Pour Your Emotions on the Page & Let Them Burn

I OFTEN HAVE recurring dreams, not the same one over and over, but the same themes placed in varying settings and contexts.

Yesterday, I finally did something with this.

Our dreams come from somewhere deep within our being, which is difficult to conceptualize.

What does that mean, deep within our being?

I suppose the only way you can go deep within is by pulling water from the well of our past. Our dreams must come from somewhere, and that’s experience.

Yet, our past isn’t fixed like we might think it is.

Renowned psychologist Jordan Peterson describes in his University of Toronto 2017 lecture series: Personality and its Transformations, that what might happen in the future alters our past.

For example in school, if we get a good grade, we look back at our past self as an excellent student who deserved the grade.

But if we get a poor grade, we question why we’re in school in the first place; we question our past and the decisions that led us to this abyss.

We might even challenge our morals and why we went to that party three years ago instead of studying and how our life is spiraling down a dark, degenerate path with no future because of a B- (this is all hyperbole; you get the idea, we tell ourselves some crazy things).

So that party was no longer fun; it was the “wrong” thing to do. Our past has changed.

The past is this living, fluid reality, just like the present.

So how do we make sense of it?

Our dreams indicate something. I’m afraid to share the themes of my reoccurring dreams, because perhaps, that will make them more real to me.

I’m on a journey to heal my back after an injury some years ago; I dream of playing sports.

Vivid dreams under the lights. I can smell the grass and feel the weight of the ball at my feet. I’m terrified that I’ll never have that feeling again, and perhaps that makes me feel like I messed up.

I dream of people, where the cutting of ties never felt healed.

That’s my subconscious telling me something. I haven’t really done anything with these thoughts until now.

I just wake up and probably like most of us, shake my head, think whoa, that was a weird one, maybe contemplate the absurdity of it and move on with my day.

My incredible mom recently told me about free-form writing: letting your thoughts literally spill from your hand with no restraint on the page. Then, you burn the page.

Being completely honest when writing — even when journaling when, in theory, nobody will read what we say — is uncomfortable.

It can be embarrassing to be completely truthful with ourselves; but trying is invaluable.

Sometimes I hold back when journaling, perhaps because I know the words will remain there.

Or I just won’t confront them. So I hold back. I didn’t hold back this time.

Knowing that I’d burn the page felt liberating.

I wrote about these recurring dreams; I started to cry as I wrote.

It was an emotional experience, like opening up an enormous window in a dusty house that has been closed, boarded up, for years. I could breathe.

And then I burned the page and watched the tiny orange embers crawl like ants across the paper, like lava dripping down the cracks of a volcano.

If you’re imagining me sobbing and dancing in the flames of my own ruin in some satanic ritual, fret not; this was done safely and I promise I don’t burn things for fun.

It felt like the words on the page were solidified as they burned; that the page was a body in a funeral pyre, and what mattered was the soul, the words, the truth of confronting something that lives in me, leaving the body to exist perennially in spirit, out there.

And perhaps that way, the energy that came out of me would go where it needed to go.

And somehow the universe appreciates that, the seeking of the truth and the tears, and the opening of the heart, and it smiles, and it’s okay.

I don’t know what it all might mean, but this felt like a sort of revelation.

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