My voice teacher asked me to practice a song from Jesus Christ Superstar – “Everything’s All Right.” Perfect choice! I love that song. I sang it to my kids when they were small. It fits my life motto that goes something like this:
No matter what happens, everything will turn out ok.
I use that motto to soothe myself when I am feeling anxious or upset. I use it for others when they are having difficulties. I used it quite a bit for my children as they were growing up.
So, over the last few weeks, I’ve been singing:
Try not to get worried..Try not to turn on to…Problems that upset you…Don’t you know everything’s all right…Yes, everything’s fine…..
I sing it in the car, I sing it around the house, I sing it when I’m walking. It’s a beautiful song and it soothes me.
Last week my daughter objected when I sang it. She said that she is tired of hearing it. She admits that she didn’t like hearing it when she was a child either. Hmmm. Here I thought this beautiful song held a special sweet place within her. Her honesty got me thinking. In a recent dream session, this notion of “Everything’s ok” came up. It’s my default place. It’s the place I turn to when things are feeling “not right” within me or around me. It’s my way of rejecting a true, deep feeling place and replacing it with a kind of band-aid, telling myself that everything is fine. There have been times when my daughter did not feel ok and needed me to meet her at that place. Instead I sang the song – “Everything’s all right – Everything’s fine,” brushing aside her feelings.
Dream: I’m in a car that is going backwards. There is a man seated right next to me (I can feel his body next to mine). The car is headed towards a group of people. They look like people from a third world country (warm climate – not many clothes on). It is a family with small children. I am so afraid that we won’t be able to stop in time! Somehow the man is letting me know that he will take control of the car and he will slow it down in time. But I am so scared I can’t let go of wanting to move my foot around to find the brake. I can’t totally trust him to do it. This family could get killed. I finally seem to find the brake (I think) and the car stops just in time. Thank God! Now I am in an outdoor place where the ground is dried dirt, in line for food. There is rice and beans and I am hungry. I am glad to have this food. My daughter (about 4 or 5 in the dream)is with me. She is not sure there will be enough food to eat. I feel sure that we will get what we need.
The dream wants me to feel and I do. I feel intense fear that the family will get hurt. I am frantic, wanting to do something to stop the car. The man (animus) lets me know that he’s got it under control. I feel extreme fear and at the same time I am given the opportunity to trust him while in my fear. The reflex to reach for the brake is too strong. I can’t leave it up to him because I am unsure if he will follow through. The car does stop but it wasn’t me who stopped it. When we go through the dream in the session, I realize that I was sitting on the passenger side. When the dream switches at the end, it shows my default. My life motto. Everything’s all right. Will there be enough food? I don’t really know but I skip to – “we will get what we need.”
The dream sets up a dyad. Intense fear vs. everything’s all right.
My homework is to feel these two extremes. Go from the intense fear of rushing backwards in the car toward the family to my life’s motto – Everything’s all right.
Why would I want to feel intense fear? Why not just stick with – everything’s all right? Something Rodger said a while back helps me to understand it. Finding ways not to feel deeply held fear or pain is certainly one way to live but the fear and pain are still there. Those feelings will stay there until you feel them. Or they will show up in other ways. I don’t understand why I have deep fear. I just know it’s there. The dreams are helping me to feel it.
As I imagine into the dream scene for my homework, I can feel the intensity of the fear. I can feel my body bracing itself for a horrible, gory crash where I am certain this family will be killed. I want so badly to find that brake. I want to control this terrifying situation. It is very hard for me to let go and trust the animus to stop the car. When I go to the other part of the dyad where “everything’s all right,” it feels so different. The contrast is so great. The intense fear can not be quelled with a palliative mantra that says everything’s all right. Sometimes, everything is not ok. Our psyches can keep the memory of something terrifying and painful from this life or perhaps from another lifetime. Dreams allow us to feel these overwhelming feelings in stages, when we are ready for them. Dreams also let us know that we are not alone in this. There is a divine place that we can turn to. As I experience this homework, letting go and trusting this divine place (the animus) while feeling extreme fear is very difficult.
After a few days of feeling this homework, I become very, very tired. I feel almost a physical exhaustion as I keep trying to hit the brake, all the while feeling this frantic fear. Eventually, there is a moment where I just give up. I stop trying and I let him take over. At that point the fear changes. It has a soft feeling around the edge of it. The fear is still there but the frantic feeling is gone. I kind of relax into it and let myself feel it. This is a new place for me. I don’t stay there long. As time goes on, somehow the homework feeling and images begin to fade. I am not sure why that happens. It is a mystery to me. But I trust that more dreams will come to help me feel the “not all right” feelings that are buried deep and eventually may lead me to a new life motto. Perhaps my new motto could be something like this: feel and trust.