Continuing yesterday’s post, Day 11: Wrestling with Myself, Part 1
I emailed a few of my blogs posts to my doctor and he started reading some other posts on my blog. When we met, he brought up a post I wrote about demons. In this post, I detailed a dream I’d had years before during my health crisis.
I dreamed that I was on the top floor of my in-laws’ home, and that a black cat with pale blue eyes devoid of pupils was assaulting me, digging it’s claws into my arm. At one point it let go and disappeared, and Robert searched for it as I tried to hide. Eventually we both ended up in the basement, and there we found the cat. Suddenly it turned into a tall emaciated young woman with greasy black hair divided into pigtails, and still the same blue eyes with no pupils. She was barefoot, wearing a child’s sleep shirt and shorts. She was quite terrifying, and she began attacking me. I tried to fight back but she was completely flexible in every way. As soon as I’d grab her, she’d bend her way out of my grip. At one point I looked over at Robert, and he just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders, implying that he couldn’t help me.
Finally, I felt some sort of revelation. With a sudden surge of strength, I pushed her up against the wall with my hands around her neck. I said, “With a better friend, I’ll kill you. Bam- you’re dead.” I choked her, her eyes dimmed, and I woke up.
When I awoke from this dream, I recalled my words “with a better friend, I’ll kill you.” This was a line from a poem I wrote a couple years prior about my struggle with hopelessness, and that I would eventually overcome with it with the power of Jesus- my “better friend” (click here to read poem).
Recalling these words, I was convinced that this cat/woman was actually a demon, and that I had finally killed her with the power of Jesus. I wrote a long post about my thoughts regarding demons and what I believed was my own personal experience with them.
My doctor offered me a different perspective of this dream. Perhaps I wasn’t wrestling a demon. Perhaps I was really wrestling with myself, a part of myself that I had demonized. After all, “cat lady” and I were both tall, skinny, and flexible with long dark hair. He pointed out that my wrestling with this character mirrored my wrestlings with my body and general self. No matter how hard I try to gain control, my body shifts and changes and refuses to be pinned down. And while it appears angry and violent, perhaps that’s my own anger and violence projected on to it.
I had to admit this made a lot of sense. It was a much different perspective and approach than what I was used to. Obviously, my approach had gotten me no where, so perhaps it was time to try being nice for awhile. Instead of casting out my demons, perhaps I could try loving them into redemption. Jesus’ mandate to “love your enemies” came to mind. Could I apply that to my situation? I decided it was worth a shot.
And so, I decided to put aside the demonic/controlling approach for awhile and think of my body as an old friend that just needed some empathy and compassion. My body had been trying to communicate with me for years but I had refused to listen. It was time to wave the white flag and enter into peace talks.
In order to do this, I needed to descend into the Shadow…
Tomorrow I’ll share about the Jungian concept of the Shadow personality and some interesting personal revelations I received.