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    A Nocturnal Opus

    "Reach me Halfway"

    by , 06-29-2021 at 05:16 PM (267 Views)
    June 27th 2021:

    Dream: I am on a passenger plane (but it's really a sailing ship with wings. As it happens and exceptionally, my seat is on the outside. Specifically, on the wing. I am terrified. And I need to pee. There is a pee container on a shelf on the deck and I ask to use it but a group of teenager girls are in the way, chattering and drinking water there. They are unresponsive to me. I think they're being inconsiderate so I lash out at them. I realize I must seem very rude. They simply mock me. I try to explain "You're being so selfish! I am going to be sitting on the wing! I am terrified and so I have no patience! Give me a break, please" but they have no sympathy for me. They have judged me in a way that I believe is valid for them given I was rude to start with. In a bad mood, I make my way to the wing and lie down on the special apparatus on the wing that passes for a seat. The plane gets off the ground and the speed and wind are overwhelming. I start slipping. After a while, I get used to it but I fly off the plane and see the plane just crash in the distant mountains. Oops.

    Reflection: Waking from this dream, I'm thinking how cool it was riding a plane's wing but then, I decide I should take the conflict with the teenage girls seriously. What was the real issue of that conflict? I decide that the meaningful problem was my fear of judgement (of negative and incorrect judgement) and my sense that other people cannot understand my side of things: in my dream, the girls saw me as a rude loser, and not as someone who was nervous to sit on the wing of a plane for a whole flight! But really, it was me, who expected them to have this other perspective, and be devoid of empathy. I think it comes from my hypersensitivity to think of "how will this appear to other people." Even if I do something good, I'm worried it will be perceived bad out of context. This happens, subtly, in my daily life. For example, recently, I cleaned off a touch screen to get coffee at work before the coffee was done pouring. So when some ladies came and I left with my coffee, I heard one of them say to the other "clean the touch screen!" and I cringed thinking they might think I'm rude and didn't disinfect the screen after touching it. They just couldn't know that I had already done it. That made me feel bad. But it's life. I decided to implement a new mantra and mudra to respond to these situations.

    Mantra: "Reach me halfway" (in my mind)
    Mudra: *holding out my hand* (in my mind)

    The idea is that, I do take a moment to consider other people's perspectives and give space for the benefit of the doubt and I will continue to do that for others. But I deserve others do the same for me. So, when I focus on seeing my actions from another person's perspective, I will say "reach me halfway" holding out my hand, inviting the other person to do the same for me and see things from my perspective.

    June 29th 2021 (two days later):

    I am shopping with a friend. My friend is sitting on a bench by the changing stall. A woman enters the stall, and my friend starts talking about her. I am shocked he would talk about her right there and then because she can for sure hear what he says. Ashamed, I stop him, and move further away in the store. He can tell me after when his words won't hurt that person. But turns out, the other shoppers have witnessed the event and are now accusing my friend of greater and greater transgressions. Someone says I am not guilty because I stopped him and left as soon as he began talking. But another person claims I was also gossiping about the woman earlier. People are outraged. I am willing to repair damages by paying for the woman's items. An outraged lady wants to make sure I keep my word and drags me to the pay counter. I am insulted by her behaviour and entitlement. This is too much. I say if it's like this, I won't pay for anything. I try to find my friend again but now the cops have arrested him and are dragging him out of the store away from the agitated crowd. I follow and plea with the police. They say my friend is going to jail for his abuse. I say it's all exaggerated. I demand to be a witness and fill out a report. The responsive police officer is being dismissive but as we approach the police office, I succeed in convincing him to accept my witness report. It seems like my side of things will be considered. I hold out my hand as my friend is carried into the building and cry because I'm sad he has to experience being in jail and not know what will happen next. But, there's a sense that things will end well.

    Reflection: This dream also seemed to have a similar theme as the previous dream. It progressed from a harmless comment on a passerby, feeling shame because I reached out to that passerby's perspective and knew it would be hurtful to her, and the shame growing into an indignant mob and dream police. But in the end, I was better able to demand that the other reach out to my perspective, than in the dream from two days ago. And it's funny that I did hold out my hand at the end of the dream, even it if wasn't exactly for the same reason.

    Overall, I expect to still see this pattern frequently in future dreams, but hopefully, with time, using my mantra and mudra in active daydreaming, I will gain greater power in my future dreams to have my dream characters see things from my perspective and gain forgiveness, the benefit of the doubt and better communication.

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    Comments

    1. IndigoRose's Avatar
      Just out of curiosity, do you have any problems with social anxiety in real life?
    2. DarkestDarkness's Avatar
      Reading the first bit of the flying boat dream got me thinking about fear. At first I'd misread and understood that you were sat at the edge BY the wing and not ON the wing.

      The fear became more understandable then, though I started remembering my own fears and thinking about how I've overcome a lot of them. I still get spooked by some things (surprise is a reasonable and possibly useful reaction in my mind) but there's little if anything I actually properly fear now. Most of any fear left has actually turned more into disgust, perhaps because disgust is less paralysing than fear?

      And in dreams it's the same really, I fear very little at all these days. I mostly become questioning or develop some slight negative feelings I think. The only really bad dream I've had in almost two years was the most recent "nightmare" I recently logged and taking away the intense feelings of despair from that dream, I could really consider that quite a different and fun dream.

      I guess I wonder why I don't feel fear in dream situations like the one in your dream here, situations that ordinarily would warrant some immediate fear due to a dangerous situation. I can remember a "bad dream" I had a while back that I might have forgotten to put into the nightmare category, maybe a few others too. But in which dream I was in bed on a balcony ledge a few stories up. In that dream I just felt worried and concerned and even then I still didn't try doing anything about the situation.
      Occipitalred likes this.
    3. aussiemusician's Avatar
      Occi, are you an introvert?
    4. Occipitalred's Avatar
      Occi, are you an introvert?
      I don't subscribe to labeling people as strictly introvert, extrovert or ambivert. I think we all have needs for socializing, belonging, privacy, intimacy with oneself, etc. I also don't think that social anxieties belongs to introverts.

      But yes, I definitely love to give time to my introverted needs.

      Just out of curiosity, do you have any problems with social anxiety in real life?
      Yes. I don't have diagnosed social anxiety and I am very sociable. It is through dreams that I learned to notice my social anxieties. How being around people triggers physical restlessness, and mental anxieties. It's thanks to dream work like in the dream I showcased here that I've healed a lot in social situations. I still have some restlessness and anxieties and I'm enjoying the healing process. This "reach me halfway" mantra has already been greatly beneficial to me in the last week. I'm pretty happy about it.

      I have to confess that sharing this information makes me somewhat uneasy. I imagine readers might get an image of me where I am ill adapted in social interactions, or worse; readers might get the idea that I think too much! Socially, that's not the image I have of myself and that people that know me have of me either. About thinking too much, I love thinking and the more I think, the more healing I find. It's an important aspect of my life, and I choose to nurture it.
      Updated 07-10-2021 at 08:45 AM by Occipitalred
    5. aussiemusician's Avatar
      the reason i ask about you being introverted, not that you are strictly that, is that you say "reach me halfway".
      not all people, will be willing to do that.
      and its not as though you have to carry around a sign, or make an announcement for everyone, to reach you halfway.
    6. IndigoRose's Avatar
      I have to confess that sharing this information makes me somewhat uneasy. I imagine readers might get an image of me where I am ill adapted in social interactions, or worse; readers might get the idea that I think too much! Socially, that's not the image I have of myself and that people that know me have of me either. About thinking too much, I love thinking and the more I think, the more healing I find. It's an important aspect of my life, and I choose to nurture it.
      I wasn't sure if I should ask or not. But I assumed that the fact that you share somewhat personal dreams means that you want or like to talk about it. If this is a wrong assumption, just tell me

      I have problems with social anxiety IRL, it wasn't always that way, but it has got worse through my adulthood. So I can relate to these dreams. You seem like an extremely kind person and that brings the question - is it just pure being kind or is it sometimes stepping down to avoid conflict or a complicated social situation against your own interests (something I absolutely do IRL).
      Interestingly, I am nothing like that in my dreams. My dream me is confident, courageous, charismatic and a leader - everything I would love to be but I am not. That's one major reason why I love my dream world.

      I am happy to hear that the mantra is helping.
      DarkestDarkness likes this.
    7. Occipitalred's Avatar
      the reason i ask about you being introverted, not that you are strictly that, is that you say "reach me halfway".
      not all people, will be willing to do that.
      and its not as though you have to carry around a sign, or make an announcement for everyone, to reach you halfway.
      "Reach me halfway" is a mantra to give me peace when I worry too much because I instinctively, unprompted, try to be sensitive to other people's perspective. Communicating these things is the ideal. The thing is, I have those conversations alone with mental projections of those people, in preparation for potential real conversations, or to gain catharsis or understanding for myself. most of the times, real conversations don't happen because of inconvenience or inappropriateness. Anyway, this mantra allows me to end my reflection on an optimistic and more realist/pragmatic worldview, instead of imagining the worse case scenario. When I get to apologize to people for things I felt might have been offensive, the most common response is "I didn't even think about that" so, it makes sense for me to have some mental peace.

      I wasn't sure if I should ask or not. But I assumed that the fact that you share somewhat personal dreams means that you want or like to talk about it. If this is a wrong assumption, just tell me

      I have problems with social anxiety IRL, it wasn't always that way, but it has got worse through my adulthood. So I can relate to these dreams. You seem like an extremely kind person and that brings the question - is it just pure being kind or is it sometimes stepping down to avoid conflict or a complicated social situation against your own interests (something I absolutely do IRL).
      Interestingly, I am nothing like that in my dreams. My dream me is confident, courageous, charismatic and a leader - everything I would love to be but I am not. That's one major reason why I love my dream world.

      I am happy to hear that the mantra is helping.
      I do share personal dreams because I like talking about it. I said that because when I share these experiences, I generally feel empowered by my confrontation of those issues and I don't like the takeaway straying from that vibe, so I was just flinching too quickly. You didn't do anything offensive, so please feel free to discuss.

      About kindness: I think the point of deconstructing kindness is to observe how complex it is. In a worldview of objective morality, kindness can be misunderstood as a simple "You are kind or not" and "You are too kind or not enough." Broad vapid statements. Deconstructing it allows to see all the components: who does the kindness really benefit: The doer, the receiver, or a third party? What is it motivated by? Does the receiver really want this specific kindness? In the context of all this complexity, we can evaluate our kindness.

      Personally, I don't love the worldview that claims all kindness is selfish. I prefer to keep my view of kindness multifaceted. Those aspects of kindness that are motivated by self-preservation don't really benefit me. The motivation is - selfish - but it hurts me while benefiting others. Because it is me that it hurts, not others, it seems there is no reason to chastise myself for being selfish. Because of that, my focus is to heal those social anxieties so that my motivation can be different: positive. Those events of kindness where I am motivated by the wholesome feelings that accompany altruism, even if the motivation is partly - selfish -, there is also an altruistic motivation present and if it does indeed benefit others, I think I can value that kindness. Calling that kindness selfish is not constructive or at least, it misses the point that feeling good about being good to others is not a problem? But I try to be aware of when my "kindness" is motivated by "wanting to be involved" and I realize it would probably benefit no one; those people don't need my involvement. Then, I can just ask.

      About your dreams, that's interesting. Are there any dreams in which you have the "social anxiety' traits of your waking self and if so, how do they differ from the most common confident dreams? Otherwise, what do you think is different between your waking life and dreams to explain this discrepancy? Is it a baseline lucidity, you think? I always find it surprising how different people's dreaming experiences are. Because I am no more or less confident in my dreams than waking life, I'd say.
    8. IndigoRose's Avatar
      About your dreams, that's interesting. Are there any dreams in which you have the "social anxiety' traits of your waking self and if so, how do they differ from the most common confident dreams? Otherwise, what do you think is different between your waking life and dreams to explain this discrepancy? Is it a baseline lucidity, you think? I always find it surprising how different people's dreaming experiences are. Because I am no more or less confident in my dreams than waking life, I'd say.
      Interesting question!
      I took a day to go through my DJ to be able to give you a good answer but I am no wiser than I was yesterday.
      The baseline lucidity could be a part of it. I can absolutely see it in my reactions to anything dangerous or life-threatening in dreams - basically, I don't feel fear in my dreams. At most, I am concerned. But I don't think it is the answer to the anxiety issues.

      I have two possible explanations:
      1) I don't dream much about anything relevant to my WL. The social situations in my dreams are different from social situations in my WL. Typically, I would be in a location I don't know, with people I don't know but who are obviously my friends and we are comfortable with each other. Or I am with my high school classmates or with people related to my late teens and early twenties. Doing hobby activities I did at that time which I haven't done for 10 years.
      The usual mundane social activities like ordering food, buying something in a shop, or asking for directions happen in my dreams but are never important.
      When I get to some kind of conflict, it is usually with some authority - a policeman, soldier or something similar - and these usually end up with me running or hiding.
      And then I have many dreams which are not realistic at all - like a western duel, detective story, fighting in a medieval-like war or being in a school for magic. And these are my favourites and the most confident.
      As a kid, I worked a lot with the idea that dreams are for me to experience adventure stories I read in my books and I still have this approach to dreams. Sometimes, there even can be a role-playing aspect to them (baseline lucidity?).
      2) The kind of thinking and ruminating that hinders me in WL (thinking about all IFs, replaying the possible dialogue or situation in my head again and again) maybe isn't possible in a non-lucid dream. I don't think I've ever had these thinking patterns in dreams. Dream thinking is too simple for that. I need to go lucid to even consider reactions of DCs to whatever I am doing (and then, if it is lower lucidity, I can get closer to my wake-like me, or if it is high lucidity, I just ignore the DCs).
      Also, I don't really expect consequences in dreams (so no "what will people think" or "what if she doesn't like that") - this could be a part of it or it could go back to that baseline lucidity.

      I do have some anxiety-based dreams but they center around the fear of failure (failure shattering my picture of myself, other people are irrelevant to this). Trying to do something and not being able to, failing at something, not being able to be somewhere on time and similar scenarios.
    9. Occipitalred's Avatar
      Interesting question!
      I took a day to go through my DJ to be able to give you a good answer but I am no wiser than I was yesterday.
      The baseline lucidity could be a part of it. I can absolutely see it in my reactions to anything dangerous or life-threatening in dreams - basically, I don't feel fear in my dreams. At most, I am concerned. But I don't think it is the answer to the anxiety issues.

      I have two possible explanations:
      1) I don't dream much about anything relevant to my WL. The social situations in my dreams are different from social situations in my WL. Typically, I would be in a location I don't know, with people I don't know but who are obviously my friends and we are comfortable with each other. Or I am with my high school classmates or with people related to my late teens and early twenties. Doing hobby activities I did at that time which I haven't done for 10 years.
      The usual mundane social activities like ordering food, buying something in a shop, or asking for directions happen in my dreams but are never important.
      When I get to some kind of conflict, it is usually with some authority - a policeman, soldier or something similar - and these usually end up with me running or hiding.
      And then I have many dreams which are not realistic at all - like a western duel, detective story, fighting in a medieval-like war or being in a school for magic. And these are my favourites and the most confident.
      As a kid, I worked a lot with the idea that dreams are for me to experience adventure stories I read in my books and I still have this approach to dreams. Sometimes, there even can be a role-playing aspect to them (baseline lucidity?).
      2) The kind of thinking and ruminating that hinders me in WL (thinking about all IFs, replaying the possible dialogue or situation in my head again and again) maybe isn't possible in a non-lucid dream. I don't think I've ever had these thinking patterns in dreams. Dream thinking is too simple for that. I need to go lucid to even consider reactions of DCs to whatever I am doing (and then, if it is lower lucidity, I can get closer to my wake-like me, or if it is high lucidity, I just ignore the DCs).
      Also, I don't really expect consequences in dreams (so no "what will people think" or "what if she doesn't like that") - this could be a part of it or it could go back to that baseline lucidity.

      I do have some anxiety-based dreams but they center around the fear of failure (failure shattering my picture of myself, other people are irrelevant to this). Trying to do something and not being able to, failing at something, not being able to be somewhere on time and similar scenarios.
      Insteresting!

      Don't you think the police/authority are the more anxious dreams. Like "id" dreams. Dreams where you subconsciously think a behavior might be misperceived as a "faux pas." The authority manifests as a response to the "shouldn't be doing that" feeling? That's my interpretation for this theme in my dreams.

      I like that you have that confident attitude in dreams! Exaggerated threats in dreams often remind me that I am dreaming but I still very much often have a first fear response to abnormality. I think one of my first reaction when something is weird is to spot the hazards. For example this week, I was exploring the dreamscape and ended up in water. Immediately I worried about what might be underwater and low and behold: sharks. Then, I was exploring this abandoned house and I found one of my clothes items. I thought "why would my clothes be here?" and low and behold: there was a plot to steal my identity. I give a lot of credit to these anxiety or fear theme dreams but I think it's really simply that when I am weirded out, I consider the worse case scenario. Since I'm dreaming, I think this search for red flags is irrelevant so, I hope I can nurture more of an attitude like you, seeing dreams as a place to have adventure fantasies, rather than whatever I am doing haha. Like The Neverending Story.