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Earlier this week, I experienced a second evolution in my recurring “I’m not good enough” dream (and I am pretty sure you have had similar dreams…er…nightmares).

For me, these dreams always revolve around graduating from college.

For the longest time (like 30 years) they involved me being at graduation about to get my diploma, and I know the truth and “they” probably do too: I probably don’t have enough credits. Rather than finding out ahead of time, I wait to be found out.

I can’t find my dorm room, I can’t find my classrooms, I get way behind on homework, or I don’t show up for final exams, and so on.

Cue the shame and dread.

And then six years ago, the dream changed (evolution 1.0).

In that dream, I wasn’t 21, I was 54 and I had to go to an office to get my diploma (and like most dreams, it was this totally random place that was not familiar to me in any way). Inside it looked like a combination old-time court room and bank.

My mother and stepfather were there (even they’ve been divorced since the early ‘80s), as was my husband. They sat on a long wooden bench as I stood at the counter and spoke to a woman sitting behind a thick glass wall.

I told her my name and she went through her list and couldn’t seem to find me. Dread welled up, and then I remembered.

“Oh, it’s probably under ‘Lindsay.’ I got married.”

Hold on, I need to add that to the record,” she replied.

She shuffled her papers some more and then handed me (through a slot at the bottom of the glass), a gorgeous, thick, tooled leather-covered diploma.

But it was more like a book. And inside was page after page of all my accomplishments. Some things were were seemingly insignificant, but the pride I felt, as I leafed through the book, was immense.

~~~

In this most recent dream, evolution 2.0, it turned out that, yup, it’s true, I hadn’t actually done the work, and I hadn’t met certain requirements, nor had I honored commitments like practicing my part in a play or showing up to the performance. I didn’t even tell anyone I wasn’t doing it. They all showed up on stage and I…didn’t.

And here’s the stunning (to me) part: there was no dread or shame. I just told them that I was tired and had changed my mind. And that it would totally fine if they didn’t want to give me my diploma.

I was all, “Meh, keep it. I’m fine with or without the piece of paper.”

There was A LOT more happening in this dream and some of it may have been significant, like a bathtub full of mold(?) and President Barak Obama showing up and taking a walk with me (I’ll keep what we talked about to myself :-).

But mostly, it was a message from me to me about me: you have been deeply loved and respected since the moment you were born.

What are YOU dreaming about?

Much, much love,

Karen

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