Not surprisingly, my life is presenting several difficult paths for me to walk down. Reflection and prayers tells me that every path is difficult but I have all that I need to go through whatever comes my way.My old method of “chosing the path that seemed most obvious” is no longer working for me. (For example: It’s “obvious” to take a job that offers more money than another one. Or it’s “obvious” to move to an apartment that is cheaper.) There are several decisions I need to make regarding my apartment, my relationship with “someone”, and my job and the “right” way is not obvious at all. I am relying on a deeper level of trust in God which is challenging me at a very deep level.
I am trying to let my heart lead the way and of course this is making my head upset. LOL!
In terms of ego vrs True Self…it feels like a deep battle going on. I’m seeing parts of myself that are very….unhealthy? ego-based? that appear to be reside from my childhood and what I am considering is “what can I change and what can’t I change”
… when it comes to relationships and becoming closer to people, as my True Self is prompting me to do…I feel so incapable of distinguishing what is a healthy reaction and what is an unheathly one and it takes me a long time to process. It feels like I am walking with a limp but being asked to run a marathon.
Is that what God really wants from me?
Or is that my ego prompting me to endure beyond what I want just to show that I can?
Or is it my True Self saying I really can do anything despite my handicaps and to trust my judgement and my abilitles.
I don’t know what “normal” is.
I am struggling to distinguish when I am coping and tolerating bad behaviour because I am very good at that…to when I am coming from my higher self and accepting people as they are and still being true to myself in my dealings with them.
A part of me looks around at my relationships at work with staff, at work with the children, at work with my editors, at work with the people I am reporting on, and in my personal life with Grace, my ex, my current relationship, my mom, my sister, my close friends…and I just don’t even recognize my life.
How is this me? A successful writer, a respected community educator, a positive and dependable co-worker, a loving and flexible partner, a forgiving and tolerant ex-wife, a happy and balance mother — how is this me? Is there something I’m missing? It seems rediculous to write but it’s true…but none of this comes easy at all…and I am striving from the depths of me to maintain this. Is it supposed to be so hard?
What I mean by all this is that I feel and see that I am headed in a direction that I never imagined I would go…and that I am being prompted to let go of all the goals and dreams I had set for myself.
Let go of my ideas of pioneering oversees, let go of thinking what life will be like in 10 years and just focus on the now. Let go of thinking about writing a book about opening a school. Let go of all of that. But that really scares me too because up until this point envisioning a future in 10 years from now has helped me get to where I am now.
SO I get it, that I AM where I had wanted to be…in some ways…but I still have major decisions to make and I am feeling incompetant. A lot of my “demons” seem to be coming to the surface. And I got myself so busy with 2 jobs that I guess I was neglecting that part of myself that needs a lot of rest and downtime. Now I have a weekend off and this big long dream series comes to me. My heart keeps telling me that I have to let go of some ideas/some feelings/some dreams and goals in order to replace them with something better that I never could have imagined years ago. So I am trying…but it is very difficult and very scary and I am sure there is a message for me in this dream about that. But there are too many images, too much going on for me to make good sense of it. That is why I am sending it to you.
But before you read all that…I just want to also say that the other day I dreamed of riding on a huge elephant in the jungle. It was an amazing experience and filled me with more courage and faith and confidence. So somehow, all the negatives in the upcoming dreams seem to be balanced by this “carrot” dangled infront of me challenging me to gain the wonderful experience of riding on an elephant.
August 01, 2011
I am riding on a bus. A girl has a stomach ache. She doesn’t know what it is. She is laying flat and being examined – by me? By someone else? They find she has ringworn. She is really upset. I am concerned about it spreading to the others on the bus. There is a bit of chaos and she jumps up at the same time that others do. The bus driver is a big burly woman and she yells at us to sit down and she is complaining that she has “been on the job for 5 or 6 days and doesn’t want to put up with this. Whose driving the bus? She yells. Me or you? I am. So let me. Sit down. Shut up.” Etc. We do. And as we do I think how do we get rid of this parasite and how do we prevent it from speading.
Then the girl with it stands up and comes to me and she wants to show me the worm which has coiled itself near the skin. I can’t bear to see it. She lifts her shirt to show me her stomach and I raise a pillow to block the view. I just can’t look. She tries hard for some time but then gives up and starts showing others.
We get off the bus and walk for some time. The walk was energizing for me. I am carrying a very large load and others look at me surprised and I say I’m good and I can manage. Which I can. I fasten a belt around me which makes the load feel lighter and I walk ahead of the group. We are walking up hill. I get to a place where it is quite damp and there are two directions to go. I don’t know which one is the best on but then a nieghbhour tells me which path leads to the right area which is a small hidden pathway and then he is leaving. I am about to go that way but I consider that if I go there, the others won’t know which way to go and will think the other more obvious way is the best. So I wait around for the group to join me and then when they are ready I go through a tight passage way. We walk through a cave area and come to an opening. The doorway is high and we have to pull down the stairs.
Pulling them down reveals a knome and the woman says something funny about the knome being there. He jumps up and starts talking. He wants a job but he is the one that I saw at a festival (in waking life) that I didn’t like and had a mental problem and had his busker licence revoked. I shake my head no to the friend so she doesn’t fall for it. We climb up those stairs into another room and have to wait for something, a guide, I think. As we are waiting, another worker comes by and she says they have discovered a new arrangement where they have put the lions with the turtles and the bears with the penguins in new enclosures. The calmness of the turtles makes the lions calm and the lions treat the turtles with gentleness. The penguins do the same for the bears and result in less violence. (As I write this part, another dream image comes to mind but I’m not sure in which order I had it — the image is of a big black grizzly bear running at me and then biting me. I pretended I was dead and closed my eyes and waited for a woman who was calling 911 to come. It didn’t hurt so much but there was intense pressure on my arm and I felt paralyzed. I wondered how big the bite was and how much damage there would be.)
So we climb up the stairs and go into a building. I head to the washroom. There I find that when I have a bowel movement there is a worm also. It’s big and white and mucasy. As I am leaving I wash my hands and am trying to think how to get rid of it and a woman at the sink tells me that it must be big because it made my breath smell bad even.
So I leave and am thinking “dam” how do I get rid of this? And a tall native man comes to me and says that I am good at identifying parasites and they have had some found in their food. Could I please stand at the table and let him know if I see any. Yes sure I say. So I go there and after a few hotdogs served, sure enough I see one in a hotdog. I show it to him expecting he will toss the whole thing but he doesn’t, he peels away the worm and then goes to give the dog away. I interrupt him and say I would like that one. So that I take it and toss it when he’s not looking.
After that, I find another one which is like a centipede and by this time I begin to have fun feeling good about making their food safer.
Then it is time to go. I am told my apartment is ready.
As I am opening the door to my apartment I am told that they painted while I was away and I find that the colour is now an army green colour instead of the sunny yellow that it was before. And I find there were things that weren’t put away when I left that I now have to tidy up.
I go to the washroom and find another big long parasite comes out. I take a long stick and move it to see if it is alive. It is the kind where even if it breaks both pieces still stay alive. Yuck, I think, I’ve got to get rid of this.THEN I WAKE UP.
As I am reflecting on the message in the dream and the implications in my life another dream image came to mind…
A woman (from that bus) comes up to me and says she hears I am good at writing poetry. Yes, I say. She says can I give you a line and we can work on it together. I want to create a poem.
So I say sure and we get out paper and pens.
Then she says the first line is “Help! Help! Help! Help Me!”
I look at her like “are you kidding?” but she’s serious…she acts like she doesn’t need help but her poem will be about this topic. So I kinda sigh and think, okay…here we go. I consider “is this the title of the poem or the first line?” and decide it will be the first line.
Some ideas come to my head about this…and I ask her “well, how about you make a list or think about the things that this person in the poem would want to say to ask help for and I will write a line about those things”
She says sure and begins writing lines. Several verses come to mind but I need to hear from her what she wants included first. I put a few lines down on the page. I become aware that as a writer I have a rich vocabulary developing and am grateful for this skill.
What she comes up with is not very meaningful and I find that she is not very self-aware so there is no real connection with her to the words. Hmmm…I’m now stumped. The goal needs not to be for her to create a poem, the goal needs for her to become self aware. I feel like I don’t want to waste my time when the poem will not truly represent her thoughts and feelings and experience. I show her my lines But she doesn’t like what I’ve written; she doesn’t get it. I don’t think we finish the poem.
And as I was writing this to send to you another dream image came to mind….
Another image comes to mind: I am moving along with a group of people and then find we are in a media circle. There is something goin on and all the reporters are asking questions. I am supposed to represent the Fort McMurray Today newspaper (which I write for in “real” life) but I haven’t brought my pen, paper or camera. I’m relieved in a way but then when I tell someone I can’t because I forgot them then they say they have extra and give it to me. So I receive them and am thinking what quesiton to ask when it is my turn. I don’t even know what the story is or what the gathering is about. Groups are gathered and getting their pictures taken so I go and take a few pictures. It is very awkward.
I read your other email as well before responding to this one. Not to worry that much. I trust the dreams a lot more than I trust what people say about their waking life.
Your dream process is part positive and part negative. When this happens, the dream is first telling you to remember and use all of the positive qualities that exist in the dream and then to solve the other images. For instance, you have your self riding on an elephant in the jungle. It reminds you that you have an adventurous spirit that can go to the ends of the earth. You also are carrying a big pack up hill but it is not a burden for you showing that you take on a fair amount of responsibility without being overstressed. You also are able to find your way and help others find their despite having people with the wrong motives trying to lead you off the path. And you can get people to cooperate to move to new places because you see their best qualities. The grizzly bear reminds you that you were once mauled in your life, but you put in a 911 call and so you have gained a huge amount of strength as a result.
The main issue is in the dream is about the parasites. You, the little girl, and the bus driver, work best if you consider them aspects of your self that need a positive shift. The girl in the dream is the one that needs the most help because she has the parasites, but you are the one who is freaked out about it because you are like the bus driver trying to get somewhere according so someone else’s time schedule.
The goal is for you to get rid of the parasites so that you can capture the little girls qualities and integrate them into your life. The parasite part in the rest of the dream show that you are freaked out a lot about finding your own parasites, but that is exactly what you need to do. If you would have been taking out the parasites in the girl, then it would mean that you would have to go back to do the work in your childhood, but the parasites are in your current self, not in the little girls, so it means that the parasites represented in the dream actually exist in your current life. The job is to see them, and then get rid of them so that your life is not overburdened, you can maintain the quality of discernment, you can get people to cooperate toward positive ends, and then be able to communicate better through your writing and also play a lot more. The fact that you ended up playing a lot with your daughter in real life is a good sign that you are on the right path.
So the questions you can ask your self are as follows. A parasite represents a person who habitually tries to benefit from or exploit another without giving anything in return. First it helps to recognize the parasites outside of yourself and then how you are a parasite to yourself. When you finish, you should end up with a lot of playful energy.
Where and when in my life do I allow parasites to come in?
How does the parasite function within me? How does it make me feel? What kind of behavior to I do with the parasite? What are the negative consequences of having parasites in my life?
What can I do to transition from a life with parasites to one with a lot more playfulness?
Who am when I let go of parasite and incorporate more playfulness/
How am I am a parasite to myself? (e.g. I take advantage of my really good qualities and use them until they are no longer working because I am not developing the quality that I really need.
What can I do to transition to a positive parasite? A positive parasite is someone who benefits from the negative experiences in their lives so that can make the changes they need.
Who am I when I am a positive parasite?
I wouldn’t mind getting some feedback on the questions if you find them helpful to get through the process.
Happy parasiting indeed!
🙂 laughing out loud at that one! 🙂
I shall keep you posted and thank you sooooooo much!!
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From: Richard Hastings <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2011 17:14:20 +0800
To: Rachel Perry<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: stepping stones to my True Self
I’d like to give you more feedback soon but wanted to send off a quick note to say that yes, so far these questions have been extremely helpful and within the first 48 hours I could see all around me areas in my life that needed signficant attention and “positive parasiting.”
In fact, some of the messages from dreams that didn’t seem completely applicable 6 months ago I can now see clearly how I need to apply them now.
I have made some major decisions based on my observations about the way I allow others to “invade and drain me” and am busy doing some very difficult things – such as getting a lawyer for the divorce (instead of allowing a parasite-type ex-husband to take advantage of me in our “do-it-yourself” divorce) and I have also called maintenance enforcement to register an account to get help with making sure he pays child support regularly (which he hasn’t and it has resulted in a lot of negative responses from me).
I have also realized some major things about my work environment that I didn’t see until I as looking through the lens of “finding parasites”….I found some things there too especially in terms of being exploited and allowing myself to be exploited…and so I have a new “hobby” of checking the job board…because I feel that some things that have been negative for a year will probably not change and I do believe my talents can be used in the same field in a more postive environment potentially. I am just going at this easy and letting my heart guide me and watching for God to show me if there is something else I am to be exploring.
Lastly, I had a parasite-type editor who didn’t appreciate my work, would give me too much to do in a short amount of time and was always kinda rude. Never thanked me when I would “help him out in a pinch.” Last month I found another paper to work for that pays the same but the editor is kind, respectful and appreciative! Instead of working for them both and “tolerating” the negative behaviour, I am going to stop “giving” anything to the negative guy and give my full attention to the positive paper. This feels so liberating!
These are just some major things I’ve been working through in the past few days…there are many others. THe things about parasites is that where the is one there is many, right? So you can imagine…I’ve been seeing lots of things big and small. But I do feel great and do have a lot more energy.
Anyway, there are some specific insights I’ve had regarding these questions that I wanted to share but can’t now…however I just wanted to send this little note off to acknowledge your query about the questions and to say that for me, they were exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. I have been journaling with them and praying daily and am empowered by the results.
I am so excited that the questions work. I have been in the midst of writing another book thanks largely to encouragement from my daughter, Erika. I came up with those questions as a way of processing a dream so I would like to incorporate some of your sharing without making it obvious that it is you if it is ok with you.
Keep up the great work.
Yes that would be just fine. How exciting to be writing another book!
This weekend I’ll have more time to sit at the computer and I can reply more fully. Erika is such a beautiful soul. There is one picture of hers of a mother and daughter that I look at often and always makes me smile. I’m glad she has encouraged you to write another book. There is so much wisdom you have to offer for those on the dreaming path.
Have a wonderful day,
I can see how learning to transition from allowing negative parasites into my life to being a positive parasite is going to take a concentrated effort on my part along with diligence and grace. I can truly see that this transformation is going to be as monumental for me as when I stopped drinking (when I was 20). There are many similiarities – 1) bringing my life more in line with the Baha’i teachings (purifying my heart) 2) breaking free from generational issues 3) breaking free from negative peers/negative influences 4) facing some things about myself that I didn’t like (things I had done that hurt people and hurt myself) 5) working through very difficult mental and emotional “storms” 6) allowing more positive people into my life (learning to trust) 7) believing that I was capable of better and making more positive choices (as a result such as going back to journalism school) 8) facing the challenges involved in a new life (such as meetting new people in classes, learning new things, doing well with assignments all the while balancing a difficult personal life 9) riding the waves of this new path in the ups and downs and not really knowing what the outcome will be…but praying and trusting in God that I will be guided and protected and successful in the endevour.
I also went through this path again when I learned that I had become extremely sick (when I was about 31) because of food allergies and reactions to the chemicals in foods. Changing my diet and eating lifestyle was a life or death situation and so I had to do it but I went through those same 9 issues up there that I just wrote.
Now in the past year, my dreams have shown me all those things…how I did it, why I did it, what it means to do (each step)…and now I have those 9 steps to use conciously and with awareness to prevent going down a path again that will lead to further illness or “being stuckness”….
What I became aware of in this past week with the assistance of your questions and my reflections on dreams has brought to my awareness something that now allows me to choose different path which will prevent another life crisis. I can see it very clearly. I don’t know all the answers or the direct way through this but I see what is all around me and within me that has brought me to this place. I like the idea of being a “postive parasite” because parasites do their work litle by little by little, teeny little bites, but because there is a lot of them they can have a great effect. For the many things I have to do to rid myself of some negatives in my life I just remember “tiny bites, one step at a time, little by little, day by day – Kam Kam Ruz be Ruz (as Abdu’l-Baha would say)
I am glad that my experince can be a part of your process with your book writing and so that is why I wanted to share this openly. My dream last night showed me a different bus driver (a dear artist friend who is relaxed and easy going but we drive to a strange place). Any suggestions?
A DRIVE WITHOUT DIRECTIONS INTO A STRANGE STORE
I am getting ready for a trip and instead of leaving in the morning I leave late afternoon and I say that’s okay it just means we’ll get there a day late. There was lot to do to get ready and I was going at a slow and comfortable place. At one time I lock a set of keys in a pocket of jeans and the lock on the van was locked. It seemed like we were stuck. But then I realized that the keys on the van were open and I could get in afterall. Finally we head out but I have no directions.
I am driving with Lindsey from Garden Gallery. (Someone who is very relaxes, easy-going, slow-paced, but confident, an artist). We drive some many hours and then are ready to stop. I say to her, this has been a great ride so far but we have such a long way to go and we don’t have directions so I’m a little nervous about that. She says she just follows her instinct and she knows the right way. She gets ready to turn left and I say yes I wanted to turn left too. Okay that’s good I say it must be the right way. And we’ll get a map a little later. There will be time.
Our turn brings us to a sign that says snack bar and restaurant we are ready to eat. We follow the signs to a narrow road that brings us to a small store. In there it is crowded and it is clear they don’t get many visitors. I’m not sure I want to eat here. The woman and man introduce themselves. They seem poor and they appear to be the stereotype for hilly billys who are uneducated and “inbread”. (This makes me laught to write that my dreaming self gave me that word for these people!) They don’t seem smart. A man walks in and he has a wife and two kids. They follow him. He introduces himself as Rachel and his wife Lindsay or something like that. She laughs and says no, she is Rachel and points to me. You are Henry, (or whatever- I forget the name she said). I laugh. He is very welcoming and saying so when have you got here and where you going. I say something about needing something, maybe a map, and he goes of to find it. His wife and three kids go out following him and I think that they do not think for themselves and just do whatever he says. In a way it was neat how they worked as a family and they all seemed so happy. In another it was weird that they did whatever he said.
Oh oh oh! I forgot the most important thing of all which is awareness! Before finding a deeper reliance on God and before choosing to alter ones life there needs to be an awareness. Its the first step in AA right? Well I didn’t go to AA but I read the book n did the steps. And in my mind before awareness HAS to come the willingness to remember your dreams, write them down and understand the message and implement the learning. Without doing dreamwork I never could have made it throught my teenage years. I would have committed suicide or died of an overdose. My dreams guided me to my strength long before I believed I even was strong. I got myself talking now about a favourite topic and need to get back to work. Lolol.
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From: Rachel Perry <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 18:04:05 +0300
To: Richard Hastings<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Here’s some more feedback on the quesitons —
My life has been “invaded” now by the actions of my “big” parasite effecting both my jobs, and has created a major stressor that has effectively permeated every area of my life. I can see that what happened today was the event the dream was preparing me for…and I am sure with the divorce there are more big things to come.
That being said, the questions had given me so much to think about for the past 2 weeks that I felt much better equipped to deal with the blow that someone gave me and I was less inclined to lay a lot of blame because i focused more on how I could take responsiblity for “allowing/tolerating” this kind of treatment of me (how i let others exploit me)….and having the positive vision of being able to be a “positive parasite” has empowered me to go through a termendously difficult day in a smooth and humourous way. I’ve been laughing, I’ve been playing, I’ve been being the person I’ve always wanted to be – despite a signficant crisis that will now involve laywers and the LSA.
Anyway, I wanted to write to thank you for your interpretation of that last dream series. Without that work I’ve done in the past two weeks I would be at a very different – and less positive – place right now.
Thank you so much.
In great humility and appreciation for the service you are offering for the betterment of the world I thank you deeply and with heart-felt appreciation. You know the saying “Namaste”…it’s what I feel like saying to you write now. “The Divine in me bows to the Divine in you.”
#6-118 Millennium Drive
Fort McMurray, Alberta
“Happy is the pure soul who does not attach himself to transient conditions and comforts, but rather seeks to attach himself to the purity, nobility and splendor of the world which endures.”—‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Outstanding. I am so excited for you.