Last night I was plagued by graphic dreams. One, involving my Mom, really pounded on my feelings of inferiority. It was a harsh dream brought on, no doubt, by my recent pondering of the inferiority complex that I struggle to overcome. It is one of my more persistent Demons. Fortunately, Brain stepped in and rescued my subconscious. In the next dream I had been hired as a running/track coach for a small school, and even though I knew my experience was not great, I knew I was up to the challenge. I woke at 4am from the scrambling I took because of these dreams. Wide awake in the chill, black of the Winter Solstice. I lay in the dark, thinking over the inner-workings of Brain, wondering what exactly it is telling me. I wanted to get up and write, mull over thoughts in black and white, but my bed was warm, and my desk was not. Bed won out. But Brain was not going to let me slip back into the forgetfulness of sleep, so I realized that there was more to my dreaming than random weirdness.
I thought over the dream with my Mom. First, you must understand that my mother is a loving, supportive woman who is a wonderful role model. In my dream, however, she was very harsh and critical of everything from my clothes, to my housekeeping, to my overly rambunctious dogs. Yes, I have been acutely aware of the fact that I have been neglecting my housekeeping in order to put time and energy into other, more worthy efforts, and my house is stressing me out. Obviously, since I was dreaming about being criticized about it. As for my dogs? I have been feeling neglectful there as well since life seems to be propelling me forward at such a chaotic pace, and it feels like I am always running, never home, and they are the ones to suffer. But what was most noticeable in my dream were my feelings of failure, inadequacy, and inferiority. This is deep rooted, and does get brought to the fore by circumstances more frequently than I would like. In part, it is from feeling as if I have never really been in a relationship where I was appreciated for who I am. I have always felt like I have fallen short in some way, no matter how I try. This is all changing, but I still feel the echoes of my past too keenly, the echoes are fading, though slowly. Also, I keenly feel my lack of formal education and career. I am surrounded by so many people successful in these areas, and I tend to feel like the blue collar, country mouse surrounded by white collar, techno-mice. I know I am being totally unfair to myself, but there is no rationality involved, these are visceral, self-doubting, lizard brain thoughts, beyond logic or an easy fix.
The second dream counteracted the first. Me as a track coach is definitely a stretch, but Brain knew exactly what it was doing. One arena that I often do quite well in is the self-motivation of physical fitness and nutrition. No matter which activity I choose, I am willing to be devoted to honing my body as best I can. True, I do change directions now and then, forcing me to start all over again as a newbie. But this has given me a fantastic understanding of so many aspects of training. My current regimen for triathlon has me researching and implementing new exercises, workouts, schedules, nutritional tweaks. I am pushing myself every day. Brain decided to throw this back at me, when I was faltering from the previous dream. Brain stepped in and showed me where I excel, showed me where I am not a failure, inadequate or inferior. True, I am not a top tier athlete, but I am a dedicated one. I may not be the fastest, or strongest, but I have Heart.
Heart. That is one arena that I do not feel inadequate or inferior. If I fail at everything else I ever try, I know my Heart is strong, loving, dedicated. I was once told, when I was at an absolute nadir, that I always, "lead with your Heart, strong and true." It is my greatest strength. Recently I was told I have a "Hero's Heart," this is probably the greatest compliment anyone has ever given me. I blush thinking of it, but am warmed by it. So despite a deep rooted Inferiority Complex, I do know I have Heart. My Heart will always keep me getting back up and moving forward, it will not allow me to succumb to grief, inadequacy, or failure. I will keep getting up and moving forward because I have a strong Heart. I do Lead With My Heart. I always will.