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    Psychotherapy

    Relationships * Mindfulness * Spiritual Counseling * Dream Work

November 2009 Newsletter

Free Monthly Newsletter
November 2009

Mid-Life At The Oasis!
Dreams And Our Longing For Meaning

by Dr. D. Royce Fitts,
Spiritual Counselor and Psychotherapist
Tel: 308.436.2224

In this issue:

1) New! “How To Survive The Holidays” Video!
2) Upcoming Dream Workshops, Retreats and Speaking Events
3) Counseling and Consulting Services
4) Newsletter Archives
5) November’s Newsletter Article:  Dreams And Our Longing For Meaning
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NEW! – “HOW TO SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS” VIDEO!

Happy Holidays?? Who Are You Kidding?
Learn how to survive all those holiday expectations and live to smile about it! It’s f.ree and waiting on you to view by clicking here.


Upcoming Dream Work Events:

November 6-7, 2009, Denver, CO: Rocky Mountain/Plains Fall Regional Meeting of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.  Royce will be leading an introductory workshop on Projective Dream Work on Saturday, Nov. 7.  For more information, email drfitts@livingwithmeaning.com.

New! Please register soon! January 15-17, 2010, Pendle Hill Retreat and Conference Center, Wallingford, PA (near Philadelphia). This beautiful and historic Quaker center serves as the perfect winter setting for dreaming and deep dream work.  The warmth of a fire, the trust of a circle of Friends invites us to experience a weekend of spiritual growth, healing and restoration of our souls through the gentle process of Projective Dream Work.  Royce leads us through the weekend entitled:  In Your Dreams!!  Let the Dreams of Your Life Create the Life of Your Dreams! For more information, go to this Pendle Hill web-page: http://pendlehill.org/workshops/winter-2010/217-in-your-dreams, or email drfitts@livingwithmeaning.com .


Counseling, Retreat and Workshop Services:


Are you disturbed or curious about the meanings of your dreams? Are you spiritually exhausted, experiencing depression or anxiety in your soul? Are you missing fulfillment or direction in your life and work? Are your relationships wounding and difficult?

I offer face-to-face or telephone sessions to explore with you and help you create healing through these difficult situations and experiences.
Or, if you are seeking to understand dreams and would like to sponsor or attend a retreat or workshop, please call me at 308.436.2224 or email drfitts@livingwithmeaning.com to learn more about retreats and workshops.  You may also click here for more information.

Newsletter Archives:
Have you ever wished you could locate a previous newsletter that contained an interesting article?
I am pleased to announce you now have access to previous month’s newsletters on my web site at http://www.livingwithmeaning.com/newsletter_archives.php

November Newsletter Article:

Mid-Life At The Oasis!
Dreams And Our Longing For Meaning

Mid-life, as they say, is a crisis!  Sometimes one big crisis.  Sometimes a whole mess of ’em.  No matter how often we are reminded that the flow of life demands we fire our retro-rockets to take the necessary corrective actions to stay on course, or, perhaps, more often, to take a new course–alas, we forget!

Sure, we are told time and time again, it is a time for soul searching, this mid-life thing.  It will make us better; a better woman, a better man.  It will make us more honest, have more integrity.  Our inner self will more match the outer self, or visa versa, or something like that.

It, also, as one man recently told me, sucks.  “Mid-life hurts”, he said.  “It takes way too long to get better…”.

I had worked in therapy with a family for several years, each partner exploring the various and important stories of their respective families of origin, seeking to “make it better” for their children, seeking to heal some of their wounds in order to not “accidentally” inflict these wounds upon their children.  It ain’t easy, is it?  One of their children cooperated enormously by misbehaving in some very creative ways to keep her parents in therapy.  I owe her.  Her parents owe her much more!

One day, when the children were not in the session, the husband and wife sought some “adult time”, as I call it.  The dad, Daniel, as I will call him, was depressed.  He was a health care professional at the top of his game.  He had the respect, admiration and even some envy of his colleagues.  The people he cared for deeply appreciated his professional knowledge and caring skill.  He was a kind of artist in his craft.  In fact, one of the loves of his life was to relax by playing classical music on his old grand piano.  A-hhh…such a life of meaning…maybe.

What was it?  What drove him to work all those hours?  What never let him say “no” to the increasing demands from his work?  Why was he angry at times for no, or little, reason?  He felt taken advantage of by the “powers that be”, not being listened to, even challenged that he was not holding up to his end of the bargain, the contracts.  “What?!”, he would exclaim,  “me, not doing my share?”.  And he was, doing more than his share.  But, something was amiss. He was not being accredited for all his work.  “Productivity”, as they called it, was down.  No matter what, he could not please “them”, his superiors, his bosses, and even worse, his inner self.

Depression.  It is a good thing.  No, really, it is.  I sometimes tell clients, after they describe their life situation to me, that if they weren’t depressed, they’d be crazy!  What they are describing is depressing.  Depression is a healthy response to an unhealthy situation.

And then, one night Daniel dreamed…

I am in the living room with my father, visiting…he is younger, maybe in his 50’s… I am present age …suddenly, I hear a loud racket and into the room bursts a small boy, maybe 5 or 6 years of age… I do not know him… he skirted through the living room, through the door of the adjoining kitchen…the child appeared strong and fast…his steps were deliberate and loud … I turned toward my father, in amazement,and asked, “who was that?” … my father, perplexed, responded, “ I don’t know”…we trailed behind this determined child into the kitchen…the minute he spotted us, he bolted out the door into the hallway and up the stairs … amazed, I stated, “that little guy is fast”…as we were staring at each other, I asked “what is that kid’s problem?”…

at the next moment we both heard a loud banging noise from the upstairs…we scurried up the flight of stairs and found the young child in one of the bedrooms…as we entered the bedroom it seemed we had him cornered…this is when I was able to get my first look at the boy…he was a handsome, well-featured child but with a sad, hallowed look and pale, sunken eyes…as we approached carefully, much to our dismay, the little youngster skirted between the two of us into another bedroom in the house…he did this at least three more times…the second level of this house was becoming all to familiar … I wondered, as my father did, when would the resolve of this little one finally wear down?…

at last, at the end of the long hallway, the little boy was trapped beneath a modern-looking chair with thin, metal legs…he crouched beneath this chair, almost in a fetal position…we approached, with utmost trepidation, this desperate boy….the first question I asked was, “what do you want?”…as the tears quickly welled-up in his eyes, he calmly stated, in a mostly flattened tone, “I just want you to love me”…in utter disbelief, of my own ignorance, a spark of recognition tugged at my soul… I realized this little boy was me…immediately I  swooped up the child into my arms and stated, most emphatically, “of course I’ll love you!”… my father, who was looking on, said nothing, but also had tears flowing down his cheeks…then I awakened…

“I began to make sense of the dream”, Daniel said, “and apply it to solving my current life-issues.  I had to embrace this journey, as unpleasant as it was.  I learned that I must begin the process of accepting myself.  My  contentment in life had to have a deeper meaning, not like the fizz and pop from opening a can of carbonated cola….The aftermath of this dream led me down a path often muddy and full of potholes.  It forced me to see myself as I really was and to share this with my best friend in life, my wife.   As difficult as it was, it was at this point, I began to reassign my priorities in life and make some meaningful changes.  It has been a long two year journey…In my darkest hours I sometimes pondered whether it was all worth it, but, I knew in the end, my efforts at self-cleansing and forgiveness, it would eventually pay off with substantial dividends. Through the demands of my work, I realized that I often ignored the emotional needs of my family. I hoped they would forgive me, but most of all, I had to forgive myself.”
Yes.  Yes.  Yes. What more could be said?  There are, of course, numerous avenues to explore this amazing dream.  You know that.  I call a dream like this “a big dream”, “a medicine dream”, that truly comes to heal, to change the dreamer.  Only through the brooding moods of searing depression can the soul burn away the stuff that doesn’t matter, the matter that blocks, clogs the spiritual flow of life.  Burning purifies.  It makes us long for our heart’s deepest desire.  It makes us leap beyond our assumed capability.  The dream invites us to love, our self, our little world of life…and, to break the rules of the distorted, wounded world called “productivity”.
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Let’s be in gratitude for this dream, this longing, this Thanksgiving…

Royce

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