Sunday, May 22, 2005

Pride and Prejudice and Winning at all Costs

Well, my cat woke me once again last night, at the end of a dream this time. Maybe he is always waking me at the end, rather than in the middle of the dream which is how it has felt before. I wrote about this in the last post. For about a week or so, my cat has been meowing and waking me and then I couldn't recall my dreams.

I did hang on to enough of the first one to realize it was significant to the events of the day before in a Medicine Way.

To preface this story, I'll share that one of the biggest challenges I've faced in this lifetime has been transforming poverty consciousness. I was financially poor most of my life, up until about 2002. At that point, thru a period of drastic acceptance of poverty -- embracing it instead of fighting it and hating it and trying to get rid of it, I shifted out of it.

I've been financially comfortable for the past three years......yet, the events of yesterday evening and the dreams of last night taught me that there is another step being required of me. I embraced and accepted poverty, so that I could at last get to know it -- understand why it had held such a hold on me my entire life. That is how I finally released it. By calling it close and getting to know it.

Now, I'm being asked to accept loss. In a way that is harder than the other task.

I haven't actually lost anything yet, mind you. It's more complicated than that, and paradoxically more simple. To maintain the prosperity consciousness I've achieved since 2002, I have to release it, the same way I released poverty.

Yesterday, I was faced with a decision. It was a split-second decision, to help someone or not help someone. For me, it was very hard to decide. I was in my home, typing as I so often am, in my office. I thought I heard a knock at the door but it was meek so I decided I imagined it. Then, a little later, I heard it again.

I was in my jammies so when I went toward the door and realized it was a man, I knew I needed to put on some clothes. When I finally got to the door, and opened it, I saw a slender man, wearing a cap, with no teeth in front. His old 1967 truck was stopped in front of my house. It was thoroughly decrepid. Looked like the paint had been poured over it, or maybe even spray painted. One headlight was fixed in it's socket barely and had aluminum foil around it.

He said he had come to do some work for a guy. I asked if we could call someone and he said he didn't know anyone around here. Then he said something odd which I totally didn't pick up on because I was so focused on my fear. This fear had arisen from a feeling of being very vulnerable. I was standing there, alone, with a man I didn't know at my house door.

What he said was something like he liked what they did with the house. I live in a very old house. How would he know that it had been remodeled? Or was he just saying that he liked it, period?

He said he had run out of gas and could he buy a dollar's worth. He was asking if he could cyphon gas from my new riding lawn mower. When he looked over at it, there was ..... well, he wanted it. I could see that. It was palpable. More fear.

My options at that point were to let him ciphon the gas or drive him to the store to get some or go get some, leaving him at my house. I said he could get the gas out of the mower. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a folded up, dirty-looking dollar bill and started to hand it to me. I waved it away and said for him not to worry about paying me. He got the gas out quicker than I would have imagined it could be done and put it in the truck.The truck still wouldn't start after adding the gas, and by this time, I'm getting more afraid than ever that he will be stuck there. My mind is racing ahead to what will I do then? None of my neighbors were home. No one was around at all.

I pull my car down to try to jump the battery off and it won't start still. He asked me to rev the car up, which I do. After about 5 minutes, I see smoke coming off my car. It's never done that before so the first thought was loss again, I was afraid I had messed up my car trying to help this man that I was afraid of.....I was a jangle of fear.

I asked him where he was from and he said Manchester, Tennessee. It didn't dawn on me then but he was coming from the wrong direction to have come from Manchester. Also, that's about an hour drive. Long way to come for a job. Add to this it was now about 6:30 pm on a Saturday....he said he was leveling a trailor but that's a strange time to do it. Then, I looked on the dash of the truck and saw a Georgia tag, lying on the dash. There was a sign on the back windshield....1967, title, runs. He was apparently trying to sell the truck.

At that moment, the most bizarre element of all occurred. A truck pulled into my driveway and the man said "I know that guy". How could he? And what are the odds that someone he knew would drive by at that particular moment. Maybe I've watched too much CSI but it was getting to feel like a set up, if a weird one.

However, the other guy (after a quick look at my house which took in the lawn mower) helped him push his truck out into the road and they kept pushing it backwards til it finally started. I saw them head on in the direction he had been going when the car quit.

That night, I feared they would come back. I feared all sorts of loss, from financial to personal. The dream that followed was about those fears but it was also about something much more spiritually significant.

Dreams about winning at all costs - Both dreams I remember were about some sort of contest but they were radically different in their results, even though I won in both. This first dream is very sketchy. I know there was one pencil, for recording something - maybe an answer to questions, or equations....I don't remember the first part of the dream other than I know there was myself and another man competing, and a third man mediating. Mediating is a strange word to use in this situation but it is the word that came, not judging. Normally, I would say a contest would be judged so the fact that my dreamtime gave me the word "mediator" for the third person was significant. To me, a mediator comes between two parties who are conflicting and works to restore harmony and some kind of agreement. I believe the mediator to be either one of my soul group or one of the man's soul group. I tend to lean toward the latter.

In the dream, it is down to the last round of the competition and I can see that the other man knows the answer to the question. However, I am physically stronger than he is so I take the pencil away from him and keep it away from him until the time is up for answering. He loses because I am physically stronger. He is devastated by the loss and begins to sob. It appears he needs expensive medication and the money he would have won, would have paid for it. He did win $20,000 but apparently, I won far more money.

The mediator seems sad that the other man is so torn apart by losing. I lean toward him with a grin that was prideful and condescending and whispered that I was going to give the man who lost some of my money. That's when Pooter, my cat, woke me.

Spiritual Soul Searching - It would be hard to describe how personally upset I was by this dream. I instantly recognized that the other man was the man with the truck. The man I feared immediately, both because of his poverty (submerged beliefs were coming up about people being desperate if they are poor enough - they might do things to get money that others wouldn't think of) and because of my own sudden sense of vulnerability about loss, in general. I was afraid of losing my brand new lawn mower, my car, my life really. Everything was way out of proportion with reality at that moment.

Every instinct I had was telling me that even though this man was terribly poor, and had probably been that way all his life, he was also gentle. He may have wanted the lawn mower, and I did see a thought of having it cross his mind, but that didn't mean this man was capable of hurting me to get it or that he would hurt me to take anything else that was in my house. He may have been the type that would take advantage of a situation, had I not been home, but there was nothing at all about him to suggest a violent man.

The point I am needing to make here is that my spiritual sensing was that he was a good man. My sense that was, in spite of life dealing blow after blow to him, something in him was absent of resentment, absent of misplaced anger. He had the look of a bewildered child. Not sure what to do to make things go better, but not blaming anyone for the fact that they never did. It was almost as if God was whispering to me that this was fate. I was supposed to meet him. And it was a test. From the dream, I assume I failed that test. Instead of summoning compassion, I became engulfed in fear. That fear drug me around by the mind, and did not allow me empathy for this person.

When the second man inexplicably appeared, fear became almost terror though neither man ever hurt me or did anything to suggest they would. The second man was not gentle. He had a quality about him that can only be called "Red Neck Jock". To me, those two personalitiy traits (and yes, stereotypes) tend to be a bad combination.

Like any derogatory term that attempts to label a person and diminish them, I don't like using "redneck" or "jock" but in the interest being brutally honest, that is the term I would have used for my split-second first impression. It revealed my own, deep-seated prejudice. That is another reason the dream disturbed me.

There are good qualities to those termed as rednecks. Rednecks tell it like it is; you always know where they stand. They will do anything for a neighbor. I'm a redneck myself, in those ways.

There are good qualities to athletes.....they represent the male energy to "make happen" and by balancing that on the field, they transmit that energy to those who watch. However, there is something volatile about the combination of a redneck personality and a jock personality. This may also be prejudice. Do I believe, somewhere in my soul, that athlete's are less able to control their emotions and urges than non-jocks? It would appear so.

It is painful to put this in writing. I don't enjoy realizing these areas of prejudice in my life. I wasn't aware of how those initial thoughts about people were effecting how I viewed people through our later contact with each other. The "first impression" thoughts I had about the first man (that he was good) were swamped and overwhelmed by fear thoughts. The "first impression" thoughts I had of the second man, I never got beyond, because of the fear. I didn't really get to know either one of the men. If it had not been for my own intense fears, I guess I would not have seen those prejudices as being damaging. The thoughts about these two men would have come and gone and I doubt I'd be having the soul-searching I'm doing now if I had not also been struggling with letting go of prosperity. Letting go of things. Letting go of fear of loss.

And another thing that troubles me greatly, thought it seemed such a small thing, was the way I handled the money issue. I waved it away, as if to say "who needs a dollar?". How disrespectful can I be? I am so sorry to have done that. Here, this man is taking what was probably one of only a few dollars in his pocket and offering it to me. For all I know, it could have been the widow again, putting into the treasury plate all that she possessed. It may have been Christ incarnate, asking me if I would receive this gift. I rejected it. I am crying as I write this. He wanted to pay me. I should have let him or, at the very least, thanked him for doing so. I am sorry.

Was I ever in danger? Probably not. Was there something off about his story. Sure. Of course. If I had been a CSI investigator, he would have had to answer a lot of discrepancies, including why he was coming the wrong way on the highway to be coming from Manchester and why he had a Georgia plate on his truck if he lived in Tennessee. But I'm not Grissom. And none of those discrepancies add up to someone who would hurt me. I have to wonder what would have transpired if, in that instant when I opened my door and fell into fear, I had fell into the vibration of compassion and love? And what about the medication he needed in the dream? Was that metaphorical? Was he a drug addict? Or was it real? I'll probably never know. It just now occurs to me that "medication" could mean medicine, as in medicine dreaming. Perhaps the medicine he needed was spiritual and that part of the dream is something for him to determine, not me.

Dreams about winning fairly - After Pooter woke me, I spent quite a while in prayer and deep soul-searching. Then, I had the second dream. Another contest. All I can really remember is that there was a great deal of focus on numbers, and equations. Pencils were involved again but there seemed to be no shortage. I won this second contest fairly, and woke feeling very good about winning the way I did. Unlike the first dream, all the people in this dream seemed to be aspects of me. It was the balancing for the first dream. Thank God it balanced. I'd have to go out looking for that guy today, to apologize. Hopefully, we worked it out in the dreamtime.

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