It has to be the worst dream there is. At least about yourself.
The one where the bad guys bury you.
And no one comes to find you.
Beyond terrible dreams, that scene has played out in several movies and it’s always haunting and terrifying.
But usually, and thankfully, the buried finds a way out. Or someone comes to the rescue.
If not, I don’t think we could watch it longer than a few minutes, it’s too brutal.
The squirming. The panic. The hopelessness.
It felt like a childish drawing at the time, and maybe it had to be that way. I was telling our counselor how volatile my emotions had been, these extreme highs followed by major lows.
Sometimes in the same day, heck even the same hour at times.
Great love. Then great jealousy.
Beautiful peace. Followed by piercing anxiety.
Real hope. Then despair.
He pulled out a blank piece of paper and his pen. And he drew a big, really simple heart.
Then through the top left sliver, he drew a line. And colored in the 1/15th or whatever portion of the heart he had sliced through.
He then drew a big arrow pointed right at the sliver.
“See that? That’s been your heart’s capacity to love. It’s true and real but it walled off the rest of your emotions. The heart’s capacity has been limited. But now, you have unhinged the emotions and have begun to access the rest of your heart. The deeply beautiful parts. And the yucky, scary parts too. The ones you buried alive.”
OK, there’s no way that was his word for word quote, but it was definitely the gist.
And it was my experience.
It wasn’t a one-night bad dream. Or a 90-second scene in a show.
What had been happening to me for a long time was that little by little, I was burying myself alive.
Covering up the yuck.
Pushing down the hard.
Walling off the gross.
Turning the lights off to the bad.
And before long, what was left for me to access was 1/15th of the capacity.
I didn’t feel like I was panicking all that time, I felt fine. I didn’t feel like I was squirming, I felt in control. I didn’t feel hopeless, I just didn’t feel much at all.
Maybe we’re all burying something. Maybe we’re all trying to wall something off and hope no one sees it. Maybe we don’t even want to see it ourselves, I sure didn’t.
When Love came to my rescue and broke open that casket I didn’t even know I was in…well…it felt a lot like freedom.
Even though when the dirt got moved away and the light poured into the 14/15th that was buried alive, it’s not the prettiest stuff I’ve ever seen.
But I guess I know it’s in there now, and the heart has the capacity to access it finally.
Instead of burying itself alive.