Withdraw Withdrawal

Whether the dream shows the withdrawal in the form or a movement, such as pulling back one’s hand, or in the form of deep introversion, it depicts some aspect of pulling back the subtle extensions of oneself made in work, relationships, sex and life involvement. Consider the clues given in the dream to define what you are withdrawing.

In sleep and death consciousness gradually withdraws from the physical into its own centre rather like a snail withdrawing into its shell This disappearance of personal awareness in sleep is an entrance into the world of death. The half way meeting between the wisdom of the spirit and waking consciousness is experienced as dreams.

Occasionally extreme trauma can cause massive withdrawal. Changing from a child into an adult faces you with all manner of stresses. The risks are real. A few adolescents do commit suicide or go over the edge from anorexia, drugs or drink, alll are methods of withdrawal. Even feigning death is a powerful withdrawal; for feigning death, which in everyday terms means closing down emotionally, being introverted in some degree, not risking yourself too much in challenges such as exams or pushing in the competetive wprld. If the going gets tough you might once more ‘feign death’ and withdraw. This is not always the most productive stance, so be aware of it.

There was not an actual work problem to discover in the sense of hidden childhood trauma to release. There was no trauma or injury. There was instead a very powerful behaviour that led to repeated destruction of what I had carefully built up – like refusing to run weekends – being snotty so they will not invite me anyway – writing to cancel it once I had accepted it. Also by making a good start so it looks as if I have tried, then withdrawing effort when it comes to extending into the unknown, insecure area of advancing a cause. I can then look around and say – you see, I really did try, but it’s no good, life, circumstances were against me. Feel sorry for me. Maybe I blamed it on our lack of money, not enough time, psychological pain, but not on my own terror of walking out into the unknown and exposed areas of insecure life. At some point I remembered the tremendous physical anxiety I had felt when searching for work. It was an actual pain in my lower abdomen, a real burning gnawing deep inside. I went right into the anxiety, and it was the fear any life form feels when exposed to danger.

I believe that many reactions we develop in regard to childhood treatment are not simply traumas but are habits that got deeply etched into us as survival tactics. So not only do we need to experience and heal the feelings, but then we have to work bloody hard to develop new habits. See http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/habits/

Something I experienced in meeting this was when I met my first habit as a new born baby. I spoke as the new born baby of my dream I really felt as if this was me, newly born. I had had a difficult birth and my reaction was that I wanted nothing to do with life. I wanted to stay curled up like an egg, not getting involved in the exterior world.

The adult observing me could see how this aspect of my inner life had led me to be withdrawn from social activity all my life, so I explained this to the baby me, saying – I need you to be ready to meet the world. You are a part of me and if you continue to withdraw I lack the enthusiasm to get involved with other people.

Back as the baby I felt totally vulnerable and didn’t want to take any risks – No I don’t want to come out of the egg. This was said with set determination.

As the adult again I said – Look, if you remain curled up this is more of a gamble than actually getting out and taking risks in life. Just lying there anything can get you.  I had watched a documentary of baby turtles hurry to the sea, and some of them got eaten by seagulls.

The view of the seagulls really, really got to me as the baby. I could see that simply lying there was more dangerous than being still. I felt a change in me and a readiness to begin the journey of meeting life outside the womb.  This change really made a difference to my everyday activities. A lifelong habit of being introverted gradually dropped away.

So to meet the anxious or frightened defensive self we need to understand its real feelings and that it cannot let them go without a real other view of what it could do – move instead of lying there where everything can get you – or whatever you can do to move the inner determination of your child self. Obviously you need to experiment to see what will work.

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