Thursday, February 22, 2007

Such stuff are dreams made of...

Yesterday was my first day back from living on Pacific time for the previous five days. Coming home in the middle of the night before Ash Wednesday had its challenges. For one, I wasn't sure I could wake up in Eastern time, especially since I didn't seem to be falling asleep in anybody's time. (I love to travel... but it both wires me up and wipes me out.)

I did get up and was able to function through Morning Prayer and mass, but around 10:00 AM I was fading fast. I napped and had a vivid, disturbing dream that narrowed my focus to one of my biggest obstacles to grace... anger.

In my dream it was Ash Wednesday and no matter where I went, people were talking. In the convent we try to keep strict silence on Ash Wednesday, but in my dream everyone was talking. They weren't just whispering either. They were laughing and telling jokes and using their loudest voices, and my one-ness on the Enneagram was screaming for them to shut-the *%#-up. I was the collation cook (for real, as well as in my dream) and I couldn't find a quiet place to prepare the simple dish of rice and cheese sauce. And boy, was I angry.

I was angry because nobody seemed to think the agreement we had made at conference to work on our silence had fallen down on the very first day. Angry because I wanted and needed the silence and nobody cared what I wanted and needed. I was angry because I was cooking THEM their food and couldn't find a peaceful place to do it. Angry... because I couldn't control them. I tried reason, guilt, bullying, whining, and finally, the ultimate cop-out... I refused to cook. I threw up my hands and huffed out of the kitchen, making a beeline to my mentor's office, to not only tattle, but to announce that I would not be able to provide the afternoon collation. Let them eat bread!

I woke up with a start, the angry tears still stinging my eyes, and realized it wasn't real. It was my worst nightmare. And yet on a deeper level it was very real. Anger is the key emotion for Enneagram Ones who can't get their way. For some numbers the emotion is fear, or doubt, or something else, but for us, it is anger. Fully awake, I went over the dream and realized that the biggest case for being angry was that I couldn't control my own anger.

When I arrived (awake) in the kitchen to start the rice, our housekeeper and maintenance man were talking. I did my best to tune them out and smiled. They had no clue why I was smiling.

1 comment:

merryn said...

Thanks for sharing! Being an Enneagram Nine I can fully relate to the anger issue. I've only just recently realized that the reason I'm so angry at work is because I'm mad at myself for continuing to work there...