Letting water walls fall

So, last night I had one of those dreams that holds onto you.

I was crossing a body of water; a river, a lake? And my husband was with me. In any case, we managed to get to the center of it when it came to life. Before I knew it, we were surrounded by walls of water and they were rising higher until all light was blocked. I knew they were preparing to crash over us and as they fell, I fumbled for Craig, holding onto his hand, his shirt, whatever I could grasp so as not to become separated.

And then…

I woke up.

Natural for me, I was curious of this dream’s meaning. Here’s what I discovered on Dream Dictionary:

Dreams about the ocean are strong signals from the unconscious mind. (no kidding) If you dream of being lost at sea, you are unsure about your feelings for a certain person. (hmm, n/a) A stormy sea or one with sea monsters suggests confusion and anxiety in the dreamer. (ah ha!) On the other hand, a peaceful sea suggests the dreamer is comfortable with herself and her sexuality. (hmm, should I now worry it was not a peaceful sea?) If you dream of catching a big fish from the sea, a wonderful opportunity will come to you. (next time, I’ll try to dream me big a fishing pole)

I’m guessing anxiety may be it. A sea like the one in my dream was unpredictable; it was something out of my control. It’s something, isn’t it? How uncomfortable we are with being out of control. For example, I am anxious about all of the uncertainties around a new career-not having a firm hand on our income and expenses and level of success. I am uncomfortable with not being in control of my fertility-of not having a baby in the timeline I set up for myself. Having lived on a school calendar for years, I’m a little uneasy with not having parameters, deadlines, designated dates.

So, what is the opposite of control? Surrender.
Ah, surrender. This word has haunted me for years. It’s gone through an evolution of images for me.
From throwing my hands up and giving in…
…to throwing caution to the wind…
…to letting go and allowing the current move me to where I need to be.

In a very informative and uplifting article, “Let Go of Control: How to Learn the Art of Surrender”, Dr. Amy Johnson sheds light on these ideas.

1. We try to control things because of what we think will happen if we don’t.
2. Control is also a result of being attached to a specific outcome—an outcome we’re sure is best for us, as if we always know what’s best.
3. The energy of surrender accomplishes much more than the energy of control.

There is a base of fear behind the idea of not having control. This feeling produces a tightness both inside and out. I tend to respond in snapping tones; to have neck pain; to sleep restlessly.  Letting go feels differently. My shoulders drop, my jaw loosens, I breathe deeper. Surrender just feels good. At times, I have to ask myself: what makes me think I know this is right? Opening to the possibility that other outcomes may be best, shifts the energy around me. There’s a freedom that opens up.

I’m not saying it’s an easy thing to float on that water, especially when waves are dark and menacing. But, going with the flow sure beats paddling against it.

“Waves” painting by Tania Gonzalez Ortega…photo credit 1, 2, 3

[Recommended read: “Savasana Amidst Sharks!” is about surrender to the max]

  1. Sara said:

    just what i needed to hear this morning, christine! thank you so much for sharing this journey – with all of the accompanying highs and lows – with us. we are enriched because of it. love it and love you.

  2. J. Stephens said:

    Wow. This is really beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing!

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