The lyrics of Lynyrd Skynyrd filtered through my dream ruminations as I walked the dogs earlier this morning. Often, spirit spends me messages through songs. They are a blunt, yet kind reminders of the crux of my present state.
Last night I dreamed I was in an elevator. After the doors were closed and the button was pushed, I found myself drifting swiftly towards the ceiling until I hovered there alone. Everyone else’s feet were grounded as the elevator moved towards its destination. I panicked, asking someone to pull me down. Finally, the bellhop grabbed my legs and pulled me to the floor. When my feet were back on level ground, I searched my wallet for a tip. Intending initially to give him 2, 1 dollar bills, I pulled out a 5 instead. In her book, The Hidden Power of Dreams, Denise Linn writes that the number 5 is often indicative of freedom, “the number of the free soul, of excitement, and of change.” It is “self-emancipating.” (p. 206)
The messages from spirit could not be more clear. A week ago I saw Eagle during meditation. After flying freely through the heavens, Eagle landed upon a large, white oval egg. As I watched, this symbol of freedom and the egg it clutched between its talons, it rotated upon the air as though upon an invisible pedestal. “What do you wish to tell me,” I asked. Eagle replied, “I am incubating you until you are ready to hatch out.”
When I asked my guides to bring me to the under-world for healing, I found myself on a pond with my palms turned up to the heavens. Beneath me I was sitting on a pink lotus flower, its petals in full bloom. I was Sarasvati, her energy pouring through my palms. A large, healthy fish swam around me, leaping through the surface like a dolphin.
I have a dear friend in Savannah, Georgia. My friend is a transplant of the south, having grown up in the northeast. In the south she often finds herself the outsider. She is not only a writer, she is a mom and an environmental activist. We share these traits. While I have always shirked from confrontation though, my friend shines when she is “agitating the pot.” Her powerful, beautiful soul shines through in these moments when she stands, often alone, amongst the masses to voice her thoughts regarding perceived injustices. She was an instrumental force in shutting down a polluting power plant near her home. The victory resulted in the clearing of her son’s asthma. My friend is a testament to the power of the spirit. I find her power inspirational.
Often, it takes me long periods of bubbling silence until I finally reach the point of action. The water in the pot, nearly, if not already, boiling over. I have yet to achieve comfort in standing alone – in hovering above the crowds, secure in my wisdom. There are times though, when our souls call us to action; when silence is not the path to peace. Like my friend, I am often called to act when a situation not only concerns my own health (I mean this on a soul and physical level), but the health of my family. I have to trust that sometimes my vision extends beyond those around me, to the seat of the soul. This is a sometimes troubling “gift” I have had since childhood. When I was young and opened my mouth to speak my truth, I was silenced. The same fear holds me like an invisible noose.
The challenge for many of us, I suspect, is learning to speak with compassion and conviction. Oppressors of individual freedom most often have no idea that they are oppressors, as they exist within their own environments of fear. When we oppress others, our souls are crying out for our own freedom, yet our shadow selves will often take over and use “power” or physical force to silence those around us. Often those who are silenced are the souls who have been victimized many times in the past (or in traumatic past lives that they are still recovering from). They are easy targets.
The oppressors in my life have often been people I love deeply, making it exponentially more difficult to confront them and remove myself and my family from their toxic energy. Sometimes their true souls shine through in the white light of love, but too often they are crippled within the darkness of pain. My efforts to “heal” them with love fail, as I learn it is not my path to change theirs. Yet, people must not compromise individual health and the health of their children, spouses, etc, by allowing a toxic relationship to occur. Even if we cannot shine a light of mutual understanding on these circumstances, we must have the courage to break free while still within the place of love.