Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sometimes You're Just DONE

I had a really interesting series of dreams last night that involved people from almost every era of my life - long gone relatives, old lovers and childhood friends were blended into a melange of images that left me feeling "done" this morning. "Finished" is good.

I had to get up about a half dozen times last night to go to the bathroom, and I rarely get up more than once, if at all. It was as if my body was cleansing itself as my mind was doing the same. Each time I woke up I would think about what I had dreamed. When I went back to bed I would continue the dream, as if it were another scene in the same play. When it came to a natural conclusion I'd wake up and have to go to the bathroom again. I began to wonder just how much liquid I had consumed yesterday, but it was no more than normal.

The first time I woke up it was only about an hour after I went to sleep. The next time it was about 45 minutes later. Each time it was as if another chapter had come to a close.

Oddly enough, I also took a very long bath last night - as in hours long. That's always a sign of a clearing. When I went upstairs I had an urge to change my sheets, which I did. It was as if many things were pointing toward a clearing out. Not to mention all the cleaning out I've been doing in my house.

Two other interesting things - last night I unplugged the lamp by the bed, thinking I wouldn't be getting up until it was light anyway. So everytime I got up I turned the TV on for light, and yet that never changed my dream pattern.

The other interesting thing is that yesterday and the day before, I stepped on old, rusty nails in my yard that went through my shoe and were sticking the bottom of my foot. I haven't stepped on an old nail since I was a kid, and then it happens two days in a row, in areas I've walked in hundreds of times and never had a problem. Odd. One was in the back of the property and one near the front. I had on different shoes both times, but each time the nail went through the sole of the shoe. Two days ago, it was a small nail and a thick sole in my right foot. Yesterday it was a long nail and a thin solein my left foot. As I was driving to dinner last night I was considering what that meant - it seemed that the message was getting more intense.

The things that occurred to me were, "poking," "not seeing what was coming," "painful," "warning," "when you least expect it," and a host of other things. When something hasn't happened for decades and happens two days in a row it seems worthy of note. Maybe it was just that old business was pricking at me. Neither of them pierced the skin, but they were painful. Old business that's painful - no big shocker there.

When I woke up this morning about 5 and stayed up I took time to write about my dreams. Even before I started writing, I knew the meaning was that I was just "done" - with some people and some things and some situations. Done is good. It frees you to move on to other people and things and situations.

Some of these situations are in the past and some are current. I periodically go through a time when I just clear people out of my life - relationships that just aren't productive, where we really just aren't connecting, where I'm making all the effort in the relationship. I'm overdue for one of those clearings, but as of this morning the time has arrived. It's no big surprise, really, as over the last few months I've been taking my life in a new direction. That always means some people won't fit into your life anymore. Of course, there are also always those people who go through every season of life with you - those are the true, real, deep friends - they are few and they are priceless.

I really finished some old things last night - some of the past that I haven't been able to leave completely behind dissipated. It's a fresh slate.

I woke up determined to leave some current situations and relationships behind as well. There are always things I'm working on in some way or other. I'm officially letting go of a couple of those this morning. If they're meant to be, someone other than me can make them happen.

I'm also moving some people out of my "active" list. If our relationship is not deep now, and isn't growing, there's no point in putting any more energy into it. I'm always open to new friends, but there must be a natural progression toward more closeness or it's just a waste of time. I don't have any interest in casual friendships - you're either *in* it or you're not - if you're not, why bother. Casual is just a drain on one's energy - energy that could be devoted to something meaningful.

Well, obviously, I have much to think about. This isn't a new idea for me - I "clear out" about once a year, but it has never been suggested to me in the way this was. Sometimes, you're just DONE. And this morning I am DONE, with a lot of things.

Art of Gracious Living #31

Click here for show #31 and it will automatically download for you. You can listen to podcasts on your computer. You don't need an iPod or any additional software.

Setting boundaries is an essential for leading a gracious life. Each of us must know what our limits are and how to create a life within them.

We cannot possibly take advantage of every opportunity presented to us, and some of the choices would not be wise for us anyway. When we know how to set boundaries, it's easy to make good decision about our lives.

If we cannot define our boundaries, we cannot expect people to honor htem.

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