We can’t help knowing that something bad could happen if we do X…or Y…or maybe Z. Like Odysseus steering his ship between sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis, we must navigate between risk avoidance and recklessness. One keeps us out of life; the other jeopardizes wellbeing. In pre-modern times life in the external world was fraught with danger and risk; in the modern world, the consequences of risk are more often internal.
Possible disappointment, shame or failure may feel intolerable, but not constitute actual disaster. Assessing risk requires willingness to engage inner conflict–and discern, then answer, the call to enlarged life. When Odysseus’ ship later sank, he clung to the roots of a fig tree. He, and we, have access to psychic roots that can support us. And the day came when the risk to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin
Here’s the dream we analyze:
“In the countryside I find a baby crawling on the side of a road with some cars driving by. I saw the mother earlier and I judge her for being so irresponsible. It enrages me but I fear expressing my rage. I do not want to provoke drama from her. I pick up the baby and bring it to where she stays with her family in a holiday home. The family doesn’t take her so seriously, but when I place the baby with them they are not even surprised or shocked about that. She seems unimpressed as well. I still worry for drama coming from them but it doesn’t seem to come. The baby appears unbothered, too.”
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