Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Big Golden Dog that spoke to Coolred in her dreams.

Anyone that has known me throughout my life is aware that I have a thing with dreams. My dreams often come one way or another. This has happened my whole life and I have just come to expect certain dreams will "speak" to me in some way. Now I may have a dozen dreams a week...several dozen a month etc. with nothing extraordinary happening..but then one dream will come along that stands out. It's rather hard to explain why this dream is different except to say that while I'm having the dream, I'm fully aware that THIS dream has something to tell me...and it's usually more vivid and more "real" than other dreams. I wake up and immediately know that something will happen eventually to make this dream "come true".

Another clue that tells me a certain dream is more special than other ones is that I will have it more than once. Up until recently, twice or possibly three times was the max for having one particular dream (with variations but all on the same theme) until that dream played out is some fashion in real life. After that, I never dream that particular dream again.

Until several months ago that was the pattern for my Special Dreams. Now and then a certain dream would come to me...possibly twice or three times...and then become reality in some fashion. Not all the dreams were good, so to speak, so I can tell you that I have been damn scared by some of them...but generally speaking they have been pretty interesting the way they played out.

As I said, up until a few months ago...then something happened that changed the whole Special Dream scenario...I dreamt of a Big Golden Dog. When I say big...I mean larger than the size that this particular dog (it appeared to be a Golden Retriever type dog) generally grows. His head reached my chest and was the most beautiful dog I have ever had the pleasure to look at.

I knew from the moment this dream started that Big Golden Dog was special. I needed to pay attention to this dream. However, in the first dream he did nothing more than follow me around the dream as the dream itself played out. I wasn't surprised when about a month later he showed up in my dreams again. This time he walked by my side as I wandered through my dream. Again, nothing happened to explain his presence but I felt incredibly calm just having him in the there with me. I remember waking up and just laying there almost expecting that he followed me out of the dream...that's how real he seemed to me.

Over the course of several months Big Golden Dog made an appearance in my dreams 4 times (the first time a particular dream happened that often)...but something interesting started happening...he started looking directly at me and doing things with his muzzle (mouth) that made me feel as if he was trying to speak to me.  It got to the point where I absolutely hated waking up because I felt like just a few more seconds and I would understand what he was trying to tell me...and he was really struggling by the 4th dream. I knew, without a doubt, that if he showed up in my dreams again...he would speak to me...and I also knew he had something important to tell me. 4 dreams obviously meant something...but what?

You know where this is headed, right? Big Golden Dog did show up for a 5th time...and yes...he spoke to me...but wait...first let me give some back ground that will explain what he had to tell me and why it was so damn important that I get the message (as if I needed telling but who am I to dictate my dreams...or who shows up with a message in them).

If you read my previous post (I hope), you will know that I have been struggling with a lot of personal issues for a long time. The past few years have been especially hard after the divorce (and the reasons for it) and just dealing with the anger that permeated me so deep I think my bones were soaked in fury. I sank quite low, to the point where friends were abandoning me and I was in danger of losing some very important relationships that meant the world to me. I was on a very destructive course that had me free falling into The Black.

It's about this time (at my lowest and darkest point) that Big Golden Dog first showed up. I didn't equate the two until much you will see.

At around the beginning of this year I had a nasty wake up call. I realized that if I continued on this course of self destruction I was going to lose the one relationship that mattered more than any other (besides my children). I needed to figure out a way to rid myself of this over powering anger in order to save myself...and the relationship. By this time Big Golden Dog had shown up 3 times.

I started thinking (see previous post) about all my issues and what was at the root of all the anger. My ex obviously played a very big role in this. The life I had with him has scarred me in ways that I will never be rid of...but I was holding onto the anger long after the divorce was a done essentially I was keeping the man in my life as if we were still married. I needed to drop that mentality if I planned on getting rid of that anger. I spent two days off from work, around this point, doing nothing but laying in my bed and thinking...and just letting go of things that had bothered me to the point of causing issues for me...and for those closest to me. It was a weekend of mental purging and by the end of it I was completely exhausted. I barely had the energy to return to work...but before I did Big Golden Dog returned for a 4th time. This is when he really tried to talk to me but couldn't quite make it.

By this time I had told plenty of people about my dreams and the latest star appearance. Everyone had opinions about what a dog in a dream meant but I was no nearer to knowing at this point what his purpose was...but I knew he would come again and I was patient.

By March I had sorted through a lot of my mental anguish and had let so much crap go that I started feeling like a new person. It was mid March that I traveled to Bahrain to attend my daughter's birth of my first grandchild (another story there) and for the first time ever...I enjoyed my time spent in Bahrain (with a few bumps). So much of the anger and suffering that I equated with that country was simply gone. It was almost like visiting it for the first time...with no preconceived opinions about it. When it came time to leave and return to this life...I actually didn't want to go. Yes, I know. Quite surprising that Coolred was actually reluctant to leave the country where here demons came to life...but reluctant I was. I could almost feel my heels digging in even as I looked forward to seeing the children I had left behind for a month.

It was then that I truly realized I had successfully done what I never thought I would ever be able to do. I separated the fact of my abusive 20 year marriage to a worthless human being...from the country it took place in. Bahrain wasn't evil just because evilness occurred there. If that were true then America would be evil and unacceptable to me as well since my own father was every bit as abusive as my ex. I realized that I had been equating the place with my ex and my marriage...and for that I had been making those closest to me suffer with my anger and personal issues. I also realized that because some of my children still live there (and my new grandchild) that I would obviously be making more trips back there and so getting rid of the anger and bullshit that crowded my mind was paramount if I was going to be the Awesome Gramma that my own mother never was (another story...I have plenty of them...just wait).

I returned home with renewed determination to continue the healing process. I had plenty of incentive...a new me...a new life awaited...and happiness.

And so...for the 5th time Big Golden Dog showed up in my dreams (last week)...and he spoke to me just as I knew he would.

And this is what he said.

You have lived a life full of pain. It has made you who you are today, for better or worse. You cannot deny your past nor can you change it...all you can change is how you let it influence your future. Letting go was essential for healing to begin. Those who left you while you struggled were meant to leave...and those who have stayed were meant to stay. Do not spend precious moments grieving or feeling anger for those that are no longer in your life as their paths sent them in a different direction. Those that love you, need you, and want you in their lives have made it a point to remain in your life. You have learned that life is short. Time is precious. Prolonged anger is a wasted emotion and love is often the victim. You have traveled a rough road but it has led you to where you are today. Be proud for what you have accomplished. There is still work to be done but you are well on your way. Happiness is always a choice.

I woke up from this dream feeling absolutely amazing. Rested and at peace with the choices and actions I have made recently. I have no doubt that what I want for what remains of my life is the right choice or me...but it doesn't hurt to get a second opinion that supports that choice. Ha ha.

Big Golden Dog (who remained nameless throughout the dreams but strongly reminded my of my dog King) was a sort of spiritual adviser I'm thinking. Something I've never experienced but certainly was well worth the wait. I have no idea if I will see him again but I doubt it. He had a message and he delivered it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Just Let It Go

For those that use to read me regularly you may have noticed that I haven't written anything significant for quite some time. Writing is my Thing. It's what I do and I have always enjoyed it since I realized I do it rather well. However, this past year hasn't been My Year, so to speak. I've been in an up and down roller coaster ride that has had me either hanging on for dear life...or raising my hands in the air and enjoying the thrill. All this has resulted in one very troubling aspect in my life...I lost the desire to write.


It just left. No idea why...or really when but I realized at some point that I just had nothing to say anymore. Or maybe I felt my words had lost their ability to really convey what I was feeling or what I wanted to express. I have no idea but the end result was silence in the one area of my life I had always depended on to get my demons out...or my humor (I choose to call it that) or whatever was on my mind. Without being able to has all been locked up inside me...and damned if I haven't suffered because of it.

I went down the rabbit hole more or less and apparently enjoyed it so much I decided to stay there for a spell. I have been down that hole before (my past made it a place I tend to visit from time to time) but I have always used my writing to pull me back out again. This time I did not have even that ability to rescue there I stayed.

Around the first part of this year I had a revelation of sorts. I was angry. Very angry. Angry at the people in my life (past and present) that have done things to me that turned me into a negative, pissed off person. Every day I was fuming about one thing or another. My temper, which use to be so hard to trigger, was now on a veritable trip wire. Anything could set me off...and I was a raging ball of fire. I was a seething mass of negative energy that ended up corrupting everything good in my life...because I was too angry to pay attention to the good things in my life.

I was letting my past ruin my present...and destroy whatever good my future held for me. I was allowing all that bullshit that was my past the sum total of my present life. I was my past..and my past was me. When I realized that I was allowing those people, that are long gone from my life, to still be a part of it (taking up full time rent free space in my head) and therefore impacting and corrupting it...I knew I either accepted the rabbit hole as my forever dwelling...or fight my way out of it.

Everyone who reads (or did) about my life know that I have 5 kids. I had a blast with my kids while they were growing up. We were rarely apart for any reason and they were a close knit group of siblings. My kids are mostly all grown now. I have my youngest, 15 years old, at home still but the rest are off living their lives. The silence that is my house now weighs on me terribly. Gone are the sounds of the music they all played, the fighting or laughing...the messes they each generate in their way. This silence has fueled my anger in ways...because I had no distractions from that anger and could spend copious amounts of time nurturing it and feeding the flames. My children are the soul reason I survived my marriage. Having them in my life, knowing I needed to be there for them..meant I couldn't give up or give in. Even if I felt my life wasn't worthwhile or important, theirs was...and I had to make sure they knew it. Now they are gone (generally speaking) and Ive been alone with my thoughts, my inner demons, my anger issues...and that has meant I had little respite from the inner destruction that was going on.

As I said, I realized one day that I might as well still be married if I was going to wake up every day and spend my time, my precious time, living as if my ex was still a real and meaningful presence in my life. If my memories of the past were going to keep me company as I went about my daily routine, ruining whatever happiness I might gain from even the smallest of joys then why bother living. If the experiences I had while living in Bahrain for the first 20 years...were going to color and corrupt whatever came after that then what was the point of the divorce..of gaining my freedom...if I was still going to live as if I were a prisoner?

I realized that the only person that could save me from my anger and issues with my past...was ME. Once I realized this I set about on a course of emotional healing. I spend far too much of my time alone...but one thing that being alone affords me is time to think....and think... and think some more. At times I would lay in my bed, during my time off from work, and just think. I would do nothing else but think about my past, my anger issues and where they came from...and what I could do to change what I was becoming (or had become) into someone better. I would literally lay there for two days solid and just stare at the ceiling...going through every damn issue that had turned me into a person that others didn't want to be around (did I mention I have lost several "friends" this past year as well)...I thought it was them...but realized it must be me since it kept happening. I find it incredibly hard to make friends, went most of my whole life without really having any, so losing the ones I did have was like a confirmation to my already low self esteem that I'm not even worthy to remain friends with. If others can't stand me..what did that say about me?

I worked my way through issues that were like open wounds on my soul. I poked and prodded them and made them bleed out all that pent up corrosive blood until only fresh blood remained. As I dealt with each issue I would ask myself...why is this still making me so angry...and is it worth it still? Of course, most of the time (damn near every time) the answer was no. Anger and self loathing, low self esteem and feelings of unworthiness were not worth it. My past was what it was...I couldn't change that...but I could change today, tomorrow and whatever came after that. As I worked my way through each and every issue...the end result would be to Just Let It Go.

Like a balloon that yearned to be free and sail off into parts unknown...I released, one after the other, issue after issue that was weighing me down, corrupting my relationships, my goals, my life. As each balloon sailed away I felt myself become lighter inside. I started feeling something I hadn't felt in so long I wasn't even sure I was calling it by the right name.

I started feeling happy. (don't be as shocked as I was please)

Happiness is not a feeling I have really felt too often in my life...and when I say happy I mean more than just a fleeting moment of happiness that is more like a memory than a state of mind. It felt unfamiliar and alien at the beginning...almost like an impostor had set up residence after I kicked out the abusive squatters. I almost didn't know how to handle this new emotional state. I felt like a beginner at happiness..a noob that needed to feel my way around and learn the rules and tricks before really putting my all into the game.

Apparently the "new" me was attracting some attention. I have had people at work comment more than once that I always seemed to walk around with a scowl on my face (I'm sure I was as I always had some inner demon playing with my mind)..or that I looked like I wanted to punch someone. Now they were amazed to notice that I was smiling, whistling...even singing...while going about my work. I had a few people ask me if I was in love..had I found someone that had brought about this change. Well, first off, yes...I am in love, have been for years now, but that relationship was one of the ones I was busy destroying due to my anger issues and one I was desperately trying to save at that point....but the reasons for the smiling, whistling and singing was due to another person all together.

Me. I was happy....or working hard so that I knew it was coming. I could feel it...see it...taste it. As I worked my way though each issue...I finished with it..and then Just Let It Go. I could not possibly explain with adequate words the effect this had had on me emotionally. Yes of course I still get angry (more than I like still...a work in progress) and I know that to never get angry is just not possible...but when I trip up and fall into a full blown anger melt down, I mentally try as hard as I can to reign myself in and put a halt before it gets out of control. (again, not always successful but I'm far better at it then I used to be). I ask myself, will this matter in 5 minutes, ten...tomorrow...and of course it most likely won't. And when I realize this...I can almost  feel myself relax and feel the anger start to recede and dissipate. It has stopped my anger in its tracks most of the time...most, work in progress as I said.

I have reached a stage now where so many things that use to set me off (thoughts of my past, of Bahrain, of certain people) don't really affect me at all anymore. I can think about them without feeling that tightness in my chest that would be an indicator that rage was building. I can talk about them without gnashing my teeth or getting angry at the person I'm talking to because the person I'm really angry at isn't there. Those balloons have sailed...and I have never heard of a balloon that was set free...come back to its owner.

Now, if there was one set back to all this emotional's convincing others that it's actually taking place. People who know me, love me, are so used to Angry Red...that they are suspicious of New Red. For some reason they would rather believe that you can't change who you have always been even though those same people have been encouraging me for years to do exactly that. I have actually gotten into arguments (go figure) while trying to convince these same people that the changes are real, are reaping benefits and are permanent. I much prefer New Red to Angry Red...why would I go back to that...and why do those I love most keep insisting I do? I have no idea.

Anyhow, I have a lot more to say. That makes me happy just writing that as it means I have more writing to do...and I realize this post is not up to my usual standards but I felt the need to write and I haven't felt that in such a long time...I'm just putting it out there before the mood disappears. So you guys (if there are any readers left) get a rough copy and I'm sorry for that but it is what it is. 

A few topics I will write about are my two recent trips to Bahrain (yes...imagine that), my new status as Grandma (my granddaughter is amazing) and what the future might hold for me. I became friends again with my ex from high school and other topics that might be of interest.  Stay tuned...if you are interested. I know I am.