves parenting, obviously, but what really always surprises me is how often the person in the parent is forgotten. Reading all that parenting advice, I have often felt as if I am the only parent who desperately feels like a kid looking for a parent herself. Unsatisfied, I had to conclude that what I was looking for had nothing to do with parenting even though most of my concerns involved being a parent. Many times I thought “Why can I be addressed as a parent who is not really looking for another way to be a “good” parent but as someone looking for some answers about the experience of being a parent?!”
But I would like to take this point to a much more profound and useful place because forgetting “the person in the parent” is not really what we are doing: It is the Soul in the parent – actually, the Soul in everybody– That we forget. And the Soul is What needs to be remembered because That’s What’s inside! We look outside at the world as if we are going to find ourselves there when we can just look inside and start to get to know ourselves.
You may call the Soul something else; it does not matter. But It is That part of you that is made out of God – or Whatever you want to call It – that is you and It is me and That nourishes us unconditionally. The part of us that, when we have reached our breaking point or, like me, end up with an ulcer, gives us an Opportunity like my dream to remind me that, in reality, I am pure Joy. That’s the part that we need to remember. The Soul, Spirit, God, or whatever you want to call It, is really the parent who cares for us and It is also the “kid” that needs our care and this seeming dialectical relationship is simply that we are the Spirit. It is us meeting us because It is all inside.
So how do we nourish This? What I have learned from renowned Meditation Teacher, Dr. Roger B. Lane, is that we need to choose to give ourselves “the time of day” to practice moving our focus within and exercise the Spiritual Muscle. And as Dr. Lane says “… Don’t run after it; just open to It! Open to yourSelf and just see the Splendor, and the Love, and the Peace that waits there for you!” (from Tools For Living Free #79 “More On Love”)
Below are some recommended Tools to practice moving your focus within:
Attending Meditation at any Center at Cosmos Tree, Inc.
Listening to Dr. Roger B. Lane’s Podcast
Reading Tools For Living Free:
• “The Nature Of The Soul Is Joy”
• “Coming To Know Your Self As Spirit”
• “The Spiritual Reality Of Man Kind”
• “You Are Worthy”
• “Dancing In Your Soulness”
• “Using The Tool Of Gratitude”
-See complete list of readings here
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