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CicelyRobinLaing©2014
I had a nightmare just before I woke up this morning.
 
As I lay there half asleep… my mind filled with thoughts. Thought that made me feel bad about myself and the things I do. I was sent down the slippery path of wondering why I don’t get to do certain things that I want to do, or why I don’t feel accepted for who I am, or could be if given a chance. Or why I can’t be a better person for those that I love.
The nightmare made me wonder if every nice thing anyone’s ever said to me, were just empty acts of kindness. That I don’t really see the truth about myself. I don’t see the way others see me and the way I truly am. In my head every voice that ever said “Why did you even bother showing up?” was out in full force. And my little, childlike self confidence just curled up into a ball and rolled under the bed. This kind of mental crap is the real waking nightmare…
 
The mind can be incredibly mean sometimes. Depression can sneak in and spoil things that should be successes. The social pressure to be humble (but great), the selfish needs of the ego and the “aloneness” of being a human, conspire to knock that fragile kite of happiness out of the sky. Even in a strong positive wind a kite can spin out of control and smash into the ground. The wind that holds up my kite is full of the support of kind people. People who have said nice things to me, or shown me love and friendship. And I have been buoyed by the short lasting gusts of life experiences. Experiences that have given me a chance to grow as a human. But that wind can only hold up my kite if the attached string holds tight. And I feel like my string is full of knots and frayed ends.
 
I know I am not alone in my kitemare. There are lots of struggling kites up in this very cloudy sky. And most of us don’t even know what is anchoring us to the earth. But knowing you are not the only one doesn’t really help with the fear. The terrifying fear that comes when you feel the wind drop, and you get that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. You don’t even tell yourself to hold on, cause there’s nothing to hold on to. And you try to drum up your own wind. One that’s just strong enough to carry you on until a real wind blows again.
 
But maybe, just maybe, that wind that we make for ourselves is more like a whistle. One that summons a sunny gale or a dark storm. Either way it lifts us up and keeps us going a bit longer. And maybe, our string is stronger because it’s all tangled up in the strings of others. Hopefully those others are entwined friends and not the messy knots of crazy-makers. I hope that I will always have enough breath left to whistle a little.

 
I don’t have a cure for my nightmares or my kitemares. I can’t see a way to make it better because I am already doing the best I can do. And maybe that’s enough. My father told me to do what makes you happy. But I learned soon enough by watching him that life is never just “happy”. “Happy” is often sandwiched in between struggles, grief and pain. You can’t always control things, maybe you can’t control anything. You can try to control yourself, but even that is not always possible. So, there are no answers, only questions and a great deal of effort. I cherish my happy sandwich, even if I wouldn’t mind less bread.
 
So… I guess I finally understand that life is a picnic.
Ants and all…
And if I fall asleep for a nap, I may have a nightmare.
Okay…
Thanks for letting me talk it all out at you.
 
Anyone want to go fly a kite?

In My Dreams by Cicely Robin Laing.


Words & images by Cicely Robin Laing © 2017

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