The Unbearable Sadness of Dreaming

P1030906I woke this morning from a dream – to a feeling of complete despair.

I fought it – won the battle – but the dream has stayed with me all day.

I don’t often remember my dreams. In fact, it’s a rare occurence that I do. This one is so real – etched like glass on the membranes of my cells. I was leaving my work – calling it quits at last and setting out on a great adventure of travel and exploration. This should have made me happy. Instead, I felt that I was banishing myself and I had a great fear of leaving things undone. It was desperately important to me that every loose end was wrapped up tight, that all my work would move forward smoothly under the guidance of someone else. And it wasn’t easy – oh the obstacles and stubborn clients that stood in the way!

And I needed to get away – airplane schedules would not wait. I hurried toward the future with the past holding on and calling me. And I felt such deep, deep sorrow at leaving that old life I knew so well.

The parting, the saying an internal good-bye, lasted forever. A million strands tangled me, and untying those knots seemed almost impossible.

But I did – I escaped. Or I think I did. I was leaving when I woke up, a great fist of sorrow squeezing my heart.

I shook it off; I surfaced slowly. As I walked down to the mailbox to pick up the morning paper, I still felt a shroud of melancholy hugging me tightly; I realized how easy it would be, how perfectly simply, to just give in to it and sink beneath the surface.

My mother did that. She made a choice at some point in her life to allow the sadness to swallow her. It would the easier route, I think. There is so much in life to be sad about – so much despair. We are bombarded by it every single day – endlessly – from all sides. Why not just give in, fall into that soft grey cloud – rest there in perpetual tears and sorrow?

It takes will and effort to be happy. It is a daily choice.

May I always choose that more difficult path.

 

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