I am in Norway in the forest (Hebekskogen / Radiostasjonen) near where I grew up. I am back with the ones I grew up with, and we are all adults now. Every year, we return for a run of ten laps. We need to follow a path that’s similar to a Norwegian tourist attraction sign. I try to do it extremely conscientiously and notice it takes a lot of work and time. I even have to go by my parents’ house for each lap. I talk with the organizer. He seems a good guy and says: “Don’t worry! I don’t care about that at all, just do it your own way. Find your own way to do it, that’s all.”
Many of my dreams are quite direct and don’t seem to need a lot of interpretation. (Even when they need interpretation it’s more in the form of going back into the dream and feeling into what resonates and possibly also interacting with the different dream elements – active imagination.)
In this case, I am back where I grew up. I am back into something basic in me from childhood.
Why in the forest? Perhaps because I have gone for many walks there through my life and love that forest, even if it’s not very wild. Also, we would often go there with my school to do different activities from nature-related quizzes to running and skiing.
We are all returning for an annual run of ten laps. This feels like the tasks we all need to do in adult life. Making sure the basic necessities are in place, pay the bills, eat reasonably healthy, go to the doctor, and so on. (I am doing a lot of those things right now.)
The lap is in the shape of a Norwegian tourist attraction sign. It reminds me of an infinity sign. Maybe it’s a reminder that life is, in a sense, infinite. There is nowhere to arrive. When it comes to the business of living, there is no place to arrive. Also, the sign is a bit convoluted which life often is. And life is a kind of sightseeing adventure.
The path goes by my parents’ house, which makes sense. A lot of my internalized shoulds come from them and were instilled in me there.
I try to do the run very conscientiously, as I often do in life. I try to follow the rules and expectations. I try to go beyond what’s expected of me. It’s exhausting.
The organizer is a very nice guy (not anyone I know from waking life) and says: “Don’t worry! Find your own way to do it.” Nobody cares if I do it exactly the way I think it should be done.
I don’t have to go by my parents’ house. I don’t need to follow the shape. I don’t need to make the lap big.
When I check in with him now, he says: No worries. The shoulds are only shoulds. Find a way to do it that’s comfortable for you and that you enjoy. Find a juicy and enjoyable way to do it.
It seems that my inner organizer – my inner conductor/director/captain – has a pretty chill side and would like to see me find my own way, find freedom from shoulds, and relax and enjoy life more. It’s a complement to – and in this case correction to – the overly conscientious side of me.
Of course, it makes sense to do some things conscientiously like paying bills and taxes. But in general, notice the shoulds and let them just be what they are. Find your own enjoyable way to do it.
It’s good medicine for me since I definitely have internalized shoulds from society (as we all do), have a strong conscientious and perfectionist tendency in me, and live a life that doesn’t fit the norms very much. (Just being a Norwegian living in the Andes mountains with a largish regeneration project there is outside of the norm!)
Yesterday, I took a day off from any shoulds. I set it all aside and didn’t think of anything on my to-do list. Instead, I just enjoyed myself, created some AI images, made some good food, watched a good movie, and went to bed early. I felt I needed it. I also noticed a voice in me saying: “You should really do all of those things on your to-do list. Better do it today than later.” Maybe that’s a kind of day residue for this dream?
Also, I am currently locked out from my bank account and had planned to pay two bills today which I am unable to do. I notice a part of me stressing out since I had said I would do it today and now seem unable to. How can I relate to this in a more comfortable way? The first is to remind myself that there is no actual deadline on these bills, and I have options. One option is to just let them know it will be a day later than I said. The other is asking someone to pay it for me, and then pay them back. I think I’ll go with the first option and explore finding comfort with it, even if – or perhaps since – it goes against my habitual pattern. (My habitual pattern is to find a way to follow through on what I had said I would do, even if it is more involved and effortful.) Today, I’ll choose the simple option.
Note: I feel what I wrote above became quite fragmented. It’s because I kept adding little things here and there as it came to me, and I didn’t organize it much as a whole.
Update: It’s now a few days later and I am still exploring this dream. Of course, I want to be a good steward of my life and a good citizen, however that looks. And, at the same time, I want to follow the example of the organizer. I want to see that I don’t need to follow any shoulds or expectations from myself or others. I am free to find a different way to do it. One that makes sense in the situation and makes sense to me.
There is an annual run of ten laps, radiostasjonen
We are all grownups, but my class from school
I do it extremely conscientiously, do far more than i need to (the lap is small but I run all the way to my parents’ house each time, also it has little loops like a sightseeing sign that I am meticulous about but nobody cares if I do them or not)
The guy in charge tells me it’s not at all necessary, he doesn’t
I realize I operate on very rigid ideas about his things should be done
And nobody cares, life is not like that
I could find a lot not more freedom around it
Freedom in life
The guy organizing it said “don’t worry, I don’t care about that at all, just do it your own way, find your own way to do it, that’s all”
Group of people from school, we are all adults now