Spiritual Exhaustion: Clearing and Confronting in Dreams
Photo by http://flickr.com/photos/lchifi/; creative commons license.
Have you been absolutely exhausted recently and can’t figure out why? Extra sleep and vitamins aren’t cutting it?
I’ve been that way for a couple of weeks, and I’ve cheerfully blamed the guy I’m seeing because he’s been exhausted, too. But my Shannon called from college and has also been exhausted, regardless of the luxury of enough sleep. And then yesterday, I heard from several different highly spiritual friends who are exhausted to the point of being suicidal…and all working through massive spiritual issues. And that IS the one thing we all have in common right now, this huge spiritual cleansing and its deep karmic intensity.
We’ve wondered if it’s the economy or the astrological issues of Saturn opposite Uranus or just plain bad energies around us, but everyone I know experiencing this kind of exhaustion is going through intense karmic resolutions, or attempts at resolutions.
Often, my body will reflect what’s going on with me spiritually, and if I’m not taking care of something, it’ll force me to deal with it. I didn’t realize that until I woke this morning after sleeping 12 hours, was too tired to move, and went back to bed for another 7 hours. I was being forced to confront some old spiritual issues in the Dreamtime, and my friends, that is exhausting work. I liken it to being 3 months pregnant and exhausted because though no one else can see it, your body is doing the equivalent of mountain climing on the inside. Recently, I’ve been scaling some peaks!
If you’ve read my books or followed my journals for a while, you know that I have “dreams” of different textures, including prophetic, metaphoric, and what’s more like what my shaman friends call journeying where I connect with other people. I also visit people in certain houses, stores, or other structures that are representative of their metaphysical structure. Mine isn’t just a house but most of my family farm back in Georgia. My ex’s is a huge mansion with a facade on the front and his mom wandering around the basement (seriously). The Treat’s is a small, eclectic cottage with a private bedroom and living area in back and a busy medical practice in the front of the house. A former friend’s is an old house with a terrifying torture-scene basement and lots of spiral staircases that lead to even spookier places…and I first visited when we were friends! Okay, you get the idea.
Because I am seeing so many of us going through this spiritual clearing and subsequent exhaustion, I will share how this works for me, even if it’s something I outwardly have no control over. I will omit certain things, also, that are too close to the bone to share.
This dreaming that set in this morning was sporadic at first, then settled into an intense series of insights and confrontations. In one of the earlier scenes, I was enjoying time in a small cottage somewhere else, enjoying my daughters and sharing the homey landscape with Scorpio. It was peaceful and pleasant, and there was much open sharing. I’m inclined to think that this was Scorpio’s metaphysical home rather than one from my own past because it was small with other homes nearby, like a suburb, but still a feel of nature to it.
Then later the girls and I were at this huge storage barn, looking at rooms and rooms of copper tools and “rich” furniture, piano, antiques–but no life there and no rich homelife there to match. The barn’s caretaker asked what I’d done with all these material possessions, and we explained that we’d never seen them. The caretaker was confused because she was showing what had been given to me years ago and didn’t understand why I’d never been told about these or taken possession, but they had not been passed along to me. They’d been taken from this warehouse where they waited for me. I accepted that they had been stolen from me and found myself more focused on their beauty than their ownership. There was not a sense of holding onto them–rather surprise that they’d ever been mine and an ease of letting them go. If anything, I was more concerned that they were my children’s legacy and were now gone. But this was entirely about material things associated with my former life and marriage, and the caretaker even showed me a designer-decorated series of bathroom stalls–or how they used to be, as this was almost a Ghost of Christmas Past kind of viewing–that no longer have that designer look but that I’ve remade into my own. This part of the dreaming was about how I’ve rewritten my surroundings since my divorce, and a view of how it used to be.
The next part of the dreaming became much more intense as I began to revisit places in previous dreamings. I walked through a back door and onto a huge stage, just before the curtain went up. This was a big production, one with many singers, dancers, and actors who had been preparing for a long time and following a script. It was some sort of musical production about 12-step programs, but I didn’t know that at the time. It was all about going through the steps of clearing out shadows and showing other people how. The problem was, the leading lady was missing or gone and the curtain was rising. The leading man grabbed my hand and asked me to take her place, but I said no initially. I’m absolutely NOT a dancer and not a vocal performer. I will enthusiastically direct such a production, but I’m orchestrating from behind the scenes and not the star of the show. I realize I’m putting myself more in “star” positions, which has never been comfortable, but in the dreaming, I suddenly had a willing partner, who was truly a partner in this adventure, and very encouraging. He didn’t look exactly like Scorpio, not all the time, but he was definitely a facet, and there was an awkward but happy alliance that reminded me of Scorpio’s hosting a gathering with me last Sunday night.
So the curtain went up, and everyone else knew their lines and movements, and I had to follow attentively and improvise where I could. Me, the non-dancer/singer. Scorpio made it easy, at least with the difficult dance steps and singing along, and he was easy to follow and easy to share with and accepted my lead when those times came, too. Much of the show, the spotlight was on us, dancing and singing. I felt lost a little bit, but the audience and other performers were cheering and everything we did on stage seemed to be appreciated and right for the audience.
The scary part came when the dance became more difficult, and I was on the wrong side of the stage but Scorpio and I played it off as natural, to the cheers of others. Then the music stopped and he quoted from the script. The problem was, I didn’t know the script. Of course not–I usually don’t follow a script, do I? So I improvised. The rest of the show was the two of us improvising, which meant it didn’t follow the expected pattern but the results were wonderful.
Afterward, I went into a classroom where there were other spiritual students. I put a ton of books and notes on the table in front of me and pulled up a chair. The workshop instructor was an old teacher of mine, whom I still respected. We have not gotten along in recent years, but I respected his work quite a lot, enough to attend his class to see what else I might learn. He’s been in my waking thoughts much recently because something he told me long ago has come to pass, and the specific odd thing he told me was evidence that his prophecy has come to pass happened last weekend. I was there reverently and looking to learn more.
Instead, my old teacher spotted me and singled me out in front of the other classmates. He heavily criticized my performance on stage because I had not delivered the “correct” lines and had therefore missed some elements of the 12-step program I was supposed to be teaching (this was when I first knew what I was “supposed” to be teaching). Other classmates, including Scorpio, defended me, explaining that no one had shown me a script and I’d filled in with less than 5 minutes’ notice, but my old teacher would have none of it. Rather than continue to be denigrated, I took my books and learning materials and left his class so he could continue his workshop and I could continue my journey.
He and other old teachers caught up with me outside, cornered me, and told me how I couldn’t just walk away when they were lecturing me. This turned into a major confrontation where I understood and appreciated all the good things they’d taught long ago, but I was my own person now, powerful in my own right, and even if their old prophecies came true only now, they held no power over me. Just because they could see the prophecy did not mean they were the ones who sent it to me. It was a clearing, freeing moment for me, and I turned and walked forward without them.
For the rest of the dreaming, I walked through structures I’ve visited in dreams with others, lots of people from my past. For the past week, I’ve been undertaking a huge clearing of something (someone) and it’s been tremendously exhausting to cut all those ties and be down with it, finally. Some of these places had restaurants, New Age shops, yoga shops, theatres, Carribbean islands, Buddhist temples, and secret doors to Chinese laundries. I walked into a structure that was once a restaurant where The Treat and I dined and had many wonderful conversations in the Dreaming. I had a tough time with my bearings because the restaurants were empty, no longer places to dine or talk, and nothing of what they’d once been. These places with him were empty now, nothing left but the occasional painting or design on the walls. Everything else bare and gone. There was not a feeling of emptiness for me but rather, just the acknowledgement that there was nothing there anymore but memories. No emotions more than a slight sadness for what might have been.
Old friends came and went through these structures, and there was really nothing but a passing hello and goodbye. After all, I’ve seen them more in these dreamings than in the waking world, and the connections in both are faint to non-existent. I found Scorpio in some of these structures, an over-worked cook, in a stressed facet of himself, needing nurturing and solace. I vowed to give him more of that and less of my own worries about this clearing I’m doing or the future. He’d been the supportive one while I was onstage and out of my natural element, and now I want to return that favor.
I walked with my mother here, too, and took her to the Carribbean island that was inside one of these rooms. I pointed out the sunset, the beautiful sky and the color of the water. I explained that this was the place I used to see as my marriage and my life. She oohed and ahhed at its beauty, and so did I. We chose to walk across the tropical and beautiful landscape to the water and dip our toes, but this place was not as I remembered. It was all artificial. Pretty but artificial. The same place I’ve walked with other romantic partners. The flowers were hard plastic, some silk, none real. And the shimmering waves of water were an illusion of light against a painted wall. I was always willing to see the beauty in this place but there was nothing it gave back to me but an illusion I was willing to live with because the lie was easier than looking at plastic plants.
I woke to a text message from Scorpio, wishing me a wonderful day. And then I went out and put my feet in green, fresh, living grass and smelled the flowers in my garden, bees and all.