Deflection ~ Reaction ~ Values
I awoke from a dream with my head full of emotion and my body reacting to the stress of the memory – I desperately wanted to go back to sleep and resolve the situation that my thoughts and memories told me I had just been experiencing. Yet at the same time the logical part of my brain was telling me it was just a dream. That logic did not stop my body and mind from continuing to ‘work’ as though my dream was reality. Even now, more than an hour since I woke up, I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach that is making me feel slightly sick! And it was just a dream. Or was it?
To some the dream may give no reaction, to some it may not have even rated on the scale of being a nightmare, there were no blood and guts, no one was physically hurt, there were no high speed car chases. The dream was just about an interaction between strangers and it ‘pushed buttons’ based around my values, triggered a reaction and left me feeling that the tactics of deflection had been used against or towards me and that triggered that feeling of ‘unfair’.
The word ‘unfair’ leaves me feeling as though I am acting like a child. We all know that at times life can be ‘unfair’ and there are times when we just have to ‘get on with it’ and ‘accept that life is like that at times’. I realise as I am writing this that ‘fairness’ and doing what is right are very important values to me – They always have been. I can look back on my past and see many occasions where I have trudged on and on, in conversations and debates, if I felt that ‘fairness’ was not being taken into account. I can also see that by me trying to ‘push’ for a good resolution I often looked as though I was being ‘petty or childish’! It often wasn’t the situation that was the issue – it was the principle. I also remember having that ‘sick’ feeling in my stomach if I felt that I was not being heard or listened to.
Back to the dream. I was In a large oak panelled, high ceilinged room. There were long wooden tables with equally long wooden benches at their sides. The lighting generated a warm comfortable glow and there was a huge open log fire burning in the grate. I was sat at one of the long tables with my back resting against the wall behind me. There were study books, pens of many colours, post it notes and highlighting pens spread around the notebook in front of me. I had the sense that I was on a course that was based around inner growth and understanding.
The room was also used for mealtimes and my initial awareness was that it was time to clear away the books and make room for the food that was about to served. As usual, when I am engrossed in the subject I am studying, the last thing I wanted to do was stop to eat and I had left it to the last minute. My books were still spread on the table and others were coming into the room to join us for the meal.
I decided to quickly get up to get a drink of water from a table at the side. When I turned around two people had sat where I and my friend had been sitting. I started to explain that they were in my seat and those were my books. They looked at me vaguely, then at each other and laughed. They carried on with their conversation. My books were still on the table in front of them, I pointed to them and I tried again. No response. I remember starting to feel my body respond to an impending stress. I turned to look for my friend and could not see her/ him. By the time I turned back my books and things had gone from the table. Panic and stress were building in my body, sudden fear at losing all of the work I had done and …………………………..
It was at that point that I realised the people at the table did not speak my language and gestures were not getting me anywhere. I was trying to remain dignified and respectful and would not have had a problem at that moment with moving to another table – yet my books and things were now missing and the people at the table appeared to be finding my ‘discomfort’ amusing. This was triggering more and more responses in my body that were ‘alien’ to me and the life that I was living now. After all I was on the journey of self discovery.
It was at that moment that I awoke – I stared to become aware of how I was feeling, I felt an aching hollow and a feeling of loss at having lost all of my work and books, I felt frustration at not having a conclusion to the situation, I also felt stress that others around may have thought I was being ‘petty’ as they did not know the whole picture. Yet then again – did I know the whole picture?
Have you ever woken from a dream and wanted to go back to see the ending? Well that is how I was and I tried for nearly an hour! In the end I gave up and decided that it was time to get up.
Do dreams have meanings and hold lessons for growth and understanding? For many people they are a guide to life and interpretations of dreams help to steer them on their daily journey. For others they are just dreams and are gone in an instant.
In my life at the moment there have been situations where I feel my voice has not been heard and that the words I have said have been interpreted and portrayed out of context. Or should I say out of ‘my context’ you see I only have one angle of ‘context’ – I have the angle that contains the ingredients of my side of the experience.
If, for instance, I take look at the recounting of my dream, from my point of view, it would be very easy for me to interpret/perceive it in a way that the people who sat at the table, in a spot that was obviously already taken (as my books were there), were being slightly ‘ignorant’, ‘rude’, ‘out of order’ etc, etc, and that they were in the wrong.
Yet there is another side to it, in fact there are probably many sides and interpretations to it. I may not know the ‘rules’ of the dining hall. Perhaps there is a hierarchy and an order for which groups sit at individual tables. Perhaps unwittingly I had broken an unspoken rule. Perhaps this was the way things were done. Perhaps my books had been kindly moved to the correct table for me to sit on and in just a moment someone who did speak my language was going to come and explain this situation to me. Oh there are so many ‘perhaps’.
Language and understanding – In my dream there was the ‘issue’ of speaking different languages. It was obvious as our languages were from different continents. However we could have all spoken English and there could still have been a language barrier. I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that each of us holds/has our own definition to any word and each of those definitions is based on our individual life ingredients/experiences. For example simple words such as, fun, family, in-laws, holiday …………………….. and many more will all hold different pictures or references in each individuals mind, each will conjure up different memories and experiences – thus meaning that the interpretation will be different for everyone.
This one realisation has the ability to ‘change history’ – well at least our individual personal history. Now that sounds like a big statement – and it is, or at least maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. It just depends on your interpretation.
Can we open this up for discussion?
The Dictionary definitions of each of the title words
Deflection ~ the act of directing people’s attention or criticism away from something
Reaction ~ There are many types of meaning for the word Reaction. In my experience, quite often, people have more than one type of ‘reaction’ in the same moment to any given situation.
Emotional response – an emotional or intellectual response that something arouses, eg, My initial reaction was to laugh.
Active response – a response to something that involves taking action, or an action taken in response to something, eg, My heart
skipped a beat in reaction to his smile
Opposing action – an act in opposition to somebody or something, eg, a reaction against inequality.
Physical response – a response to the physical effects of something such as heat, cold, stress, emotions, etc
Values ~ again there are many types of meaning for the word Values – the one that I am covering in this is – Principles or Standards – the accepted principles or standards of a person or a group
© Jaki Bent 2008 – 2011