Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one.
-Baltasar Gracian 17th Century Jesuit Philosopher
Sometimes I feel like a fraud. Frequently, lately. Not sure if it is a a lack of concentrated effort on my part or just life. Surrounded by piles of dishes and boxes of Halloween decorations yet to be hung, I am struggling to find time to write or meditate or practice any of the ideas explored on this blog. I have not tried most of the techniques for cultivating intuition suggested in Laura Day’s book How To Rule the World From Your Couch yet. But maybe just reading about intuition, just thinking about being more intuitive is a worthwhile beginning. Since I started reading the book, I have had vivid, memorable dreams.
The other night I dreamt that my daughter was holding my hand when I answered the door. A little black bird with the sweetest woman’s voice said “how does it feel to be a mommy? Before I could answer, the bird asked a follow up question “and how does it feel to be a superhero?”. I protested, I am no hero. To which the bird replied, “Actually, you are.” Than the bird asked to use my bathroom. As soon as I let it in, a man dressed like a tooth fairy tried to walk in behind the bird. I shut the door on that weirdo. Pretty soon, a line started forming outside our house to see the superhero inside.
So here is my interpretation of the dream: to my daughter, I am a superhero. To a child, their parents have all the answers. Parents are capable of everything. Going to Disney. Visiting Grandma. Cooking a favorite food. Making you feel safe. From a child’s perspective, driving a car or bringing them on a plane ride is no less wondrous than flying with a cape. What about making ice cream appear on demand, kissing boo-boos all better and knowing how to read bedtime stories? Super!
I felt like the tooth fairy trying to sneak in behind the bird in my dream signified the short window that my child will believe that I am a superhero before the invisibility cloak stops hiding my flaws. Will I have as long as their belief in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny or will they figure me out right away? Finally, the line forming outside our house in the dream seemed to tell me that: if I could be as my daughter sees me, I really would be a hero. I really would be somebody people worth getting to know.
But I couldn’t figure out the blackbird. Why a blackbird? My daughter uses the word “actually” quite frequently. She was holding my hand in the dream. Wasn’t it her talking to me? Maybe I needed something as unreal as a talking bird to capture my attention and make me remember. But here is what blew me away. Just out of curiosity, I looked up the symbolism of “blackbird in dreams”. According to My Dream Meanings, the blackbird represents:
pessimism and negativity. The loss of positive thinning tends to hold you in your tracks, thus preventing you from accomplishing anything in waking hours. With the blackbird in mind, your sense of responsibility is overwhelmed by doom and gloom.
The definition was right on the money. That is not my subjective interpretation. No one told me about a blackbird’s meaning before hand. I was feeling like a fraud, demotivated, pessimistic and my subconscious conjured up a symbol of those very emotions. If you can train yourself to jot down your dreams as soon as you wake up, it is fascinating to look up the symbolism behind them.
My take away is not a new pastime to interpret dreams, but to take action on the dream messages that I can remember. For this dream, I am going to live by a new motto WWASHD? In other words, I am going to embody the superhero that my daughter sees in me and ask myself What Would A Super Hero Do?
If you don’t have children or your children are past the point of that blind faith, pick someone you love that makes you feel special. What do they love about you? What potential do they see in you or did they once see? Go back to that time. Go back to that feeling. Embrace their image of you with your cape on. If they are still alive, can you treat them as your first believer? Treat them like their superhero would treat them. If you can earn one true believer, wouldn’t it be easier to believe in yourself? Wouldn’t you really be a hero?
Who is your Lois Lane?