The other morning I woke up with a vivid dream in my mind. It wasn’t even real, it was a dream.
But I felt sad.
In the dream, I stopped by the home of very, very dear friends who I haven’t been in contact with for several years. It was a home I spent lots and lots of time in for about 5-6 years when my son was first born. My son is now about to turn 20.
They gave me a tour of their home in the dream. It had been remodeled multiple times, holding more and more rooms. I asked my friends questions, and they politely answered, but I kinda got the feeling like they were wondering why the heck I stopped by.
They weren’t welcoming. More like….why are you here, and when are you leaving, and we aren’t that interested.
I felt embarrassed.
AND IT WAS A DREAM!
Kind of amazing to think about that….the reaction doesn’t care if it was “real” or “imagined”.
For the next few hours I thought about those old friends who I dearly loved, who supported me in many ways back then….feeling gratitude, and regret, and loss, and appreciation all mixed up together….and then the thought hit me:
I’m horrible at maintaining friendships.
I work too much, I get too focused and passionate, I’m obsessive, I’m intense, I’m introverted, I have an attachment disorder, look at all the people I once was close with who are now not in my life! OMG!
Ha ha! When I thought that, I almost burst out laughing.
The mind will run through all kinds of possibilities, in fact EVERY possibility you can think of, with great dramatic flair.
Well, OK, this mind apparently does that.
Giving this kind of dramatic personal thought respectful consideration can be profoundly eye-opening with The Work.
Is it true that there is something wrong with my ability to connect, to have friendships, or that they might not be interested (God forbid)?
Yes. I isolate. I’m very one-track minded. I’m like a dog with a bone. I’m not very expressive. I don’t try very hard. I like the Cone of Silence too much. And they aren’t interested, or they would have called me.
What personality trait do YOU have, that you criticize yourself for having?
Can you absolutely know that it’s true there’s something wrong with you? That the way it goes for you is not good? That being that way creates loss, or difficulty, for others (or for you)?
No. I can’t know that. Sigh.
How do you react when you list your faults? Or even believe one of them is true?
Must. Get. Rid. Of. Defect.
I “work” on myself.
When that doesn’t work, I get depressive, discouraged, unforgiving…..sad.
But who would you be without believing the thought that you’re horrible at something, that you’re too “x” or not enough “y”?
“If you wish to be fully alive, you must develop a sense of perspective. Life is infinitely greater than this trifle your heart is attached to and which you have given the power to so upset you.” ~ Tony De Mello
Oh, you mean….remember that IT WAS A DREAM?
Turning the thoughts around, I am fabulous at maintaining friendships. Gosh…I even dream about them 15 years later! I remember some people, then I forget, then I remember, and I feel such gratitude. I feel my heart warming up and delighting in how fun they were.
I am this kind of personality, sort of, apparently…and that changes and morphs and I’m not really sure. I’m the opposite of everything I think; extroverted, unfocused, easy-going, attached and a great friend.
All I know is, doing The Work makes this all funny, innocent, curious, weird, in-explainable, fascinating.
“Stories are the untested, uninvestigated theories that tell us what all these things mean. We don’t even realize that they’re just theories.” ~ Byron Katie
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.
That thought is but a dream! DOH! I get it!
Much love, Grace