Dear Jane Teresa,
I had an insight recently that I think you might be interested in.
I was driving along in my car on a long trip last week, listening to your podcast, and I started thinking about all the dream interpretation and alchemy I did several years ago, when I was going through the process of a divorce, questioning my religion, raising small babies, moving, and a host of other extremely stressful situations. I had remembered lots of dreams during that time period, and I had tried to do an alchemy at least every couple of weeks. Now I wondered, in hindsight, while driving down the highway, if the dream alchemy had really helped, actually. It seemed to me like my healing took a long time. And in fact, I still haven't accomplished some of the goals that I was hoping to achieve through alchemy. Was that all a waste of time? Or did it actually make a difference? "Ah well, who knows," I thought.
When I arrived at my destination, I stopped at a café and to my surprise, I randomly happened to bump into an old friend. We hadn't seen each other in years, but I knew that he had gone through a similar period of extreme stress, around roughly the same time I had gone through mine. As we were talking, catching up, I noticed that when he brought up the names of certain people, or mentioned certain places or situations, how bitter his language became. He was still angry, and I sensed that his current life is hampered by his anger. It was so obvious to me, but as he was speaking I got the feeling that he wasn't even aware of how angry he was.
I noticed that by comparison, I was doing well, emotionally speaking. I am no longer angry at the people involved. I'm not nearly as bitter as I used to be. I feel like I have made considerable progress in making peace with (much of) my past. (Though I'm sure there is more work to be done!) I am able to look at what happened to me, and not be triggered by panic or rage. I'm more relaxed, and definitely happier than I ever have been.
When I noticed the difference between myself and my friend, it felt like there was my answer. I had engaged with my unconscious, as one (of several) interventions to improve my inner condition, during that time period of extreme stress, and now I can see that my hard work really did help. I may not have achieved everything I wanted, but perhaps the very act of trying at all was enough for the unconscious to continue its drive for maturity and wholeness and peace, at a faster rate than it could have otherwise.
Now, of course, my friend's situation was not exactly like mine, his personality is not mine, I used other interventions besides only dream alchemy, and so forth, so I can't really make any kind of scientific comparison. These are just my subjective impressions. But the uncanny timing and surprise nature of the visit caused me, at least, to pay attention. It felt like an affirmation to the question I had asked myself earlier in the day. Yes, I am better off for having paid attention to my dreams and having tried to intervene. Yes, I did make progress in 4 years that other people might have needed 8 years for (or who knows how long). Yes, the unconscious should be listened to.
Since you had helped me with a couple of my dreams, I thought I would share this testimonial with you. Thank you so much for the show, for your research and development into the topic of dreams, and your dedication to share it with the world.