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.