I had a really vivid dream last night. It scared me how real it felt and I awoke in a pool of sweat. I found myself cuddling in bed with another man. He was holding me and kissing me when my teenage son came in the bedroom to report that he was going off to hang out with some of his friends. His reaction to my being held by another man, naked in bed, was matter-of-fact and nonchalant. It was as if this was no big deal and that everything was cool between me and him. I don't know where my wife or daughters were - as far as I can remember - they didn't exist. And yet, why was I so wigged out that my son "caught" me in bed and yet he didn't really think anything of it?
The man I was with tried to lovingly comfort me and calm me down. When I looked back into the eyes and arms of the guy that was holding me, it was a guy I work with from time to time. I have no physical relationship whatsoever with him and yet in my dream there he was in my bed with me. When I recognized him, it was at that point I awoke in a panic.
I don't dream very often. My dreams are few and far between and often come out as disjointed vignettes. I'm not like J G-W who has meaningful, thoughtful and intelligent dreams. Oh to think what John has to endure as he contemplates much more significant, relevant subconscious thoughts!
In the end, I continue to feel vulnerable and exposed. Why am I so afraid of being found out? What am I so ashamed of? What's the big deal? In today's world, being a 20-something, maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal - but for this old bugger, it still is a big deal.
As I conducted priesthood meeting on Sunday, I thought of all these good brothers before me who were fellow old buggers, who didn't have a clue of what vain and silly things I had done this last week and how confused and torn I was inside, longing to be loved and understood, and yet unable to tell them. What if they did know - would they stone me out the door of the church? My facade securely in place, I proceeded to greet each with a firm handshake, making eye-contact one-on-one, and several I gave warm hugs. I needed that touch. But in doing so, I felt isolated and alone - I felt not apart of them. I was separate. I was different, and they had not a clue what was going on inside me.
We were having a discussion on the post-mortal spirit world. There was a quote that was read that said: "The spirits of righteous people who have died are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and are often pained therewith" (Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 326) and "Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us". (Ezra Taft Benson).
My thoughts went to the idea that my loved ones, particularly my recent family member who has passed on two months ago, are watching me. Do they have a clue? Do they know my issues and struggles? Do they see me do stupid things, and are pained at my struggles that I've tried to keep private and closeted all my life. The thought that they are aware of my thoughts and feelings and emotions and are pained therewith give me pause. Maybe it's presumptuous of me to think that I'm this important to be the focus of their attention, as I've thought that those who have died are way to preoccupied with other concerns than with those of us still in our mortal estate - I thought they had more important things to worry about. I'm not real comfortable with the thought that our dearly departed see all that we do in secret. Somehow, I know the Lord knows, but does everyone know?
I don't know about you, but I'm not real comfortable with the idea of dearly departed grandmother or grandfather watching me in the shower or noting my every indiscretion. I hope that they don't see everything, but that they are allowed to see that which is needed to be seen, to help us along the way.
So, with the dream of my son knowing and not caring, with wondering about priesthood brothers knowing about my issues and fear of rejection from them, with these thoughts of the afterlife and dear loved ones knowing every needful thing, and with being too open and exposed in this blog, I keep asking myself - what's the big deal? What am I so afraid of?