I haven’t had a nightmare in 40 years. Last night I did, and it was a doozy. Woke me up and kept me awake for three hours, sorting out the meaning.
In my nightmare, I was standing in my entrance hall, greeting some visitors. In my busy life as an author and CEO of two international corporations, this happens a lot. There were six visitors, standing crowded in two groups of three. Some had clothes on hangers, some had traveling bags. Being raised in the deep South, I am programmed to be cordial to all visitors. It is in our culture and our genes.
Then as I am welcoming them into my house, I recognize that one of them is Donald Trump. My stomach fills up with sour brine. My smile droops. I am momentarily speechless, then my old program of welcoming strangers kicks in, and I paste a watered down smile on my face. My voice tone changes though, and it is not welcoming. I decide not to correct my voice as I cast around deciding what to do next. As the the hostess the polite thing would be to show them where to place their hangers and traveling bags. Those laden with traveling suitcases and clothes on hangers would be taken upstairs to place the clothes or to show them to their rooms, but I have not invited them and in spite of the over-night bags, I do not want them in my house. I am stuck in between my Mother’s programs and my own inclinations. What to do? We are all standing awkwardly in our large entrance hall when I wake up. The sour stomach is real, has made it from the nightmare into my waking life.
For several weeks, I have been re-reading a book on “Dreams and Nightmares” by my mentor, Dr. Jack Downing, and now, in bed, at 3 am, I wonder what conundrum this nightmare is trying to answer about my life. What unsolved, unfinished problem is trying to be completed in my sleep? It takes me a while, but the sour stomach finally gives me enough clues to solve the meaning behind this particular nightmare.
In an earlier portion of my life, before California, I was in a situation where I entertained a lot of clients in my large house…. week-end guests, dinner parties, football buffets, and lavish corporate entertainments. Each New Years we hosted a large number of corporate clients in the Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.
At midnight, the huge crowd cheered, hugged and kissed. Unattractive clients would corner me and try their best to kiss me in the melee. I hated this. I am very particular whom I wish to kiss. But these were clients and I was supposed to make them happy. Thus the stomach upset. The difference between what I wanted and what they wanted made me sick and I was not allowed to follow my own desires with the corporate dollars at risk.
My nightmare was repeating my conclusion that I had to be true to me, no matter what, and bringing to my attention that I did not want to kiss or deal with Donald Trump and his baggage, no matter how large my house nor how many suitcases he is carrying.