In my dream last night, I was in a dark alley going to meet a girlfriend at a night club. This nightclub was somewhere in the South. I heard southern drawls. There was even a man in an old run- down house, just down the alley of the nightclub who was painting a broken door on his front porch. I had to walk past him to meet my friend who was likely already inside dancing. The man in overalls said, “Ma’am,” and nodded at me. My friend had put on a fancy sapphire blue suit before heading out. I think she worked in PR. I didn’t want to go, so had reluctantly put on jeans and T-shirt. I recall leaving my boys at her house. She was impatient with me. As I approach the back door and bouncer of this club, I begin to get really nervous. I suddenly need to go back to check on the boys. My friend popped her head out the back door to hurry me inside. I tell her that I forgot my wallet. It wasn’t true. As I walk back past the old man painting his door, my seven-year-old son races screaming up the path from the nightclub, where he had gone looking for me, and he throws himself into my arms. I am now on my knees and he is shaking violently in my arms screaming without sound. All moms know that kind of scream. It’s the one that comes before the pain sets in. The one just after the needle prick at the doctor’s office. The one that says, “What was that?! YOU hurt me!?” It’s the one of shock. The mouth is open, the eyes wide, yet sound can barely make its way out—until it does, violently. I wake when his screams start to explode and can still feel his body shaking so hard that I wonder if he’s having a convulsion. I know it is from terror. Earlier in the dream, as I’m leaving my friend’s house, which happens to be on a southern beach somewhere. I know this because of the heat lightning and fireflies that don’t exist on the West Coast. William, my 14-year-old, is getting nervous. We hear explosions off in the distance. Like firecrackers. I see a large monster behind a huge surf board. He challenges William. Then another appears. We run down the beach together.
Dreams often trigger me to feel deeply. The story line may be complete nonsense. But the feelings always ring true. Lately I’ve been trying not to feel too much, show too much feeling, keep going. I’ve been intellectualizing. I’ve written two blog posts that I haven’t published. Why? Because I’m intellectualizing how I am, but I’m not truly feeling it, so it rings unauthentic to me. When I woke this morning I had the sense that I needed to focus on the boys 100% and help them feel safe. I told myself to do the TUT and Abraham-Hicks ‘feel’ your way into manifesting. It requires taking a little over a minute to just FEEL your life as if all your dreams/goals have been achieved. I told myself instead of trying to feel fabulous, which was too far of a stretch right now, I just needed to feel peaceful, serene, trusting, at ease, like a Cheshire cat in the sunshine, and carry myself as if all is well in my Universe, in my life, so my boys feel ok. Yoga always gets me there, but off the mat, I’m not always serene. In three weeks, there have been three deaths within my family and circle, so I thought this dream was forcing me to feel the fear that I’ve been swallowing. I thought the dream was purely a reminder that I need to calmly do what I need to do: work harder, but also be more reassuring to the boys: help them feel safe, take better care of myself, in order to take care of them.
And then I read the news about the nightclub shooting in Orlando last night. My heart sank. So much violence, so much death. The Paris night club shooting affected me strongly too. Terrorists can’t take away our joie de vivre unless we let them. Can there be any peace in war? The war terrorists weld is one of fear. They want us to think that they can strike at any time and at any place. They want us to stay on our couches watching CNN while nibbling nervously on our bag of chips or drinking our vino in an attempt to feel better or swallow our fears, while not really living. Whether you’re afraid of terrorists or your own internal fears that are triggered or born from your past, observe them, feel the fear and see if you can take baby steps away from it. That’s what I’m doing with baby steps every day.
I’ve been to two funerals in two weeks and wanted to go to a 3rd, but it was too far away. Friday’s affected me the most. A young man died in a motorcycle accident. His parents, my friends who run the music department at my son’s Catholic school, are in grief. Yet they are both filled with hope and trust and love. They don’t blame God. What I loved the most about this funeral was the Priest who spoke without notes. He told us all very sternly “to get off the porch.” We were not to feel sorry for this young 22-year-old who died on his motorcycle. He was living life on his own terms. The priest told us to find out who were are and to BE that person. We aren’t to be the person who our parents want us to be, or who the church may seem to imply we are to be and we aren’t supposed to listen to what limiting beliefs others, like mis-guided teachers or family members, may have told us about our abilities. We are to follow our hearts and our intuition. I LOVED this priest. As I had walked into the church before the funeral, a few moms from school said to me: “It just goes to show how important our choices are.” They were implying that this young man was at fault for his death. It made me angry. We don’t know that. But we do know that he lived exactly as he wanted to. He chose to get off the porch. He chose to take risks. He chose to be himself.
‘Be You. No one else can.’ That’s what I tell my boys. Do I really mean it? If they wanted to back pack across Europe or ride a motorcycle would I flip out in fear? Hopefully not. Death isn’t what we should be afraid of. We are eternal. We don’t really die. (But that’s for another post. My friend Mike Dooley’s book is awesome: The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell YOU.)
If you are still reading this, here’s what I hope you take away: Fear is the opposite of Love. Where fear, control and manipulation reside, love can not. Choose Love. Choose You. Embrace what lights you up and don’t worry about whether it’s good enough or you’re too old. Go to that nightclub. I went to one in Peru and had a blast! Take salsa lessons. Try yoga or surfing or whatever makes you curious. Ride a horse. Finish that novel, painting, or riff on the guitar. Take a risk. Tell someone you love them. What have you got to lose? Is sitting on the porch or the couch watching any better?
Fuck terrorists. Choose Love. Choose You. Let go of fear. Love your life. Take deep breaths, Often. Exercise. Drink water. Take care of yourself. But get off the fucking porch.
Thanks for reading. XO