9 times out of 10, if a person remembers any of their dreams at all, they remember one they consider a “nightmare”. The dream reminds them of a feeling they want to avoid. Having someone stand there and suggest we explore it together—well that doesn’t sound very fun does it? Healing is supposed to be about feeling good, right? Why would anyone want to do the work of exploring our shadows—opening up to precisely the things that we’ve been working so hard to avoid or reject?
The time has come for a new American Dream, since the one we have been dreaming together has become a nightmare. We dreamt of free speech and we got hate speech. We dreamt of the pursuit of happiness and we got students armed with guns killing other children. We dreamt of freedom and we got unarmed water protectors having their flesh burned off by the very same water they are trying to defend.
A thought that has often haunted me is some combination of “you are a failure”, “you are failing”, or “you are not reaching your potential”. When these thoughts drift into my mind, they feel like ironclad truth, and they drown out any other thoughts that want space inside my head.
Truth is not a solid line, it is a glittering diamond whose glory can shine differently inside of each persons eye. Dreams remind us that this diamond is inside, that there is a real us down there, and it glitters in the light and spins inside our stomachs and it urges and it yearns and it loves and it creates and it learns and it grows and it heals, and that this is the part of us that is alive.
How do we engage in healing work with others without harming them? How do we hold spiritual leaders accountable? What could the new way be?