Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dreams, Forgiveness, and the Power of Attachments

It’s been over a week-and-a-half since I followed through on inspiration, and it has been truly enlightening. An immense weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I am exploring new ideas in regards to how we enmesh ourselves into the identity of our personal experiences.

For my close friends, this has been a truly remarkable occurrence, in terms of my actions. Astonishingly, it took me over a year and a half to do it. Not so surprisingly, we all are engaged in it throughout many areas of our lives. What am I talking about? Holding onto attachments and allowing them to control us, define us, be us – in ways we may never have imagined.

My own personal attachment was to the angst, pain, suspicion, and just downright bigotry and distaste (I won’t say “hate,” because I don’t think I ever reached that pinnacle) towards one of my co-workers at my job. Let’s just say, over the course of these past few years (close to two years) we always dreaded coming to work – mainly because of the other person. I hated having to come in and “deal with her,” while likewise she hated to come in and “deal with him.” Our defense shields were always up; I was wondering when she would go on the next offensive, and I believe she always felt the same way. Oh, we could work together and be civil, but it was obvious we were just “tolerating” one another, and always had a general suspicion of what the other was doing. It has always been a thorn in my side. Why is it I could get along with everyone except her? We have all heard the saying “there’s one person who always throws off the balance of the group.” I wasn’t the only one who had misgivings about her either. But it was a huge struggle for me, especially since I believe everyone is a divine perfect being; yet I eternally battled trying to reconcile that fact with what I was dealing with in my egoic perceptions and emotion surrounding her.

At any rate, she was just coming back from a week-long vacation and I was beginning to feel stressed the night before her return. The week she was gone – I’ll be completely honest – was wonderful. No stress. I could relax and do my job in peace. So when that last day came to a close, my inside was tossing on the record of dread. And I was so tired of listening to it.

This sense of anguish must have triggered something deep inside me, for that night I went into a deep lucid dreaming state. In the final episode of the night’s drama, I met with my co-worker outside the office and did what I thought would have been impossible: I apologized and asked her forgiveness. In this dreamstate, I listed a whole range of reasons why I felt we were different and at odds with each other, and explained that none of that mattered; that we needed to heal the rift; that our differences simply weren’t worth the weight of anxiety, the dread, the negativity that we were assaulting our bodies with. In this dream, by performing this action, the angst and pain completely washed away and a whole new day dawned for the both of us. We could then talk, laugh together, and honor the uniqueness of our individuality as opposed to using it as a focus of dis-ease and distrust.

When I awoke, I knew I had to do this in real life. Yes, scientific experiments have shown that you can affect others just by the nature of your own consciousness, but I wasn’t willing to simply leave it at that. I needed her to know that she could take down her guard and feel safe, as I was willing to be vulnerable enough to take down mine. In other words, I was finally willing to let go of it all. It didn’t matter who was right and who was wrong; it was a matter of mental, emotional, and physical health for the both of us.

Two opportunities came up right away that morning, where we were left alone in the cubicle room. I took this to be a sign that, yes, it was right. Plus, I was aching to get it out. The dream was so inspiring, I couldn’t wait for the possibility of having the pain be gone and replaced with some sense of relief and – to my hope – joy.

11:50 am. I knew there would be a good amount of time; circumstances had poised us to be alone without much interruption for at least 15 to 20 minutes. So I called her over to my desk. I didn’t waste a single moment. I mirrored my memory of the dream as best I could, starting out with “I need to apologize and ask for your forgiveness.”

She was admittedly confused and asked “About what?” I responded, “For the rift that has come between us.” From there, I launched into everything that I said in the dream. I talked about how we were different personality types – she’s an extrovert, I’m an introvert – but in the end, it wasn’t worth the angst and pain we were carrying from month-to-month. Our work, let’s face it, doesn’t require the breadth of concentration or mental capacity of trying to land a man on the moon or save someone’s life, so what we were hanging onto just wasn’t worth it.

As an aside, she could have completely shot me down – called me every name in the book – and I was open to having that happen. Being willing to let go of all the angst meant that she might have needed to unload onto me everything the she had been feeling, and I was willing to allow that. Incidentally, it didn’t come to that.

And things haven’t been the same since. As it happened in the dream, the pain, angst, suspicion, was instantly transmuted into peace … and laughter. We talk everyday now; we honor the other’s differences, rather than downgrade them; we help each other in projects we do, versus letting the other go it alone. Before, she walked around with a dark cloud – one of the things I always complained about – now, her eyes are bright and there’s light behind her. And the interesting thing is, all it took was the act of forgiveness. She said at the end of that first day “It was such a relief to have that conversation.”

Yes, it certainly was.

I started to realize, once all that anxiety and pain had gone away just how much I had identified with it elsewhere in my life. It was a vibration, a feeling, a perception that not only dominated my working life, but also found its way in things I did outside of my job. I had become so used to feeling in my consciousness some form of the angst and pain that started with my co-worker, imagine my surprise when I noticed the transmutation exceeded beyond the workspace. I didn’t fret about projects at home; I felt like I could relax more with my time and myself. Somehow, in some way, holding onto that pain for so long allowed it to ooze into other portions of my being. What a wake-up call!

It made me wonder about all the other attachments we hold onto. We may think certain feelings and thoughts are confined only to certain places and things, but based on this experience, I would have to say “Not necessarily.” Those same feelings can also creep in to other areas of your life, and you may not be aware of it.

When my co-worker and I let go of all that had been staining us, light came in and blossomed into our beings. I felt lighter, freer, and an overall sense of greater happiness – not just at work, but in other areas. This also led to a major spiritual/psychic event that would take too long to speak about here.

Since that dream and that coming together, I have experienced the true power of forgiveness; how it can transmute energy, emotion, and consciousness. Indeed, it’s not just simply forgiving the other person, it’s also about forgiving yourself – to acknowledge what you’ve held onto, and instead of berating yourself for it, coming to the conclusion that it really doesn’t serve you, that it is not you, and simply letting it go. The excuses you may have had to hold onto such negativity were simply that – excuses – no matter how logical they might have seemed. In hindsight, it was a process – I had to go through stages – until finally saying “I’ve had enough. I am willing to do anything not to feel this anymore.” In that declaration, the only thing I hadn’t tried yet was (you guessed it) forgiveness.

It’s also made me keenly aware of how we identify the nature of our existence with the lenses that we choose to perceive reality through; that what we identify as our experience is often a choice; it is an attachment to a perception we have about ourselves or about the nature of a condition – an attachment that we can easily let go of, if we choose to take that out-of-our-comfort-zone leap of faith. In my own sense, I am beginning to realize that who I think I am may be completely invalid; that my thoughts regarding myself and my feelings are simply just attachments that my consciousness has grafted itself to. What were I to become or be like if I were not to identify with my chosen attachments? It’s an interesting thought. Something inside of me says “You’ll be free. You’re much larger and greater than your attachments.” I don’t know, but it sure is interesting. It’s a common universal phrase we hear in spiritual teachings. I think too often we identify ourselves with our attachments, instead realizing our attachments are just expressions of us that are things we have total control over in changing.

One thing I do know: if there’s something that doesn’t feel right, I can forgive myself for aligning with it and move on. And indeed, that is freedom. At that point, there is no attachment – there is no prison cell to confine yourself inside. It just requires the desire to leap beyond the pain, hold onto the inspiration, and have faith.

Until next time …

P.S. In this process, I also noticed how much of a creature of habit I am. It took two or three days to remind myself NOT to feel the angst and anxiety. Parts of me almost tried to forget my co-worker and I had actually had that conversation, as my body was so used to automatically going into that reactionary mode of feeling the pain. Indeed, there was a sense of awkwardness, as it wasn’t “normal” or customary not to feel such energy. My guides instructed me “don’t feel like you need to go out and replace her with something else, just to deal with the same stuff all over again. Keep the message of the lesson in your being.”

1 comment:

  1. As always, great story and great advice! So happy you now feel freer and more powerful. All that energy you can now use for new and exciting things!