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Dreams: The Language of the Inner-Self

I enjoy reading the posts on this site about dreams. They are a pet topic.

A few weeks ago, I made a few personal notes on the subject, and Susie (A Wife’s Perspective on a Hill Worth Climbing) offered to edit them and add her specialized knowledge about the reasons for these experiences.

For many years, I have wakened an average of 5+ times a night - and often remembered what I was dreaming. This has provided me an opportunity to study those night time whispers of the subconscious more readily, and gain an understanding I might have otherwise missed. Sometimes, when going back to sleep, the dream continued as if I had never awakened. 

Because dreams are substantial reflections of our subconscious, I believe they help us to understand inner aspects of our personalities – our strengths, fears, denials, hopes and aspirations, etc.

Often a dream has scenarios that are relevant to the events that we have witnessed or were direct participants in during the previous day or week…or at least were related to our inner thoughts/reactions about the substance of our observations. There can also be parts of the dream that are harder to figure out; because the subconscious tries to fill in the blanks of its movie-like presentations, as if a wayward editor had deleted an important segment of film. It saves itself from long-term frustration by performing a rapid data search through the storage bank of past memory. Very little is lost by the subconscious, and it maintains unlimited chances of retrieval – which is why we so often experience a sense of having had a specific dream more than once.

Overall, dreams frequently reflect emotional issues that have had a strong impact on us - whether on-going or already resolved.

Much of our dream life is built on collective emotional responses to dozens of topics – with some of them occupying more of the subconscious’ attention when the inner self is ready to address, face and resolve that which we did not know how to address in the moment it occurred.

I have learned to first determine the degree of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) in the dream. If my dream has a challenging aspect to it – then it often helps to dissect the elements contained in my dream world and try to juxtaposition them with my waking world…in the hope of reaching understanding on how they represent inner insecurities, or fears I experience in my conscious life. This serves as a way to increase inner consciousness, awareness of self, and provide another clue to my path of self-acceptance and harmony.

Or, if the dream is happy, then it helps validate that my life is on a path that is pleasing both my conscious and subconscious self. The subconscious can be our best or worst friend. The more we can learn to clarify its messages to our inner self - through recognition that there is purpose in the imagery it paints for us - the less likely it becomes that insecurity and fear will freeze our emotional development.

In addition, the safer we will feel at letting go of all those thoughts that dash through our minds  and just let them be - knowing we have already been given a path that allows our subconscious to see in future time that which we cannot understand at present.

And the bottom line?

When I have a less-than-good dream, I encourage myself to look at the positive side of life. When I have a happy dream, it feels like being rewarded with a treat.

And…if there should happen to be a few nights in a row with less-than-ideal dreams, then it’s time to use the proven technique of spending the day’s last waking moments focusing on a specific thought or impression. The subconscious is an exceptional problem solver, and doing that can sometimes persuade the subconscious into revealing its treasures through my waking day, so that I may move on towards life’s next lesson.

It also makes an inner and outer commitment that I am responsible, and possess the tools for healthy emotional management and problem solving.  

Dream-time is the stage where the subconscious expresses those feelings and values that are many times more representative of the authentic me than I am normally willing to reveal. It is a guide that can lead me from the shadow to the light, and one that reliably teaches me from my own experiences and the emotions available from my subconscious, which are allowed to surface when I sleep. Reflecting on its message, I learn to be unafraid of that which lives within me, sleeping or awake.  

The subconscious can’t make anything up that doesn’t already exist within the mind – although it does reveal considerations about life events that the conscious mind might miss or deny.

One inward-looking tool for understanding dreams is the Enneagram system. It helps us be more conscious of our strengths and weaknesses, which in-turn influences our subconscious. Dreams are easier to translate when we already know the reasons for our reactions in a given situation.

Our personalities can change post-transplant. The medications have an effect and so does the new perspective on life.

The basic Enneagram personal analysis can be completed in 15-minutes. Each question has two answers. A person picks the one that reflects how they have felt for most of their life. It’s true we change somewhat over time, but genetics and upbringing have a major effect on our personality…so Enneagram is a good indicator of our inner-self.

At the end of the electronic test (available free on several internet sites) the computer immediately distributes a person among the 9 Enneagram categories of personality types. Generally, one of the categories scores the highest, and often a few others are close. As well, a person generally scores higher in a category where their instincts are primarily mind, or heart or body.

From the Enneagram system, this evidence gives us a stronger verification of who we are, and also how we react to all the emotional inputs we receive during each day. All of us have complex personalities, and Enneagram is a user-friendly method of helping us identify who we are – both underneath and on the surface.

When a person knows themselves – they are free indeed, for we have been promised that the truth will set us free.

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What is Your Personality Type?

You can discover the details of your personality type in 5-minutes.

Are you a 1 Reformer, 2 Helper, 3 Achiever, 4 Individualist, 5 Investigator, 6 Loyalist, 7 Enthusiast, 8 Challenger, 9 Peacemaker

Click on the link below to find out.

For those new to Enneagram (pronounced any a gram), it’s a fast, accurate, and highly-touted system that helps people get to know themselves (and others) better. Do you wonder why you feel motivated to do some things? Do you want to know where your strengths and weaknesses came from? Then, try this modern-era tool that has been in the fine-tuning stage for about 30-years.

The link above is a FREE version that you can take immediately, and without signing in. The one below is also FREE, but they ask for your email address. In either case, both sites are reputable and don’t have an ulterior motive – except perhaps to encourage you to dig deeper into your personality (and take more tests). The results of either test are provided as soon as you finish.

There is a lot of depth to this testing. It shows to which of the nine personality types a person belongs. The 9 types are all good.  None are bad. We are who we are.

Personally, I have yet to hear anyone who has taken the basic test; say it offered a wrong opinion of them. Apparently millions of people have already taken the 5-minute tests.

The test is easy. There are two answers to each question. The test-taker picks one of them. There is no right or wrong answer.

There are 9 types of people, and generally, we are primarily one of them with two subtypes.

Anyhow, if personality types interest you, have fun with it – and encourage your friends to take it – so you can compare notes. People seem to get along better when they are consciously aware of their similarities and differences.

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Hostess Risé Blesses Us

Hostess Risé blesses us with her tireless devotion to helping with our transplant situations. It’s amazing how she can manage the website, promote organ donations, answer our queries, plus start new and interesting topics. She maintains a constant level of friendliness, joy and hope.

Our Hostess suggests that readers of her website share some of their stories; since they may help others better understand their own situation.

My case is somewhat uneventful, but here it is.

After the liver surgery 5-months ago, a brief internet investigation led to Previously, I had only spoken with 1 liver Tx person on the phone. His first organ failed and the second one he had for 4-years.  

Although I went to the pre-Tx clinic about every six months for 10-years, the MELD score never got high enough until some tumors started to develop. This significantly increased the level of brain fog, and the last few months were the most challenging.

One sunny day they called and said a donor had provided the Gift of Life. The surgery had no complications and I was released from the hospital a week later. Since then, there have been zero rejection episodes, and the brain fog is gone…but a lot of memory has been erased…actually a benefit, because “I can’t remember” is a sometimes-valuable free card.

Sometimes I wonder why everything has gone so smoothly. In addition to having a very caring spouse, was it being a vegetarian for 40-years…was it the strength of the donor’s liver, did the Lord grant me an undeserved favor, was it the medical team, was it living in the more-sterile frozen North (Canada)?

As we all know, post-Tx people often have a lot of spare time, and it’s interesting to read what the Transplantfriends have to say about the details of their journey.

They weaned me off Prednisone within four months, and also reduced the Tacrolimus by half. It feels like the meds have some effect, but it’s a much better feeling than before the surgery.

There was only one sidebar to this journey. In Canada, having the flu or a cold is common…and apparently more common when on immunosuppressants. I had a flu/cold for the first 3 months, so took the recommended Benadryl. Later I started experiencing the urgency symptoms indicative of an enlarged prostate, and they proscribed Flomax. This med worked, but presented with large headaches. Someone suggested taking the maximum dose of Advil (since Tylenol didn’t help). After 3-weeks, my GFR suddenly dropped to 25% below minimum, and the Creatinine rose by about 25%.

Pre-Tx, the GFR was at the high end of the scale, but the meds had brought it down to the minimum acceptable level for my age group. I quit the Advil immediately when learning the results of the blood test (and finding out on-line, that maximum doses of Advil can affect the liver). In rereading the Tx literature, I noticed that Advil was not permitted (my bad). Now, two weeks later, the Creatinine is back to the upper limits of normal, although the GFR is still CKD Stage 3.

There is internet information that suggests Flomax (and other similar products) can cause an enlarged prostate. It’s interesting that quitting it, has eliminated the urgency to urinate. I guess the body can fix itself. The other interesting post-Tx observation is that a recent ultrasound of the spleen, which was pre-Tx double the normal size, showed it now in the normal range. I guess again that the new liver’s processing ability has decreased the red cells lodged in the spleen. As possible corroboration, the platelet count, which was historically about 50, is now always over 100 (although the recommended minimum is 150). It’s noticeable how much faster any cuts and scrapes stop bleeding. At one time, even shaving could be an adventure. Please note these medical observations are only suppositions on my part.

And now a question…in the past few weeks, a hernia (about 4” in diameter and 1” high) has developed at the intersection of the two incisions. The clinic says they like to wait until a year has passed before restitching the tissue. But, they also say that a lot of pain can motivate them to accelerate the surgery. They recommended a support and it helps.

So…does anyone know if abdominal hernias reach a maximum size and then just stays as is?

Any comments and suggestions on hernias will be greatly appreciated.

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