My Search My Dreams
The realization that I was searching came in a dream. I had had many dreams in the past, mostly nightmares, of death trying to pull me from my bed, coming closer and closer; a dark sinister creature that wrestled my soul. I would awake, frozen in fear; holding on to whatever strength I had so as not to fall into the arms of this fateful being. Mt fight would last until I gathered every ounce of strength. Then I would awake in the upright position in a cold sweat, exhausted. My heart pounding from my chest. I had eon another battle with death, the spirit of death. This dream I repeated for many years.
Today I am able to reflect on many of my dreams. As a child of 7 or 8, I frequently had dreams of lying in bed and my soul, my spirit rising above me looking at my still and resting body in sleep. My spirit would then take flight out the window, searching, discovering and seeing all that was abound.
These dreams were often and were during that period of my life when shortly before my father had passed on; as a result of an auto accident. I was unhappy! Sad and lonely! Confused and scared! For I had lost my father. “I was different!” or “Was I!” My mother had tried to keep the family together buy I was so scared. She had met a man who was to become my step-father. At first it was o.k. however after a time the family environment became rather ugly, with my step father being abusive to us all. Especially my mother and I. I became angry, defiant and non-trusting. Not wanting to be hurt, I commenced my manipulation and control of all I could; by whatever means I could bother good and bad. This behavior went on for many years.
At the age of about 17 years, in order to deaden the pain, guilt, shame: I turned to alcohol. It was my escape! (SO! I thought.) When drunk and in a blackout all the pain left for a short time. As I continued through life searching for the answers- the marriages, the children, the relationships the searching for the answers became obsessive. So I began to travel not just around my own country buy around the globe. The pain that I became unbearable and my daily drinking progressed and so did the nightmares of death, for fear of fear was wanting to take my soul.
After many years of self-destruction I became suicidal and would have succeeded if not for the Grace of God. On one attempt I was saved and the man who saved me said “… you are killing the wrong person” And as fate would have it and by virtue of a miracle I was able to obtain treatment in a hospital program where I received direction for my disease of alcoholism and insane behaviour.
At first I was rebellious. Why should I do this? Why should I take direction from another! No one had helped me before! Why should I trust anyone? Why should I trust God? Throughout my life no one was willing to help. Then I realized it was I who was not willing to help myself, let alone allow anyone else to help.
I had had periods of sobriety before, but this time it was different! A man who I had met briefly one time before was re-introduced to me and all he said to me a first was “Accept the things you cannot change” and Pray to your god to change the things you can. Which is you?” He repeatedly said to me “say it again and again and again” – and sure enough after a time the sentence started to make sense. I started to accept myself for who “I am” not for who I wanted to be.
I then had a dream. Oh I must have been 3 or 4 months sober by this time. It was so strange at first. I was lying in bed when all of a sudden I was fully aware of all that was around me. The next moment my spirit, my soul left my body; hovered momentarily above then out the window, down the streets, freeways, over fields, hills; flying like a low flying jet over the planet below. It was as if I was searching yet not searching. I was seeing; seeing the country; seeing all the beauty around me. My question was –who was God? Yes! who was and what is God? My spirit returned to my body after what seemed a long period I couldn’t really understand what was happening; all I knew was there was an enormous amount of excitement in what I had just experienced. I was relaxed and calm; then I realized my question had been answered; God simply was “what is”; “God was and is infinite”.
I then continued for some time asking God to restore me to some sense of reality or should I san sanity, is more appropriate, I should say. For years my behaviour had been insane – both physically and mentally. I was reactionary; not taking time to do anything correctly; Always running away when faced with adversity and being confronted on my actions. A God forbid that I was wrong or didn’t know the answer to the question.
Now I didn’t have to run anymore. Having reached an emotional bottom there was nothing that I had to face that I could not endure.
At about 6 months of sobriety I had another dream.
I laid down for a quick nap and again I was fully aware of my surroundings; then like a bolt of lightning I was in a high powered sports car traveling down the road at breakneck speed. Drinking; laughing, and not really caring as to what was going on around me! Then all of a sudden before me a sharp 90 degree turn and I realized and shouted “if we don’t slow down we will never take the curve” Sure enough we continued and over the edge of the cliff we went. I turned and said “I love you” I then put on my seat belt. The vehicle hit water and I slowly began to drown. I was however not fearful and the water was warm, it enveloped me.
Then my life began to flash before me; my Dad, Mum, Sisters, Brother, Sons; many people that I had met, places I had been, things that I had done. All in slow motion as if in a theater. “The theater of life”.
I woke briefly and a friend in the room asked if I was ok for they said “you have gone ashen white – are you sure you are okay”. I replied yes I am okay; ten closed my eyes again to find myself facing a bridge. I walked slowly across the bridge and when I got to the other side; I felt safe, secure and happy. I was then in a luxury vehicle and was asked if I would like a drink? My reply was No thanks I don’t drink.” It felt great.
I believe this dream simply states that until I am willing to trust (seat belts) in others and change direction- (walk across the bridge) face reality and life on life’s terms- I am going to die.
I continue to follow direction for a time then my self-centered ego took over once more- I thought I could solve all my problems now.
I have another dream. This time I was driving with everything I owned I had in the vehicle and as I looked ahead I thought that the road was full of curves, as paths unseen. In the distance directly in front of me I could see the goal, my journey. I said let’s take short cut straight ahead- those with me (my conscious) said “no! Let’s take the road” I disregarded the advice and straight ahead I went. I speed across the gap, through water, sand and scrub. Brushing all aside, head long, without any regard for the damage I was causing. Then bang- stop- an insurmountable hill, a cliff of loose sand lay before me. Water behind me- nowhere to go! So along the edge I traveled finally making camp some distance back towards the original road and there I found a camp. I approached those there who said “sure we will follow you”! All of a sudden they turned on me and started to attack me with blows to the head, pulling my hair, my eyes and finally pulling out my tongue. I lay bleeding and dying. What was I to do? I woke not knowing the outcome of my dream. Again I reflect and now realize I must follow the path of progress, rather than seek the solution by instant gratification. I must work slowly and thoroughly through life’s trials and tribulations. For if I don’t; my actions; my behavior will not only destroy me; but will mutilate my very being to the extent that I would be a burden rather than a carriage by which to live by.
I now realize that life is but a journey down many roads and rivers and if I am to be happy then I must cause happiness by action. Not only as seen from the outside but search the deepest inner self to find the peace and happiness that I seek.
My search my dream is not outside it is within!
This is what I call my spiritual experience; to those who read it may the God of your understanding be with you.
Tony P (6/1991- AA Kyneton)