Ever have one of those mornings where you woke early from a dream, and realized that you needed to write it down, because it could have some importance in the waking world, and could shed light on issues you’re trying to work through?
Or is it just me?…
So, I’m going to try and document what woke me up at 5:15 this morning. (Which, for the record, should be considered a criminal offense on a Saturday morning.) And then I’ll consider what it might say about where I’m at.
(This would be the lull in the conversation where you politely say, “ooh… look at the time. Those pickles aren’t going to can themselves! See you. Hope that whole dream thing works out for you…” And the sound of mouse clicking was nigh unto deafening… )
So, I was directing a program at a senior center. (Not likely to happen in the waking world, btw. Play music there, sure. Actually be in charge? I don’t think so…) We had some sort of activity, and then were serving dinner. And I was helping with the food, making sure that Edna had exactly what she wanted, and telling Walter to deal with it – beef is what’s for dinner. These alone are good reasons that being a program director for seniors is not on my list of stuff I’ll ever do. 😀
We had everyone fed and happy (yes, Vicki was helping also – no surprise there…), and had time to eat ourselves. I was just spooning some potatoes onto my plate, when my grandmother (who might have been there the whole time – I don’t know) said, “Callie – are you really going to eat all that??”
(Note – “Callie” is what I was called as a youngster. As I approach my 50th birthday, I believe I’ve earned the right to NEVER be called that again. Kapish?)
And I remember becoming embarrassed, frustrated, and ANGRY. I think I even yelled at her, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” Then I woke up.
So, Dr. Freud, any observations?
Didn’t think so. But, allow me to take a run at it.
My counselor has mentioned that when one has grown up in a strict upbringing, that there is often a spoiled little brat within one, grabbing opportunities to say, “NO! I don’t WANT to!” I do realize that there was more than a little of that brat in me growing up, and that it wasn’t just inside, but quite evident outside as well.
It should be noted that I’m not flinging stones at the way I was raised, btw. Mom was raising two boys on her own, so keeping command of the ship was necessary for survival…
As I thought about that dream, I realized that the scene was one that had played out throughout my life – filling my plate at dinner, and either having mom stare in HORROR at what was there, or grams saying “you shouldn’t take that much!” Mom saying that fat people shouldn’t take so much on their plate, because people are always watching and making comments about “how much that fat pig over there is eating.” And I recalled something else…
Sometimes, when mom was busy, I’d spend time at my grandmother’s restaurant – actually, in her apartment above the restaurant. And grams would say, “when you get hungry, just tell the cook what you want and they’ll make it for you.” And I’d ask for HUGE things, because nobody was watching me – I was all by myself upstairs, and could eat as much as I wanted.
Pretty obvious how that ends up in a food addiction, eh? I’m at my most dangerous when I’m by myself, because when no one is watching, I can eat whatever I want, as much as I want. And as an adult, I get to the point where I say, “who cares if people are watching what I put on my plate? I deserve this!” Vicki tries to help me with quantity, and I respond just like I did as a child – embarrassment, frustration, and anger. The spoiled brat inside of me stomps his foot and says “NO!”
So why write this all down? Because, as it is written, “the first step in avoiding a trap is knowing of its existence.” Perhaps, armed with knowledge, and strengthened with God’s grace, I can recognize these feelings and thoughts, sort through them, and change the behavior that results from them.
One step at a time, the brat is being taken off the throne. What a great thought – giving the throne to the only One who should be on it. That’s real freedom. And every little step brings me closer to it. Self control and perseverance – they unbind the hands and free the spirit.