I woke from a strange dream this morning, just at the point where I could have let go of the notion that I needed to go “back” home, and surrender into the vast unknowing. I woke with a feeling of constriction. I felt it in the chest tight with held breath. I felt it in my throat clogged with mucus. And, I felt it in my lower abdomen waiting to release the waters processed during the night.
In the dream I had been driving a cat. Of course this might actually have been possible if it had been a wild cat such as a tiger or a lion, and I allowed myself to imagine that glorious possibility for awhile after I woke. In the dream, though, my domesticated cat looked a lot like the one that lives in my physical house, only I had a ridiculous reign around its shoulders, as though I actually believed it would be capable of taking me where I thought I needed to go, which was back to my childhood home. When I woke, my wildcat, a tiger, had no yoke of any form, instead I rode her back and surrendered to where she wanted to go.
The cat, in both instances, represents the energy of the 2nd chakra, where our creative life-force energy is birthed into being through our intuition. In the dream, I thought I was letting the cat lead the way, but of course she was too small and too domesticated to carry my weight. It was a rather pitiful scene of restraint. Before I woke, I was digging futility in a backpack with many pockets, stuffed with everything, it seemed, but the GPS I was looking for. I was convinced I needed it to find my way back home. “Back” home, that is, instead of home. I was going backwards into the past, instead of forwards into the unknown filled with that fiery energy of possibility.
I shouldn’t have been surprised by this, and really, I wasn’t. Frustrated, yes, as we all are when we don’t allow that full expression of the 2nd chakra to channel into life. You see I had also been tempted by this possibility, in the form of a mysterious lover, who held me close and kissed me, before I made the choice to look for my “car. Yet there was the hint of promise in his words,”You will come back. Next time…”
Why, you might ask, am I telling you about this dream? Why should you care? Because, I realized, upon waking that my struggle against restraint is a universal struggle, which is so poignantly at the surface right now it cannot be denied. You need only to look around you, and within you, to see it. As the inner always mirrors the outer and vice-versa. It is also timeless, but I believe at this point in our collective evolution, the letting go of restraint is poignantly calling for our attention.
How many of us grew up with restraints and constraints? Most of us, I think it’s safe to say. I know that in the rare moments when I dared utter my will, which went against my parents’, a verbal or physical restraint would quickly reach out to hold me back. Of course it’s no wonder I am still struggling with the ties that bind, but oh is it frustrating.
Yesterday, I read a post of Facebook shared by a friend about a young man in Boston who had faced the darkness of uncontrolled restraint in the form of fear surfacing from the energy around this turbulent election process. I believe we all want to be free. Yet, when we act out from the place of fear, we cause harm. When we choose to disempower another, instead of empowering ourselves, we cause oppression and hurt. We are seeing examples of this all around us right now as we are being called to walk with a faith that calls for a surrendering to the light which is love, which is grace, and which is also the vast unknown, and as yet undecided. This, then, requires a breaking down of fear and all its restraints.
The young man from Boston was not caucasian, and this threatened the foundation of “home” of the man who raged at him, as he was holding fast to old fears. Fears perpetuated by the rhetoric of Trump and his supporters, and hence fear that were not wholly his own (as all fears are really, in essence, everyones’). To hold onto his crumbing foundation, this older, white man, raged against the young non-caucasian, telling him to get off the bus he was riding, telling him to go “back home.” In essence, though, he was trying to find his own way home. His lack of restraint, in this case, had become a constraint. He was holding himself back from evolving, while also trying to hold the young man back who trigged this fear within him.
It’s curious how much we fear the unknown, but it’s also deeply troubling when you see all the damage it has, and continues to cause, in our world. A world that is trying, constantly, to evolve and grow, yet we try, in turn, to hold it back by holding ourselves back, and by trying to hold each other back. We cling to the past. We cling to what we are used to, because we think it is the safest way to live. But is it? Look around you and within you. What has this created besides war and suffering?
Constrained energy causes disease. It causes illness. It causes dis-ease. Ultimately it causes death, because the vital life force energy that wants to flow through us is shut of or diminished by restraint.
Last night, before I went to bed, I watched the move “Miracles from Heaven.” In the movie, if you have not seen it, a 10 year-old-girl is diagnosed with a potentially deadly disease of the digestive system. She is literally unable to digest and process the nutrients her body requires for life. The relevance of that, in light of what this post is about, does not escape your observation, I am sure, but there is more.
In the movie, which is based on a true story, the girl comes back home to live out, it is thought, her last remaining days. Instead, her older sister, following what I believe to be a spark of intuitive guidance, urges her to let go of the restraints that bind her and climb a large, old tree in their yard. When the two girls are on a branch together, it starts to crack from their weight, and they scramble toward the trunk so they will not fall. But, the dying girl falls (through a hole inside of the trunk), and in that fall, she finds new life.
A miracle occurs in that moment. In the pit of darkness at the base of the old tree, in which she has fallen, the young girl loses consciousness, freeing her spirit from her body. She meets “God,” and is given a new chance at life. When she wakes, she is cured of her disease and all of its restraints.
As her mother later says during a church service, “miracles are all around us, we just need to open our eyes to them.” And, let go of restraint in the form of fear. The young man on the subway is an example of this. In the face of hatred, he surrendered his own fear to grace instead of caving into fear in the form of hate. In the story of the event, he admits to being filled with an impulse to react by punching the man. To return hatred with hatred. To fight the battle he is being called to fight, but instead, he surrenders to grace. Letting go of his own fears, he opens the gate to life. To a new reality. In doing so, the man entrenched in fear responds in kind, to this new, stronger, energy he is presented with. The anger in his face gradually melts as the fortress dissolves. Tears of release fill his eyes, and he extends his hand to the young man he has just assaulted verbally. And in that moment, a new world is born, at least for him.
We all share these fears, just perhaps in slightly different forms. We all fear, to different degrees, the new. We fear what we do not know, and what we could become. But should we? Restraint, held in the reign of fear, only stops us from birthing the new world within and without. Now, more than ever, we cannot afford to stop the light that is life from flowing into the infinite possibilities of who we are and are desiring to become. A genius, whether in the form of a painting, a poem, a symphony or a breakthrough in science, causes us to look at the world in a new way. We are filled with awe as we gaze upon the manifestation of greatness, but we forget that it lies, waiting to be birthed, in all of us.