I woke up this morning with a strange mixture of celebration and foreboding. Last night, after hundreds of hours of editing, my local editor, Sara Eliasen and I put the final touches on my manuscript, Authentic Freedom to be released this fall through St. Johann Press. Sara has been a remarkable gift and teacher as I found myself stumbling through the editing process (a task that is not my gift). We celebrated with a glass of Sutter Home chardonnay then discussed the beginning of Sara’s reclaimed path as a professional book editor. It was a moment of profound accomplishment and gratitude. Now, off to the publisher for the next layer of review.
The foreboding, I am acutely aware, stems from two strange dreams that have left me feeling off-center and quite perplexed. The dream in the forefront is the one I had last night and the dream that I was startled out of by the intrusive alarm at 5am. In this dream, Maggie, Wil, my mother and I were trying to find our way to higher ground as the damns had collapsed and (presumably) Lake Winnebago was flooding the low-lying areas of Oshkosh. Wil (as he always does in dreams), was forging off on his own, while I chased after him in frustration and alarm. Then, as I watched with Eagle-eye vision, the flood waters escaped beyond Oshkosh to assault Chicago and Milwaukee and I was witness to high rises along the shore line collapsing into the water below. The first temptation, of course, is to enter into the fear that this may be some sort of prophetic dream. Knowing that these kind of dreams are rare (and not my gift), and understanding the metaphoric role of dreams to illuminate our deeper consciousness, I ponder the meaning of this bizarre and unsettling dream.
The other dream occurred just before I awoke this past Sunday morning. In this dream, I was visited by a stately older gentleman (70-ish). Dressed in casual modern attire with his white hair closely cropped (and a little balding), it was his piercing blue eyes that dominated his visage. In his eyes was the look of profound adoration, acceptance and love. In his gaze, I found within myself a profound sense of contentment and peace. He introduced himself as Melchezidek, and then the bloody clock shouted its alarm. I was startled out of this profound place of contentment and love into the depths of despair. NNNNOOOOOOO……I did not want that experience of love to cease. In its place, I was left with deep sadness and longing.
In the old days (before Spiritual Direction, Counseling and Lexapro), I would have been tempted to view this man as my long-lost soulmate and would have obsessively embarked upon a search for this elusive perfect partner. Presumably older and wiser (ha), I now recognize this visitation as a call to enter more deeply into my spiritual practice to be open to healing of the places within myself that are still in forgetfulness of my true nature as peaceful and whole.
So today, I am grateful for the teachers that have come my way – human support through an exceptional editor, dreams which illuminate those things hidden in my consciousness, and spiritual teachers who remind us to return to the spiritual practices that nourish, heal and inspire. I share this as a reminder to all of us of the abundant ways in which God reaches out to us to remind us that we are loved.