Without change there would be no butterflies. -Maya Angelou
Three nights ago, I had a dream. In my dream I was talking with a woman whose sister had died. It was raining and she was standing under an awning waiting for the rain to stop before crossing the street. I walked over and started a conversation – small talk. It turned out that I was talking the one who had died. I woke up and wondered why the dream.
In 1979 I had a recurring dream of myself climbing up the stairs and never make it to the second floor. Each time I’m about to reach the second floor a older woman suddenly appears and blocks my way. She had one eye, one tooth, long gray hair over her shoulders. She was topless, wearing an old grass skirt that rattled when she walked. In my dream I knew her name to be Dirrakemim. I woke up in sweat. I was terrified but I’d shake the dream out of my mind and go about the day until I go to bed at night. The dream came again for almost a week.
I remembered how I was told that if I go ‘there’ ea Dirrakemim a mengchak. It made me laugh. As I ventured out of my comfort zone I realized that the dream was my own fears hiding in my head. I would be stuck afraid to move on, afraid to take a risk. I did tell myself that there’s no Dirrakemim. It’s all in my imagination that was planted there when I was a child. But she was there. I took a risk and ran away from home and found myself in the streets of Southern California. It was a great adventure I wouldn’t trade for million dollars. Fighting off my fears was constant, sometimes unconscious. When I came back to Palau 20 years ago, I learned that many people didn’t like my true self. I was brave enough to say “no” and allowed myself to think freely without fear of being different. People don’t like change especially women that dare greatly.
Talking to the dead woman in my dream a few days ago was my subconscious saying goodbye to her. It was good for me to let go of my guilt for unable to go to her funeral last year. We grew up together in the neighborhood, went to the same school and church almost all our lives. I’m taking time to grieve without guilt. When we grow older we also grow apart.
The lower level self is the self we are not in charge of. It is the self of impulses we do not choose to have and urges that often control us. Our subconscious is always two steps ahead of the game. It is the hidden self, the self where our shadows dwell. The place where Dirrakemim and demons are, teasing and dancing in the dark alleys of our souls, the self that speaks to us in the strange dreams we dream. It is a puzzling and frightening self, too sneaky, to illusive for us to grasp but still a part of our selves as real as the dark side of the moon.
Your true self is the grateful person. Thinking clearly and with a sober mind is a virtue.