Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

Welcome to the House of Chaos January 4, 2011

Last night we returned home after a glorious snowy week in the mountains with our kids and grandkids. We had snowman building, snowball fighting, snow-angel making, sledding; we even made snow ice cream. Indoors it was all popcorn and games and movies beside the proverbial roaring fire. It was the quintessential winter holiday, especially for children born and raised in Florida. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen the pictures in the L.L. Bean catalogues; it was just like that. Seriously. They could have done next year’s photo shoot at our cabin!

But it took some work to make it happen.  Moreover, before that we had two weeks of frenzied Christmas preparations preceded by a three-week whirlwind tour of Indochina. During all this time my house has been turned upside down with a “simple” remodeling project that was supposed to be finished when we got home from our trip but has morphed into a greedy, multi-tentacled monster. Four of the downstairs rooms are intact, but the entire upstairs is a train wreck. Seriously.

We’re camping out in my daughter’s old room while our bedroom is off limits. The other rooms are crammed with furniture, books and clothes. The carpeting in the loft where I write was replaced with wood flooring the week before Christmas. Except for a few slender cables connecting my computer to the wall, my desk is floating, unmoored, in the middle of the room. I’m sitting here trying to get this post written for publication tomorrow while one workman is ripping off floor molding behind which he will hide some exposed wires formerly hidden by the carpet, and another is using a very loud power saw. Three more men are tearing out part of a wall and rewiring electricity in what used to be our bedroom. (Oops, scooting my chair forward a bit. Someone just passed behind me with a ladder.)

Welcome to the House of Chaos. Excuse me for a moment while I step outside and emit a primal scream or two. Just kidding. Not really. Lately I tear up at the least provocation, and I know for sure it’s not PMS. Last night my husband was trying to make me feel better. After reciting the litany of all we’ve done over the six weeks he said, “Do we know anyone else our age who could have done all this?” My response was, “Why would they want to?” I don’t like to whine, but this is ridiculous. What were we thinking? (Oops, wincing at a blast from a very loud Shop Vac.)

I’m not feeling very perky or wise right now. In fact, I’m sort of questioning my sanity. What’s going on here? There’s meaning in all this. There always is. In dreams a house is a symbol for the psyche. My house is a mess. My psyche’s a mess right now too. Did a temporary onset of psychological chaos, perhaps brought on by unconscious unresolved issues surrounding the holidays, contribute to the physical chaos? Was it the other way around? Or am I just losing it?

But I know better. Life is all about cycles and I’m in a downswing. At times like this, mental gymnastics don’t help much. What I really need is to step out of the tidal wave in my head and accept the tornado of my life without worrying how I got here or how long it will last. Like when I go to the dentist: just close my eyes and breathe. (Breathing now.)

By the way, between the last paragraph and this one we put my desk back where it belongs and tidied up my work area and everyone left for lunch. For the moment I’m enjoying the eye of the hurricane. Thanks for listening.


Visiting Old Dreams: Visioning a New Year January 1, 2011

There are many ways to wrap up the old year and bring in the new. Personally, I don’t see the point of New Year’s resolutions. Like daydreams, they’re rarely based on reality; like good intentions, they never make any difference; and like drugs, they only provide fleeting comfort.

I’d rather spend the week between Christmas and January 1st re-reading the year’s dreams and summarizing their messages. As practical guides for deep personal reflection, dreams have no parallel. They lay bare truths our egos don’t see in waking life, expose our emotional strengths and weaknesses, and inspire needed changes.

Having just completed this year’s review, I’d like to share the highlights in the hope that something of my experience will be helpful to you. As you will see, Dream Mother does not hold back, and therein lies the priceless value of her nightly dramas. Her bold explorations reveal both darkness and light, melancholy and joy, discord and peace, everything I fear and all that I love: in short, everything I need to integrate into my consciousness on my journey to my whole self.

My animus played a major role. Twice in February he showed up as an accomplished man — once a doctor, and once a wealthy landowner — whose intense attentions made me uncomfortable. Other roles included a sweet man I enjoyed and trusted; a charming actor whose aloofness belied his professed love; two men who helped a wise woman writer and me elude and thwart a terrorist threatening to poison a school; and a special boyfriend who loved me as I am. In August he revealed his dark side, first as “The Man,” an image of all the repressive patriarchal values I fear; and then as a rapist. A few nights ago he returned as a dear old trusted friend. My favorite dream about maleness came the night before I published my first blog post in March. In it my dream ego was surprised to find I was growing some, excuse the term, balls! (Hopefully they will help me deal with the terrorist, the rapist, and The Man!) And so I continue to clarify and heal my relationship to my masculine side and the masculinity in the world around me.

My dreams also highlighted some unfinished business. My compulsion to serve the needs of others without asserting or protecting my own to the point that I become overwhelmed, angry and depressed can still be a problem sometimes. Others include difficulty expressing my anger and feeling guilty when I do; undue sensitivity to criticism; and nagging self-criticism and self-doubt about my work and relationship skills. None of these are as extreme as they once were, but sometimes I wonder: Will I ever learn to love and accept myself as I am?

Positive developments provided the theme for other dreams. Several depicted a healthy integration of mind and body. In one I was playfully interacting with a delightful black and white horse; another said my inner strength and wisdom come from listening to my emotions, intuitions and animal instincts; in a third I rescued and released a trapped bird which transformed into a cat.

Two dreams are especially gratifying and feel like rewards for all my inner work. In one I experienced overwhelming gratitude for the beauty of my remodeled childhood home, a metaphor for the childish aspects of my psyche I have finally outgrown. And my favorite dream of the year used mythical imagery to let me know that sharing my knowledge about the Sacred Feminine and the inner life via my writing, particularly in this blog, is my sacred destiny and the purpose of my life. I wish you many happy visions of your own destiny in the New Year.


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