The dream “Nude Descending Stairs” demonstrated how full of myself I was feeling for having dared to bare a “naked” truth. That same night I had a second dream depicting the other side of the tightrope. Prepare yourself. It’s kind of gross.
Dream #4252: Maggot Descending Nostrils
I pick something out of my right nostril. It’s small, whitish, and bean-shaped. I put it in the palm of my left hand to examine it. I move into the light to see it better. I’m appalled to see it has burrowed between two fingers. Oh, God. It is as I have always suspected. I have some sort of rotten infestation and the truth is finally coming out. I wonder if anyone else has seen one of these emerging from my nose. I wonder what it is. A maggot? I find two more and throw them away quickly. I am disgusted, but also resigned. It is what it is. I’ll just have to deal with it.
The day before this dream I noticed a small brown object on the floor that looked like a piece of tree bark someone had tracked in. On closer inspection, I saw it move. It was some sort of insect. Mildly repelled, I carried it outdoors and tossed it in the hedge. This was obviously the trigger for the dream image, but the dream wasn’t just a random replay of a waking event. There was meaning in it, and it was up to me to coax it out.
The first thing I think, both in the dream and when I remember it later, is, Ugh, I knew it. There’s something disgusting in me. Is Dream Mother saying I’m profoundly flawed? I don’t think so. She doesn’t want me to feel badly. She just wants me to see a feeling or assumption so deeply rooted and ever-present that I’m unaware of it; the way a fish doesn’t notice the unhealthy water it’s in because it’s never known anything else.
So I go back to the waking life event that triggered this dream: I picked up something, examined it, and found it repellant. In the dream I’m picking something out of my nose, examining it, and……Aha! This is what I do! I’m always picking at myself and feeling repelled by something that has come out of me: a critical thought, a careless word, a subtle bid for approval or sympathy. The dream doesn’t say I’m basically unworthy: it merely says I have always secretly suspected that I am, or else the Lone Ranger wouldn’t have shot me and Daddy wouldn’t have left me by divorcing Mama and then dying!
Moreover, there’s a pattern. This dream came immediately after the naked dream in which I felt gloriously free to be myself. But I barely had time to enjoy that before Wham! I started picking on myself and the wonderful feelings were replaced with self-disgust and sad resignation. I must have been doing the same thing in waking life without realizing it. In fact, yes, I was feeling a bit low the day before this dream.
There’s a wounded girl in me who’s been floating in dark water for a very long time. But the good news is, I am beginning to recognize her unhealthy attitude! And if I can stay conscious of it, the next time she shows up I can choose to reassure her instead of letting her drag me down. I like it better when she and I are out in the open, naked and proud and breathing fresh, clean air.
It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave