This post first appeared on my old blog ‘Art and Life’. It may resonate with some of you.
I journey within –
For so many nights now I have been dreaming of old tired places, thoughts and experiences I have no wish to revisit but which lurk in the dim recesses of my mind. It is as if all the debris of my psyche lies in wait for me to sleep so that it come come out and haunt me – night after night. Every sorry story I have ever been part of is choosing this current time frame to revisit me in fragmentary nightmarish scraps. It is as if I have become a voyeur surveying all those moments in my life when I was less than perfect or failed to achieve some goal.
Often these dreams are so disturbing they wake me up. Invariably this waking occurs at strange times – 02:02, 3:33, 4:44 etc. For a long time I thought the dreams were pointing out deep psychological dramas I needed to resolve. I would lie in bed, tossing and turning as I wrestled with my demons.
After a while it came to me that these dreams were showing me things that happened a long time ago. They were often about events that had been resolved with time or they retold stories of incidental moments that I could nothing about now. It was if my mind was somehow stained with these things – that those unpleasant occurrences had left behind a residue that still coloured my subconscious.
I told myself sternly that it was time to move on but the dreams continued. It seemed my subconscious had an inexhaustible supply of bad memories to parade before me. Endless murky interiors haunted by ghosts of my past presented themselves.
Recently it dawned on me that what these dreams are showing me are not issues I must resolve in my waking life but patterns of thought that keep me trapped in repeating infinite variations of the same themes. What they are showing me is the dark side of my own being. My own shadow self.
I have always thought that the psychological shadow self was a dark figure that embodied all the unsavoury aspect of the self – some heinous malevolent character that would devour all the good parts of me if I let it loose. What I’ve recently come to understand is that my shadow self is an amalgamation of my own negative thoughts – my lack of self esteem and feelings of inferiority (due to all the usual culprits – age, worldly and financial status, body size, gender etc as well as memories of past mistakes and failures). It is that part of me that holds me back and keeps me repeating old thought and behavioral patterns that reinforce my lack of self esteem and feeling of inferiority. It’s like an inner series of labyrinthine rooms that are all essentially the same.
That realization has become a beacon in the darkness.
I have been thinking along a track that has already ended. Now I realize I can change my life by changing the way I think.
Now that I know that I flood the dark interior spaces of my mind with light.
Reblogged in response to this week’s prompt on Sue Vincents #write photo challenge
photo credit – Sue Vincent