The following two dreams are placed together, although they occurred several weeks apart. The first represents a major warning that emphasizes my need to take action to remedy one of my personal character flaws. The second represents inner verification that I took constructive action and indeed found the beginning of a true solution.
One weekend day, I narrowly avoided having an angry outburst in a bad neighborhood. Had this occurred, there would have certainly been a serious altercation and even tragic consequences for my life. T hat night I had the following dream.
Dream: Game of Risk (7-30-2000)
Big Bob, a mentally ill guy I know from recovery meetings is returning the board game of "Risk" that he borrowed from me. I really want him to keep it and hold it for a while longer, but he doesn't want it anymore and refuses to keep it. He is standing in the bed of his pickup truck and drops the game on the ground beside me. I notice that the outer box is wet and soggy and I become furious. I begin yelling at him. Another guy comes walking cool and tall across the parking lot. He is telling me something like: "Way to go, you put that no good sick guy in his place!" and he laughs.
The board game of Risk is about world domination, or in other words, my attempting to be in total control. The first person represented the sick, untouchable part of me that was no longer willing to risk such angry impulsive reactive behavior on the part of my conscious self or ego. He is obviously from my unconscious since he is standing in the bed of the truck, which is behind the driver's seat or ego part of the personality. The second acquaintance was an individual that I mistakenly thought knew how to work the program very well. The truth was that I didn't really know him, nor how well he did or did not work the recovery program. He was a somewhat soft-spoken person that I feared having any contact with because I felt self-conscious about my difficulties applying the 12-steps to my life situation. In other words, he represented to me 'Mr. Recovery' himself. He therefore represented the self-righteous part of me that wanted and needed to focus on others rather than myself, and was willing to ignore and even abuse the sick, weak part of myself, in order to save face and not admit that I have a problem. The overall message of the dream was that I had to do something about my anger before something bad happened. It was therefore a much needed 'wake-up call.'
This dream occurred on a Saturday evening and on Monday morning I began looking for a Rage-aholics Anonymous meeting. I sought out a man that I knew who had the same problem and was told that there was no such meeting in my area. I then sat at an alcohol detox and recovery center with a Hazelton anger book specifically written for addictive and codependent personalities. Between meetings I copied several chapters word for word. During meetings I shared what had happened and the dream and the solution that I was taking. I did this for several weeks, before having the following dream.
Dream: Love Enters the House (8-22-2000)
My roommate let two gay guys move into the house without telling me. One would sleep on the couch in the living room. As I walked past the other guy's bedroom, there were a bunch of his friends in there partying with weird clothes on and laughing at me as I walked by. I was thinking about how I'd possibly be able to study with all this going on. One guy was overweight with a wild hairdo and a leopard skin shirt. Another was tall and skinny with bright orange curls on top of head sticking out of a polka-dotted bandana. It looked like an animated cartoon production. I said to my roomate: "What the hell are you doing man, there gonna take over the house."
It was getting dark outside. I went out through the fenced backyard and down the back alley. There was an ominous feeling. A huge searchlight was periodicly sweeping across the yard. The neighborhood resembled a ghetto. As I looked back to the house, I saw the dark outlines of gang-like dudes with bandanas, clubs and knives as they were peeking in the windows, saying: "Aw, no way man! They're letting 'Them' move in there!" They started a ghetto war --- throwing bottles, lights flashing, police sirens etc. … . I waited until I thought I could make it safely back into the house. I then return down the back alley and through the fence and backyard, cautiously.
The house and its contents represent my total consciousness or psyche. The I in my dream is my ego, which always sees love as being soft and weak and hence wonders how I can possibly study or 'do life' without remaining hard and tough. The discrepancy between the loving gay men within the house and the gangland in the outside surrounding neighborhood, displays a marked contrast between the conditions inside and outside my consciousness. Regardless of the situation outside, whether good or bad, through my Higher Self (i.e. my roommate), LOVE has entered the house of my consciousness. And the state of my inner world is the state that has dominion or rules. So, the message is that by consciously surrendering that which I can't control, while having the courage to change the things I can, I am allowing my inner world to be changed from a basis of fear to one of love. This, in turn, insures that I will be able to more functionally deal with the havoc of the outer world in the future. Once again, we see that, it is an inside job!
These two dreams represent an excellent example of the importance of being in touch with our inner lives. Even though my conscious self almost landed in a heap of trouble, the fact that I had experience working with my unconscious through dreams allowed me to be informed of the extremity of the potential danger and take constructive action to avoid future castastrophe.