“We are always deceiving ourselves when we say we do not know what to do about this or that.
Somewhere we know quite well, but we do not want to do it.”
-Barbara Hannah from “Active Imagination”
How often in life have any of us held our hands up in frustration to the heavens pleading…“Just tell me what to do!”…only to be met with silence, perhaps feeling very alone in that moment of trying to understand life. When I begin working with a new dream client one of the things that surprises them is that their dreams won’t tell them what to do either. We are free to make choices and for many of us that is not a freedom we want.
We didn’t choose the circumstances that formed us…that conditioned us…they happened to us…and it’s not our fault. Our dreams never judge, blame or shame us. And there are ways we have all been hurt and broken…some terribly so. And to have the freedom to choose can seem so fraught with right/wrong or good/bad that many choose to make no choice…to stay lost in their woundedness afraid to move…and tell themselves and the world this is just the way I am…but that’s no so.
Our dreams come to show us…precisely…the ways we may be choosing to stay stuck and separate from soul…behavior that serves neither our inner life nor our outer life. Sometimes we can acknowledge and recognize the behaviors and in working with our dreams we slowly and tenderly begin the drop from our head and our stories into our heart and begin to feel the pain and grief of the choices we are making. Other times we dig in our heels…refusing to accept what our dreams are showing us. We may become defended and want to blame others, even angry that it is on us to choose. And remarkably that is our choice to do so. There is no divine intervention or dream intervention imposed upon us. We ourselves have the burden of choice.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of human freedoms –
to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances,
to choose one’s own way.”
~Viktor Frankl from “Man’s Search for Meaning”
Our dreams can show us the way out from this limited way of living…and while they won’t tell us what to do they will show us the choices we are making. Then it is our choice to explore this in ourselves and if we so choose to make changes. No one forces us. As we truly feel into these places that don’t serve us well we start make difference choices…first feeling it on the inside and then expressing it in the outer world. And then something else wonderful happens…we begin to feel the inner support in our dreams…come into relationship with these abiding figures that have been there all along. We are aware that we were never alone in this. They don’t make us change or make the changes for us…but they are there with us…the truest fans of our soul…and when we do we begin to make different choices…our dreams change…our relationships change…and we change.
Mary Jo Heyen is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at www.maryjoheyen.com or www.thenaturaldream.com