I looked closer and noticed alligators swimming near the surface. That made me even more concerned about the swimmers and their safety....
The floating black, red and white metal Behemoth was headed toward an island. Apparently, Hillary Clinton was going to be there to give a talk. But I wasn't traveling for that purpose; a beloved person I care for deeply was going to be on the island, too. In that moment, said person magically manifested in the doorway to the right of where I was standing. He acknowledged me, but then launched into a discussion about politics with the Admiral. If we were alone, the scene would have gone quite differently. The moment I turned to him, he immediately responded. In the dream, I remember feeling a sense of regret at being too polite to kick the Admiral out so I could properly express my joy at seeing a person I care about. In the last week or so, I received several caveats from multiple sources about being too hesitant. And indeed, one of my biggest regrets to date was because of hesitation on a particular decision.
I have tons of regrets, but it's mostly small things. People who live full lives usually have at least a few. I'm no exception. But this one moment in time is something I wholly regret because I never want to miss a single moment of love. As a result of my real-life hesitation, I missed a lot of moments. Which led to missing minutes, hours, even days. Heartbreaking, really. Especially for someone who so badly needs both love and affection.
I still feel those missing moments crying out from a spiraled source at the base of my spine. Today, I can only imagine how comforting those collection of memories would have been. At the time, I was hesitant for what felt like good reasons. We can only ever have 20/20 vision when we look backwards, but I'm still sad about what was missed. My only hope is that I can somehow make it up in future.
By and large, we tend to believe we can work toward change and make our lives better. If we didn't, there'd be no point in breathing. I really think that's at the crux of why people in their 40's, 50's and 60's choose to die--at some point, you live through so much pain that it can be quite frustrating to not see effective change. Lacking emotional support makes the resulting hopelessness and helplessness grow ever stronger. However, things can always change for the better if we're willing to work for it. Still, it's daunting to live through decades of difficulty yet somehow hold on to the belief that positives can and will stick around--to be honest, that's at the heart of my regret because it's why I hesitated. My heart and head were in such severe disagreement that, ultimately, time made the decision for me.
If I live to be 100, I'll never not regret what I missed in that moment. That's the truth.
Where I come from, the only thing you have to worry about when swimming in deep waters is what's under the surface. But I still swim almost all the way to P-town and back again. With dolphins, seals...even mink whales! Sharks, too, of course. It's just part of the deal. We all have to learn to take risks. Jumping into the deep can be frightening, but I've never felt more free than when I'm swimming out in the open ocean. It's the same with love, too.
In the dream, my person leaned against me after the Admiral left. I could literally feel his cheek on mine--as in, an actual physical sensation so acute, it woke me. Of course, no one was touching my cheek in real life. I was alone in bed. But it was hard to shake--that sense of touch.
I hate how lonely I am--it's apparent in dreams like this one. That's part of surviving abuse. At some point, similar to the dogs in Seligman's "learned helplessness" experiments, after being forced to bear the trauma of repeat negative stimuli, a person can also give up to a certain extent. Humans are not dogs, of course. We don't live in physical cages. Ours are more psychological. If we so desire, we can discard whatever is holding us prisoner and move on with our lives. My best hope for anyone reading these words is that whatever holds you back today will be gone in the not-so-distant future. Permanently. Never to return.
I'm grateful for feeling loved...even for just a few hours. What a rare and beautiful gift. So rare, some of us have to wait a lifetime to experience it.
I may not always know how to handle love, but at least I know the real deal when I see it. Nothing matters more to me than true love. Earning money is necessary to live, but earning real love is a decision we make when we're ready to stop surviving our lives in order to finally thrive. Once we have love and affection (and the natural support and confidence that comes with both), things fall into place. We still have to take action by making decisions and moving toward our goals, but even when an obstacle is rolled in the path of love, where it was once impossible for an individual to get around it alone, two can find a solution...together.
Reciprocal love and affection moves mountains, parts the very oceans and carves whole paths across the surface of the planet, just to connect two people who have maybe not had the best of luck...until one day, love happens. Time is irrelevant when it does. Time, space...nothing else matters but that big ball of pure light that emerges between a pair of souls who have finally found each other.
Don't be afraid of deep emotional waters like I was. If a prehistoric fear-instinct rises to the surface, just remember: You're built for victory, not failure...or you wouldn't have those opposable thumbs and complex brain. With that kind of physical advantage, success is not only possible, it's probable, too.
Start planning on happy surprises entering your life. Be full of hopes, wishes and dreams--ones so large, you can only describe them as having tectonic breadth.
Ready to dive in???
*Photo of Cape Cod Copyright Rebecca Housel 2019