I woke up suddenly at 3am and was not able to go back to sleep.
I’d like to blame the cat (any one of them), the kids (any one of them) or even plain old insomnia (Count Chocula cereal I ate at 10pm can do that). Those answers seem more adultish, more sensible somehow. Certainly sounds better than the rather pitiful “I had a bad dream”.
But I did. I had a bad dream. It kept my heart racing and my mind pacing for an extraordinary amount of time afterwards, and as those final hours of blessed darkness ticked by towards daylight I realized my subconscious still has a lot of work to do in processing the events of the last few years.
Dreams about Falling carry a particular meaning. According to DreamDictionary.org (because of course that’s a thing!) they aren’t even uncommon
“For the most part whenever we dream of falling, we have lost control in some aspect in our daily life that needs to be corrected.”
It’s a dream a lot of people can relate to I am sure, in a time where not only the small details of personal lives may be spinning out of control individually, but the course of the world seems equally and disturbingly more off It’s kilter than usual. Mass shootings, natural disaster after natural disaster, a president who wants to play chicken with a nuclear-warhead-wielding-equally-beligerent-man-child. It’s enough to make us all feel the precipice of reality is not far from crumbling directly out from underneath us. Falling dreams I daresay are likely a dime a dozen right about now.
But what on earth was Prince Harry doing in mine?
I found myself driving my car, and in the passenger seat none other than the very British, very Royal, Prince Harry. Turns out, we are great friends! I’m not sure where we were headed, but Meghan Markle was in the backseat and we were all in really good spirits, talking and laughing even though it was dark and sort of foggy. I realized suddenly that we were lost, and needed to turn around immediately. The road had become very narrow.
I threw the car in park, and we discussed how we might be able to turn around if we were really careful.
Back up, small turn, little bit forward, back up small turn, little bit forward. You know how it goes trying to maneuver a car in a small space.
Except in the darkness I didn’t see that the edge of the road was actually the ledge of a sheer cliff face. And a small miscalculation sent the front wheels right over.
The car started to fall and everyone was screaming, when I realized that the wheels were no longer even in contact with the ground. We weren’t rolling down a hillside, we had fallen right off an Unseeable Cliff. We fell, and fell. And fell. Knowing that contact with the ground would be an instant death, but the consuming darkness left me with no idea of when that contact might be. Minutes went by. After a few, we stopped screaming and marveled that we were still in fact…..falling.
I remember thinking “Geez, it’s been FIVE MINUTES already, when will this END?!? How deep does this canyon GO?” The falling, the not knowing, the anticipation of only one certain tragic outcome, was unbearable.
And then I woke up.
Life hasn’t become anything resembling what I had expected. When circumstances led me to being neck-deep in a depression so thick the darkness of it completely consumed me in 2016, my mind betrayed me in to thinking there was no way out….but down. There was a brief period of time where the sharp drop off a cliff face seemed a welcome, comforting prospect. Depression is an evil beast like that.
Shocked out of the paralyzing and self-consuming pain by the suicide of a dear friend’s husband who lived just around the corner, and the nearly simultaneous unexpected death of my life-long-friend’s precious two year old boy who had everything to live for but was robbed of the chance by cancer, the world seemed shaken to it’s foundations and forced me to action. Emerging from that darkness, making heartbreaking but necessary choices to change the road our family was traveling, 2017 has become to me the Reboot of Life. There is no longer one certain tragic outcome. There is so much I am now looking forward to, there are so many good, full, beautiful days. There is so much I have surrendered in the knowledge that I’ve done my part, I’ve Loved and Lost. But that isn’t the end. There is so much I want to do and experience with my children, who also suffered greatly the last few years through nearly unbearable trials. Our family now is unrecognizable from it’s earlier form, but it is not destroyed. It is not doomed. It might be injured but it is limping, determined, towards a restructured future.
Then a friend was killed by a drunk driver last week. A sweet, loving mother with 6 children, two of them micropreemies still in the NICU. Preemies she was driving home from visiting, holding, no doubt she had been whispering sweet promises and encouragement to their little hearts and minds just minutes before. And in an instant, for no reason at all, she was gone.
We think we are driving the car of our Life, but where it Starts and where it Stops…….are what we have absolutely zero control over. None. All of us falling towards an end that is most assuredly there in front of us somewhere, but which we have no ability to see, predict, or avoid.
This is what kept me awake for so long after the “bad dream” had ended. (Although any dream with Prince Harry in it can’t really be all that bad, even if you’re falling inexplicably forever towards certain doom, right??)
Which parts do I have control over?
Everything in between the Start and the hard Stop.
If cancer or a drunk driver or a mass shooting or a natural disaster can push your very existence over the edge of the cliff tomorrow, what am I doing Today that matters?
“Falling dreams should never be over looked especially if they are recurring. This dream could be unconsciously hinting at our insecurities and our beliefs in life . Though all falling dreams are not always bad symbols, but indications for us to open to change that is taking place. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom before we start a new stage. Dreams of this nature alert us to becoming more cognizant of our actions and behaviors in our life.”
Time to really Wake Up.
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