Last night, I had a strange anxiety dream. I was with a group of people on a hiking trip. We were staying in a cabin, when it was time to hike, I decided to stay behind and sleep in the cabin. While I was there, a wild bear came charging out of the woods and tried to maul me. I beat him off and then shortly afterwards, a tiger came charging out of the woods and tried to eat me. I beat HIM off. By this time, I was in a pretty bad state. I was bleeding profusely and had a lot of rips and tears in my skin. This is when a big, black dog came and tried to bite my hands. I somehow got away from the dog.

Eventually, the others showed up, and I explained to them what had happened to me. They tried to get me to the hospital, but they couldnít get organized enough. They kept going off track and losing focus. It took them so long that I healed on my own, and went to work the next day (Monday).

The dream takes another turn after that. It was still vivid and incorporated anxiety, but it wasnít as terrifying as the first part.

This dream sticks out to me because it doesnít follow the same patterns as my other anxiety dreams. Iíve never been attacked by animals in a dream before.

Although, this dream was kind of scary, it wasnít AS bad as some of the dreams that I have been having the past few weeks. Saturday morning, I woke up sobbing.

The past few weeks, ever since I came back from the monastery, Iíve been meditating as regularly as I can. I also meditated quite a bit at the monastery, so I already had a lot of momentum from that. At first, I was dealing with a lot of anger. That anger then turned to depression. I think my lowest point was late last week. My self-loathing was out in full-force.

That shouldnít have surprised me, but it did. I wasnít so much surprised that I had self-loathing, but that there was so much of it. On a day-to-day basis, I wouldnít say that Iím very much aware of hating myself. I suppose itís one of those things that implants into the brain when a person is very small and it festers there over years and years. Yesterday, I listened to an interesting call-in radio show about self-judgment. It had the usual interesting stuff that you might expect to hear on a show like that, but one nice little quip someone made was, ďAll buried emotions are buried alive.Ē

Forget burying them. It seems like you canít even kick a little dirt over them without them coming back with a vengeance.

This kind of explains why Iíve been in such an anxious and depressed state during the past several months. Self-loathing is probably the most destructive emotion that a person can have. Itís tricky, too. It doesnít want to be recognized, so itíll blame everyone and everything else, to make sure you never identify the real problem. It actually protects itself so it canít be easily be eradicated.

This weekend, for the first time, in a really, really, really long time, I actually started feeling a little bit like myself.

I also started having a little inkling of feeling good. By good, I donít mean that I was enjoying a distraction, I wasnít merely having fun and I wasnít congratulating myself for being accomplished. I felt a little, tiny bit accepting of the universe and my place in it. It was a real and solid peace of mind.

I wasnít fantastic or anything, but there was a little vague glimpse of it, and I recognized it immediately. I remember.

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Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2009 at 11:35 AM