Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dream Interpretation

One day last week I had a dream that I want to share with you. I didn't write it down immediately or at all until now. That is one of the first things you will learn in a Dream Class is to write down your dreams as soon as you wake up and remember it. Because I didn't write it down I have lost a lot of the details. What I do remember is important to me. Here goes:

I remember that Daniel (my spouse) was with me on a bus with a small group of people. We filled the back half of the bus. The front half was empty except for the male bus driver. I only remember two of the other people. One was a curly, dark-haired little boy of maybe 9-10 years old. (I don't actually remember him being on the bus until later in the dream.) The other person that I recognise is one of my younger aunts. (She is only one year older than me.) I know that Daniel and I are on vacation.

The first part of the dream, once we get off the bus, I have lost the memory of. I know that the group was walking somewhere and that the little boy causes trouble of some kind. I remember thinking he was being really mean. I didn't like him. That is all that I remember of that part of the dream.

For the next part of the dream, we are back on the bus, still sitting in the last half of the bus. Daniel decides that it is time that we go somewhere else and decides that he is going to drive us. He is in the driver seat and I am standing beside him in the isle. I am not afraid but I do tell him that he is driving too fast. (I know what is going to happen next.) I keep telling him to slow down and he ignores me. Next we come over a small hill and see that the bridge isn't there over the water. My feeling is that the bridge has somehow submerged. There are a group of people nearby. I think some were on the bridge as it submerged. I don't have a clear picture of this part. The submerging is just a feeling that I had about the scene. I think the people were maybe soldiers but I am not sure. They weren't panicked. They were orderly.

Daniel finally sees that he needs to slow the bus down but it is too late. The forward momentum carries us into the water. I see the bus submerging and everyone in the water. We all start to come out of the water. In the way of dreams, I know I was in the water and then I was back on shore looking at the water. Most of the people are out of the water with me. A person comes out of the water to my right. Next I am aware of Daniel on the shore and my aunt on my right side. I see the curly haired little boy just barely under the water. He is staring upward. My aunt and I each step forward into the water to pull the little boy out. My aunt takes his right arm and I take his left arm and pull him out.

The little boy immediately attaches himself to me. His arms and legs are wrapped around my chest and he is holding on so tight that I feel that we are almost merging as one. At this point I woke up. I could still feel that little boy wrapped around my chest as if he were real.

Just writing down this dream now so much symbolism came back to me that I had almost forgotten. All week this dream has stayed with me in the background of my mind. Two important things jumped out at me.

(1.) I didn't wake myself up before hitting the water. For years, I have had variations of dreams of coming around a curve or over a hill and the water being across the road. Until the past two years, I would wake myself up before hitting the water. I have always had a strong fear of drowning. Two years ago I started sometimes going into the water before waking myself up. In this dream, I was in the bus totally submerged in the water. I also chose to go back into the water to help the little boy out.

(2.) The little boy represented a disowned, shadow part of myself. When I first saw him in the dream, he was doing something to get into trouble. The child in me didn't get into trouble. I strived to be the perfect child throughout my childhood. It was less painful and less dangerous if I was the good daughter. I shut down the independent, adventurous, mischievious child, the troublemaker. I didn't let myself be any of those. In letting the little boy cling to me and even merge with the adult me, I have reconnected with that shadow child that is a part of me. I feel really good about that.

I took a dream class about eight years ago and loved it. I was blessed to have a wonderful teacher that taught me that everybody in your dreams represent some part of yourself. Vehicles are about the way you move through your life. Some books on dreams can give you good information. Some don't. I go with what feels right for me personally in interpreting my dreams. You are the only person who knows what your dreams really mean. Books can help but they don't know your symbols and what they mean to you personally.

One of the books that I own mainly because it was on sale at my local bookstore is called The Complete Dream Dictionary written by Pamela Ball. It tells me that "A bus journey is that part of our lives where we are aware of the need to be on the move, but particularly to be with other people, with whom we have a common aim. Such a journey has to do with our public image." (page 142)

(page 140) "The whole symbolism of driving in dreams is particularly obvious. It represents our basic urges, wants, needs and ambitions. If we are driving we are usually in control, though we may be aware of our own inadequacies, particularly if we do not drive in everyday life. If we are uncomfortable when someone else is driving we may not believe in that person, and may not wish to be dependent on them. When someone else takes over, we become passive." Well, until about twelve years ago, I didn't drive in my every day life. My husband did all the driving. I was definitely in the passive mode then. Daniel could represent my own aggressive, stubborn male half who thinks he is always in control and doesn't take direction from others very well. So maybe, I need to listen to my feminine, passive side more in traveling through life. Both sides have value.

(page 138) "Driving into water can be interpreted as trying to find the parts of ourselves which we have suppressed. It can also suggest taking risks which we might not normally do.
Drowning indicates that we may not be in control of our emotions properly and may be in a situation where we can be overcome by them. We are pushing ourselves to the limit.
Floods, being by their nature chaotic and destructive, symbolise the uncontrollable 'welling up' of emotion which can destroy our known way of life. Eventually there has to be some sort of cleansing process."

The above interpretations agree with what I learned in my dream class about my water dreams. In interpreting dreams, you can go into great detail or you can go with the feelings that you bring out of the dream. I do believe that our dreams can teach us a lot about ourselves if we are willing to work with them. I could have gone into a lot of the other details of the dream such as why was everybody sitting in just the last half of the bus? I just wanted to give you a taste what it is like to look at your dreams. There is valuable information in our dreams. I hope this gives you a nudge to start recording and looking at your own dreams. Happy dreams.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Raw Food Diet Adventure

Recently Stephen Hopson of Adversity University has been on a raw food diet. I have experiemented with eating sprouts and raw foods myself in the past. I even took a class just before Christmas last year. The food was wonderful. I just didn't stick with it.

Some of you know that I have been a vegetarian for about 11 years. You might ask what is the difference between being a vegetarian and eating raw foods. Being a vegetarian, I cook most of my foods just like all of you meat eaters. I love soups in just about any form, especially in the fall and winter months.

Well, reading Stephen's articles on his raw food adventure has inspired me to give eating raw foods another look. The book that Stephen used and I bought a copy of this past week is
The Raw Food Detox Diet
written by Natalia Rose. The subtitle to the book says "The Five-Step Plan For Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss." Natalia Rose is a "nutritionist and founder of the Raw Food Detox Weight Loss Program."

I love that I can go on the internet and research any topic that comes to mind and find information that is useful. I did that with Raw Foods. I found and also purchased two DVD's to use for inspiration and information in this new journey.

The DVD Simply Raw, Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days
"chronicles six Americans with diabetes who switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, live, raw foods in order to reverse diabetes naturally. The participants are challenged to give up meat, diary, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, soda, junk food, fast food, processed food, and even cooked food - as well as go without their loved ones and many of their creature comforts - for 30 days. The results are amazing." (The above quote came from the back of the DVD cover.) After watching the DVD, I was inspired.

The second DVD that I purchased, I haven't finished watching yet. It is called
Raw For Life, The Ultimate Encyclopedia Of The Raw Food Lifestyle.
This is a two disc set that includes interviews of 30 experts.

I am still reading The Raw Food Detox Diet. I also bought another book by Natalia Rose called Raw Food Life Force Energy and a book by Jeremy A. Safron called The Raw Truth The Art of Preparing Living Foods.

As you can see, I have a lot of reading ahead of me. That is how I always approach live. I love the search for knowledge. I never approach any new endeavor half-heartedly. I love digging in and finding new information. I read somewhere that it is a trait of most Saggittarians.

I have also subscribed to several raw food newsletters this week. One of those that Stephen recommended is called Raw Success written by Matt Monarch and found at .

You can find Stephen Hopson's articles on his own raw food adventure at the following links:

Update on the Raw Food 30-Day Experiment

Raw Food Journey: Let's Clear Up Some Myths

End of the Week Gratitude Theme #50

Be sure to check out Stephen's articles.

I am not going to eat 100% raw foods. That is not my goal. For me that just isn't a factor right now. I love my coffee and soups too much. I also love cheese. I will reduce the amounts right now. Cheese is just about the only dairy that I do still eat with an occasional ice cream. I use goat milk in my coffee because I am lactose-intolerant. I know how cheese affects me and I still choose to eat it. I will begin to substitute goat cheese more for the dairy cheese but I don't see myself totally giving up cheese at this point. That could change in the future. Natalia Rose does not make going 100% raw a requirement of her diet. For most of us, that is totally unrealistic, at least in the beginning. I am going to ease into this change. I am looking forward to making some of the recipes in her book.

Like Stephen, I will keep you posted with my changes. As of this morning, I have already lost one and one-fourth pounds from just one day on the diet. I had Stephen's Favorite Green Smoothie drink yesterday and today. You will find his recipe for this in the last link above. My kitchen is stocked with a huge salad that I made yesterday and lots of other fruits and veggies to be consumed over the next few days.

I hope that all of you are having a really great day. The Autumn weather we have been experiencing here in Arkansas lately has been invigorating. Autumn is my favorite season.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Poem - You Can Fly. . . But That Cocoon Has Got To Go!

This has long been one of my favorite poems. I don't know where I first saw it or who the author is but I wanted to share it with you.


And I don't think it was talking about butterflies.

But the risk--oh, the risk of leaving the swaddling
warmth of a cocoon. My cocoon. My status quo.
My. . . deadening security.
To leave the known,
no matter how confining it may be--for an unknown,
a totally new lifestyle--
oh, the risk!

Lord, my cocoon chafes, sometimes. But I know its
restrictions. And it's scarey to consider the awful
implications of flight. I'm leery of heights. (Even
your heights.)
But, Lord, I could see so much wider, clearer
from heights.
And there's an exhilaration about flight that I
have always longed for.
I want to fly. . .
if I could just have the cocoon to come back to.
Butterflies can't.
Probably butterflies don't even want to--
once they've tasted flight.

It's the risk that makes me hesitate.
The knowing I can't come back to the warm, undemanding
status quo.

Lord. . . about butterflies. . .
the cocoon has only two choices--
or die
What about me?
If I refuse to risk,
do I, too, die inside, still wrapped in the swaddling


Author Unknown

Let me know what you think about this poem?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Responsibility and Adult Children of Alcoholics

From "Opening our Hearts, Transforming our Losses," Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, 2007, page 61:

"If we were in the role of defending or protecting other family members, we may have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility for those around us. Blaming ourselves for the alcoholic's behavior can weaken our self-esteem and lead us to believe that every conflict is our fault. Likewise, if we assume others are out to hurt us, we might habitually guard ourselves against real or imagined threats.

'I felt personally responsible for everyone's unacceptable behavior.'

Often the coping mechanisms we learned as children in order to survive get in the way of our developing meaningful and trusting relationships as adults. Identifying how we were affected by alcoholism is not about blaming the alcoholic or other family members for all our problems. Rather, it's about taking responsibility for our struggles so we can begin to heal. As children, we may not have had the power to change our circumstances. Now that we are adults, we can make that decision for ourselves."

I could take the above statement, "I felt personally responsible for everyone's unacceptable behavior." a step further and say the I felt personally responsible for everything that went on in my world and for everybody that was in my world. Because of my dad being a dictator when I was a child, I felt so out of control of my life. The result was that when I left home, I stepped into that dictator role and became a control freak. When I first started working on myself in Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) and Al-Anon, that was the first thing that I discovered about myself. I was a control freak.

Where did the control freak come from? She came out of my feeling responsible for everything and everybody. She came from my fears of failure of being responsible. For the first half of my life or more, fear was the main emotion in my mind and in my body. Fear was in control of my life. I certainly wasn't.

Responsible wasn't what I was. Super-responsible was what I strived to be. That meant if you came into my sphere of life, I tried to fix you and whatever your problems were. I didn't do it in a mean way. I just wanted to help. That was what I told myself and you, if you asked. You see, my feeling good about myself came from helping you. If I could fix you then I had some value in this life other than just taking up space. I didn't know that I was telling you, by my actions, that you were too stupid to think and act for yourself. Al-Anon taught me that, when I was ready to hear it.

That was the day that I stopped doing everything for my children and husband. Of course, being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic that meant I went to the other extreme. Instead of doing everything for them, I did nothing for at least a year or more before I realized that wasn't healthy either. Of course, I wasn't home much either. When I wasn't working with my husband on a parking lot, I was probably in an Al-Anon or ACA meeting or reading a book about being an ACA. Going to meetings all of the time was also an extreme, maybe a healthier extreme but still an extreme. I went to a lot of meetings over the next 10 years. Finally I realized that there were some things that I could do that weren't me being controlling or super-responsible. They were appropriate things for a parent to do for their children. Doing extremes of behavior and feelings is a characteristic of being an Adult Child. It is called All or Nothing Thinking.

I am talking about my life from the view of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, but these issues are the same for an Adult Child of any kind of dysfunction. Dysfunction is always fear-based.

Related Articles:

Let Go And Let God---Al-Anon Slogan

Boundaries And Inappropriate Behaviors

Growing Up With Alcoholism In The Family

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spiritual Blog Reviews Did A Review Of Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker

Much to my surprise, when I looked at my emails this morning, I found that the blog "Spiritual Blog Reviews" had written up a beautiful review of my blog "Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker."

Please click on the following link and read Darcy's review found at

Leave a comment on Darcy's blog and let her know what you think of her review. Then come back here and leave a comment and let me know what you think of the review.

I cried through reading the whole thing. I cried because Darcy had written the article so beautifully. I cried because of her words of praise. I cried because she really gets the reason that I write my articles on incest. I don't write because I am on the pity pot, complaining about how unfair my life has been. I write because of my desire to reach out and help others have a better life.

Sometimes the writing and revisiting the pain does get to be a bit much for me so that I back off for awhile. Even with all of the recovery work that I have done, I still have difficulty doing the feelings involved with this heavy work.

Darcy's wonderful review and your comments let me know that I am accomplishing my goal.
Thank you Darcy and to all of the wonderful people who read my blog. You are all important to me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Incest---86% Would Believe Their Daughters

Dr. Phil did a survey on his site recently that asked the question, "If your daughter came to you and said that your husband had inappropriately touched her, who would you believe? Daughter or Husband?" 86% said they would believe their daughter. 14% said they would believe their husband. That makes me feel good. One of the biggest fears of mine that kept me quiet was the fear that my mom wouldn't believe me if I told her about the incest. You can't imagine how crippling that fear is unless you feel it for yourself. To me, the abuse was more acceptable than the fact that my mother might not believe me. That is a very sad state of affairs.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Serenity Prayer

"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."

This simple, powerful prayer is one of the first things that I learned in Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings.

From the book "Opening our Hearts, Transforming our Losses" written by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., page 173:
"Serenity doesn't come by avoiding the difficulties in my life, but by walking through them with the help of my Higher Power and my recovery friends."

Avoiding your difficulties in life is the same as living in denial and only works against you. Denial never solves anything. It just adds more challenges on top of what you are already avoiding.

The Serenity Prayer doesn't ask God to remove the situation or difficulty. It asks for help to change your reaction to the situation or difficulty. Sometimes the only thing that you can do is have the courage to realize that nothing but you can change. Changing the other person is never an option. The only person you can ever change is you. The other person is the only one who can ever change the other person. This kind of acceptance can bring you peace.

The Serenity Prayer is one of the most useful tools that I have ever found.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Are You Playing The Victim Again?

This morning a friend called me after reading my recent post "Growing Up With Alcoholism In The Family" and asked me if she was hearing me playing the victim role? She was afraid that I might be getting sucked back into that garbage. I told her no that was not happening at all. I told her that my writing that post was strictly to help others. She was glad to hear it.

To me, one of the best ways to stop playing victim is to be able to reach out and help others. I haven't played the victim role in a very long time. That just isn't who I am any longer. I would never want to go back into that sense of helplessness and hopelessness that comes from being a victim.

Why do you ever choose to be a victim? Is it karma that you are working through with the other person? Is it because you lack the courage to leave a relationship or situation that you are familiar and comfortable with? Is it because you are fearful of being alone? What keeps you being a victim could be any of those things or something else.

The main reason to stay a victim is that you are getting something out of the role, otherwise, you would stop. You would say, "No more. This doesn't work for me."

As a child, you don't have a choice to be a victim, especially if the perpetrator is your parent. As an adult, you always have a choice. I know that as an adult, you may not be aware that you have a choice but that choice is always there waiting for the awareness to come.

People talk about courage as if it is something that some of us have and some of us don't. I don't believe that. You all have courage waiting to be used when the need arises. It isn't something that I have and you don't. When you are pushed hard enough the courage will come forth. I can acknowledge that yes I have courage and have used it to change my life and so do you have that same courage when you want to use it.

I don't see courage as something that just heroes have and everybody else doesn't. You all have it. You just have to choose to use it.

Today, if you are in a bad situation or bad relationship, I encourage you to, "Just say no." as the advertisements against drug abuse said a few years ago. That simple word, "NO" can change your life. If you are in a violent situation and can't make the change by yourself, ask for someone's help.

You don't have to be a victim unless you choose to.