This morning, having gotten a few chapters into The Heart’s Code by Paul Pearsall–The Heart’s Code: Tapping the Wisdom and Power of Our Heart Energy by Paul Pearsall–I had a flash of understanding about a 17-year-old dream I have gone over and over without much insight into its meaning. It was as if Wisdom kept tugging at me and saying “Hey, I’m TALKING here.”
The dream characters were familiar: my Dalmatian Cleo, my Dad, and me. I always start with the assumption that the other characters are facets of myself, needing attention. If that were true, Cleo would be my young (and less complicated) self, and my Dad, my heart (he had passed away years before from a heart attack), and me, there to witness and learn (since the dream was mine).
In the dream, my Dad is seated at a kitchen table in an unfamiliar kitchen. I’m attempting to get treats for Cleo out from under the refrigerator with a yardstick. (The yardstick is no doubt the measuring stick Brene Brown always talks about—the analytical, researcher side.) There are inert characters, too: wooden heads (kind of like the wooden hat forms I own) stretching up from their human bodies (understood to be my body) on vintage wooden extenders, the kind with wooden slats that crisscross at right angles which get larger and larger as it extends.
I never had a good take on the meaning of this dream until today, but somehow, always knew it was important. One clue was that it predicted Cleo’s arrival in my life by about 5 years—Cleo was in my dream long before I adopted the real Cleo from a family I didn’t know, who asked me to keep her given name. And I had forgotten all about the dream when she came to live with me. Back when I recorded the dream, I described a dog named Cleo, who looked like the Cleo I came to love so well later (minus the spots, oddly). A testimonial to the nuanced quality of our dreams: the dream Cleo was unblemished, important for me to know, I guess.
So why would I be fishing for dry dog treats from the dusty refrigerator underbelly, when there were probably things inside of it that would be much more appetizing for someone of the Canine persuasion? Because the ones underneath were buried and forgotten, and needed unearthing. Looking into my past, I might unearth the joy and contentment that I had long been separated from. Separated from in a protective way, learned through early relationships as a good way to cut myself off from feelings that were too hard to handle. This separation, for me, meant over-identifying with my mind, and closing off my heart. The expanding upwards heads where trying to show me that I needed to open up the flow of energy between head and heart, and allow the two to talk (and maybe move the mind to a “higher” place. There were things my heart longed for that I had completely lost track of because I had long ago turned off the connection that allowed the flow of information. I hadn’t even dared, for a long time, to know what it was I really wanted, if it didn’t have to do with the intellect.
So what would my heart say to me if opening the connection to it were as easy as turning on a faucet? Well, for one thing, it wants more connection, and more rest. It wants to be listened to, of course. And it wants to love what it loves without fear that this will bring the disappointment and rejection that might break it even more. The rest will need to be discovered. While there is only a trickle of information right now, I suspect that once the lines are cleared, more will be clear to me.
What about you? If you have good dreams (heart-related or not) to share, get a conversation going! Write a description under comments and invite others weigh in on its meaning.