I’m exhausted again this morning. It’s not easy spending most of the night holding the closet door closed against all those boxes and objects that keep trying to fall out. There’s just so much you can do when the closet is too full, but you just can’t bring yourself to empty it.
However, last night, I had to let some of the boxes tumble out into the hallway. It upset me to have my things exposed where anybody might see them. But I had to rescue several puppies that had somehow found their way into my closet. They were so cute and absolutely adorable, and for some reason someone (I have no idea who) was trying to poison them, so both the puppies and I hid in the closet, which meant that some of the boxes had to be displaced.
Yes, I’m describing a dream. But it’s a strange, repeating dream, with odd variations played over a central theme—a too full closet the contents of which I’m having difficulty containing.
Sometimes, I can keep all the boxes hidden within the closet, and at other times (like last night with the puppies) I have to make a choice to let some of the contents out of the closet or allow something or someone to come to harm. Each time, I’ve chosen to “rescue” the person, puppy, kitten, bird, or whatever, and each time I’ve had to allow some of the “boxes” to escape the closet.
My initial reaction to this dream (besides the exhaustion from fighting to hold the closet door shut seemingly all night long) was that I was trying to contain my “secrets”. You know the type of stuff I mean—information that I didn’t really want people to know about me; information that I deemed too personal; or information that might make me “too human”. Usually, though, once I figure out what it is a dream is trying to tell me, it stops. But since this one hasn’t stopped, I had to wonder if my interpretation was off.
During a luncheon with a friend, I brought up the odd recurring dream, and was surprised by her take on it. She posited that perhaps I was attempting to hide (from myself and others) those aspects of myself that I wasn’t fond of, no longer needed, or had outgrown.
She thought that if I tried accepting all these hidden or no longer wanted aspects of myself, that maybe I wouldn’t have to hold the closet closed anymore. She also thought the puppies and other pet-like creatures that I was finding in the closet were to help me understand that not everything I was shutting away was really “bad”. That I was closing off good things along with the (perceived) bad, and I should stop shutting off pieces of myself and just accept myself, all of myself, for who I am.
I was so surprised by how accurate her insights seemed to be, that I had no response for her. I realized that I needed some time to think over everything she said, and to read over my notes of each occurrence of the dream. So, this morning I’ve been doing just that, and I think she’s right.
Over these past few months, I have been trying to move forward with my life. For a while I was caught in a chasm of depression, but now that I’ve climbed out of the pit I was in, I want to move on. To do that, I thought I had to lock away all those pieces of me that I didn’t think would contribute (in a positive way) to the new me I wanted to be. I wanted to shed the parts of me that wouldn’t help me move along the path I wanted to take. But, locking them in a closet (metaphorical or actual) is unrealistic. All those pieces that I locked away in boxes and tried to hide away are part of me. They have contributed to who I am, and without them I can’t move on.
So, instead of holding the closet closed tonight, I’m going to fling it wide, and then I’m going to open every one of those boxes and let everything out. I’m going to let the pieces fall where they may…I’m ready to change, but not until I can accept who I’ve been and I am now.