A woman in her 70’s had an alcoholic son whom she often bailed out of trouble. She dreamed:
I am standing at my kitchen sink looking out the window. I see my son walking quickly to the front door. He enters without knocking. He is wearing black, as he often does, and is much younger than he is now. He hurries past me to the table side of the kitchen and immediately starts disrobing and changing his clothes into a bright red suit with top hat. It is a man’s formal suit with large lapels. It’s a suit like a circus ringmaster might wear. I awaken before he is fully outfitted.
Perhaps there are persons in your life who have you doing tricks at their bidding. They crack the whip and you jump through the hoops. They’ve got you trained and your role has become second nature to you. You are so habituated to the routine it’s hard to recognize you’re doing it, much less stop yourself from doing it.
Sometimes the other person doesn’t even have to be present. You are controlled from afar by your worries or thoughts about them. You anticipate realities that may never come to pass, yet there you are already preparing or rehearsing for them.
Sometimes the ringmaster is a part of yourself–an idea, belief, or attitude that keeps you keyed up or doing things compulsively. Maybe you feel it’s your job to fulfill others’ expectations, fix their problems, or forestall disasters. Perhaps it is a voice that plays like an 8-track tape in your head, so accustomed to it that you’ve forgotten it is there and that you live by it.
If these descriptions fit you, perhaps it’s time to tune into the voice of your inner self. This voice comes more from your body than your head. It feels different, has more weight and solidity than the compulsive thoughts you’ve become accustomed to. It is centering rather than agitating, grounded and visceral rather than idealistic or intellectual. It feels right and resonates deep inside you. It gives you quiet confidence rather than mindless compulsivity. It may even give you the strength to open the door and send the ringmaster and his circus on their way.