Perfection? Honey, Everybody’s Messed Up!


“A dream is an experience, something that happens to you, an event.” ~Robert Bosnak

The new year is 18 days old. I’ve begun my new dream journal, recorded 13 dreams, and worked on all but two. As the pandemic rages around me, I’ve stayed home with only a few brief and inconsequential exceptions. Yet in these 18 days several curious things happened:

I visited Anderson Cooper in his beautiful apartment and watched him feed his adorable baby son. When the ceiling fan made me shiver with cold I offended another man in the room by asking if he’d turn it down. He stormed out angrily. This made Fred (my husband) angry. I felt guilty for inciting this discord by speaking up and asking for something I needed.

Followed by our little black dog Peri — who died over 25 years ago — I rode a bicycle through thick sand, then a weedy flooded area in a rugged, unpopulated countryside. It was a difficult struggle, and I was worried about Peri keeping up with me.

I watched my microwave oven sizzle, pop, and threaten to blow up because a man put a lit candle in it. Meanwhile pink sheets of insulation fell out of my open refrigerator and onto my head. Frightened, I called Fred frantically for help. He didn’t come.

The same man brought a stray brown dog into my house and it urinated on the floor. I was annoyed and disgusted and asked him to clean it up.

Someone’s pet tiger picked up a white cat by the tail and held it dangling over the floor. I was afraid to intervene. Then the tiger dropped the cat, who calmly began to groom its tail to get rid of the tiger’s spittle.

I invited an unhappy young man to join me at an appointment with my therapist (dreams are my therapy now) which shocked a woman who was a surrogate mother for me as a child. (She’s gone now.) “People will think you’re messed up,” she warned. I said, “Honey, everybody’s messed up! Look around you. Everybody!”

At a festive meal with friends at an outdoor rooftop restaurant, I looked down over the railing at a brown dog waiting for its owner. There was a ring of dog poop on the sidewalk. Someone threw me a rake with dog poop on it. It got on my hand and I flung it down into the bushes. Then the restaurant pastry chef brought me a stunning, artfully designed round cake covered in edible shiny gold threads that looked like fine silk. She suggested I might order it for the meal I would host next month. A gold thread caught on my finger and left a snag. I felt guilty. Then someone on the ground stepped in dog poop before I could warn them. I felt guilty about that too. It felt like my fault.

All this occurred in the first week of January. The dream images depicted emotions I was experiencing in the aftermath of marketing and promoting the launch of The Soul’s Twins. Much of what I had to do didn’t come naturally and made me uncomfortable. Then came the holidays, which are always difficult too. I was struggling. I needed help and felt guilty asking for it. I was worried about my body being able to keep up with the driven part of me, afraid of the tiger in me, disgusted by my flaws, making messes, feeling messed up.

Then something changed. Maybe the baker changed it. Because after I messed up the perfect gold cake, she incorporated all but two inches of the thread back into the fabric. I wanted to cut the last bit off to make it perfect again, but left it up to her. Trusting her must have been the right choice because this dream came two nights later.

Dream #5287: An angry young man comes at me threateningly, as if to punch me in the stomach. I look down and see I am very pregnant. I tell the worried-looking woman standing behind him, “Don’t worry. He would never deliberately harm an innocent baby.” I stand quietly facing him, hoping I was right. He backs away. I feel relieved and proud that I had the courage to trust.

Four nights later:

Dream # 5288: Fred, another woman and I are looking for a house we want to see. Fred has the key, but the door is unlocked. The realtor in a lovely blue and white dress leads us through the main room where several other women wear flowered summer dresses. The realtor whispers, “The invitation said dressy.”  I’m wearing blue jeans, a casual shirt, a flowered jacket. I don’t care. I say, “I never got the invitation. I’ll send you my new address.”

My companions and I move into the enchanting backyard. It’s beautifully landscaped with lush green tropical vegetation. Children are playing in round pools spilling into smaller round pools that curve down to a lake. At the end of the walkway a large round clearing is surrounded and canopied by tall trees. The left side of the garden is grassy and informal with a few pieces of outdoor furniture.

The right side contains an exquisite rectangular glass garden house. Inside, a messy daybed holds scattered pillows and a rumpled white duvet. Beside it another daybed runs perpendicular along the back wall. Next, a honey-colored wood desk. In front of that, two white lounge chairs. Then a small, round, honey-colored dining table with four chairs upholstered in white. I imagine eating breakfast in the morning, writing and napping in the afternoon, having a glass of wine with Fred in the evening, sleeping at night, in this magical, mystical glass house.

Except for that unmade bed, which I love and think is the perfect touch, everything is perfect. And Fred holds the key. Will this be our new address?

Everybody’s messed up. Nobody’s perfect. What uncomfortable flaws will you accept this year?

Image credits: Night, Shihao Mei,

Dreams have been a profoundly important and transforming part of my adult life. Today, after a few years away, I returned to my private Facebook page, Jean Raffa Dream Group, to post a new interview about The Soul’s Twins. If you are someone who is kind, respectful, and serious about learning more about your dreams, I invite you to request admission. I’ll do my best to monitor it regularly. Let’s talk about this, and other dreams.

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Her new book, The Soul’s Twins, is available at Schiffer, Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit and wherever books are sold. Subscribe to her newsletter at

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5 Responses

  1. Thanks Jeanie so much! My dreams have been so peculiar too. Male figures young and old have been around and in one instance my husband and I navigated the seas on either side that were closing in on us. But in my last recorded dream a few nights ago, I was threatened by a male who appeared to be ever so charming. That dream woke me up, literally frightened.

    I also like the unmade bed part of your dream with all its lovely symbology.

    May I join your Jean Raffa Dream Group?

    That’s a deep question: what uncomfortable flaws will I accept this year? They’re the very ones I’m trying to lessen eg procrastination ..

  2. Hi Susan,

    Today’s inauguration was so symbolic and affirming. I was deeply moved by the sight of those two couples, our new president and vice president, masculine and feminine, walking up the stairs into the capital building together today. For me they symbolized the essence of The Soul’s Twins in which I write about the Couple archetype that’s emerging into collective awareness: conscious and loving union between the masculine and feminine parts of ourselves, both as individuals and human beings. It felt good to be reminded of hope and unity and sincere caring. We’ve seen so much of the frightening shadow of one-sided patriarchy that I suspect many people have been dreaming of threatening males.

    The unmade bed was the image I found most interesting too.

    You may certainly join my group. Just go to that page on Facebook and request admission and I’ll grant it. That will give you access.

    As for the uncomfortable flaws, I take heart in knowing that Jung still struggled near the end of his life like the rest of us. We mustn’t expect perfection from ourselves. I think consciousness and completion are more realistic goals: being as accepting and aware of our shadows as we are of our light so we can rein our shadows in when they show up.

  3. Love your fertile images, Jeanie. I’ve had lots of dog piles and animal messes in my dreams, too. Who knew you’d be admiring Anderson Cooper in waking life as he interviewed Amanda Gorman? I’m accepting more solitude, more limitations, and an awareness that it may be time for me to put my ambitious self to rest and just write for the fun of it. But what about all those lovely unpublished chapters about pilgrimage in India? What about those Jungian ideas about grief and mythology? What about writing the piece I planned about Monarch butterflies and my relationship to them? What about all the other plans, more than a few half actualized? It feels like time to put my ambitions to rest and see what rises to the surface. My dreams tell me I need more painting and color, so I’m creating an Inauguration altar. My dogs think it’s time for their afternoon walk in the windy snow. I agree. The rest will have to wait or never happen. It’s a relief to let things go and allow myself to be messed up. Love to you in your warm world. I’ve thought so many times how hard it would be to bring a book out during this time. We’re all so preoccupied with crisis, even with a new president. The whole world is messed up and we have our own piles of dog poop to clean up.

    1. “It’s a relief to let things go and allow myself to be messed up.” My thoughts exactly! I’ve been doing a lot of that since The Soul’s Twins was released, an after effect of burn-out. Surprisingly, I’m finding that when I do let things go, inspiration and motivation still pop up at unexpected times without any prompting from my ego. I guess my daimon is still not ready to let go of me. Today I’m in the process of following a new idea that came from last night’s dream, just to see where it will lead….maybe a proposal for a workshop, maybe another blog post, we’ll see! It’s taken my driven ego a very long time to figure out that it doesn’t have to be in control. I like this new way of being, of just accepting that “The whole world is messed up and we have our own piles of dog poop to clean up.”

      Thank you for writing, and love to you in your snowy winter world.

      1. Elaine, after posting my response above, I found this quote waiting for me in an open file on my computer:

        “Disorder and meaninglessness are the mother of order and meaning. Order and meaning are things that have become and are no longer becoming. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 235. I wish I’d had it when I wrote that post. But no sense wishing. It came when it needed to come.

        Here’s to allowing ourselves to become. Jeanie

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