Going From Over-powered to Empowering

In October 2009, I shared a “dream” with Richard that I had when I was 15. In the scenario I was being over-powered by someone I knew. 

This “dream” haunted me for the later part of my teenage years and into my early adulthood because a counsellor I had told at the time thought it didn’t sound like a dream to her. She thought it sounded like it had really happened and that I had disassociated because of the trauma of the experience. 

Richard’s interpretation which I share here really put things into perspective for me. Either it was a dream and could be taken metaphorically to be a message about oppression and powerlessness which I was truly living in, or it was real in which case I could still consider the metaphor of the experience and could investigate further.

By considering the metaphor, I could actually begin to detach from the fear for the first time since the experience and begin to develop a degree of peacefulness I had never known before.

Here is our dialogue about the topic.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard Hastings <richardchastings@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 11:54 PM
Subject: Re: a very personal and disturbing “dream”
To: Rachel Pellegrini <rachel.pellegrini@gmail.com>

Nice work, and keep going for it

On Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 8:09 AM, Rachel Pellegrini

<rachel.pellegrini@gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Richard,
> For many years I have been a virtues workshop facilitator and have used the
> strategies of the virtues project in my classrooms, family, and in my
> personal healing.  Funny that you say my dreams are saying I need peacefulness now because that was always my goal of course, but I first needed courage, determination,
> forgiveness etc. etc. (qualities I have been practicing for a number of
> years now) in order to get me to the place now where I can finally embrace
> peacefulness with my whole heart.  In the dream about the thief, when you
> wrote that I had achieved justice and that it was now a time for peace it
> really hit a cord with me and rang true.  It seemed to me that I had
> achieved my aim and there is a great peace that accomplishes that.
> It feels wonderful to be here now at a place where I feel peacefulness in my
> life and am ready to do what needs to be done to maintain it.
> I am glad that I sent you that last dream for your consideration. Your
> analysis has been, and will continue to be helpful as I work through this
> stage of my personal growth.
> Warmest regards,
> Rachel
> On Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 12:11 AM, Richard Hastings
> <richardchastings@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dear Rachel,
>>    It is really nice to see that you are dealing with some really
>> important issues in your life and that you are going at them in a
>> really great way.    The first thing that I want to say is that it is
>> important always in the first phase of dream interpretation to deal
>> with things metaphorically rather than literally because there is more
>> to be learned on a metaphoric level than on a literal one.
>>    In real life rape is forcing someone to have sexual intercourse
>> without their consent.   In the dream world sexual intercourse, if it
>> is positive, is the coming together of two sets of spiritual qualities
>> so that they can work together to achieve something greater.   When
>> you interact with someone else’s qualities, then you can learn them
>> and integrate them into your life so that they can produce something
>> new.    Rape is being forced to have intercourse with the dark side or
>> ego side of someone.   It causes fear and powerlessness and prevents
>> people from producing really positive things.
>>    So the purpose of the dream is to actually do the opposite of what
>> the dream is giving you.   Being raped by someone at 15 in
>> metaphorical terms means being forced to interact really closely with
>> his ego, which is all of his bad qualities.   What is particularly
>> difficult is that 15 is the age at which you are no longer a child,
>> where you are taking your first steps into adulthood.  So the
>> challenge you had at that age was that you were living with fear and
>> forced to be his partner as if you were his partner even though you weren’t.
  The fear that the dream produces is having to live out that role
>> against your will.   The consequence of rape is the feeling of
>> powerlessness and fear so I am sure that these are the feelings that
>> you have had to live with in relation to someone.
>>    So what the dream is looking for is the opposite in positive
>> terms, but it is presenting you the rape because it is warning you of
>> the difficult times ahead with someone and his dysfunctions.
>> The quality that you needed when you were 15 from someone was the
>> quality of peacefulness so that you could be guided along your own
>> path.  Instead you got him and his ego, a person barely surviving his
>> own life.   This is not to be said for you to be angry with him.  He
>> was probably doing the best he could.   The fact is that what you
>> needed you didn’t get, so now you have the opportunity to give it to
>> yourself so that those who come after you  as well as you own self can
>> benefit from it.
>>     One of the ways you  can tell about the real rape or imagined is
>> to analyze how this person used power.   If he had power issues,
>> then you might investigate it further, but if he didn’t, then it is
>> more likely that it is a dream state and not a real one.     One way
>> or the other,  he wasn’t the positive person you needed when you were
>> making your own first steps toward adulthood and this is the critical
>> issue for you.
>>    So one of the big questions you are going to have to ask yourself
>> is why peacefulness?   Why not courage, determination, love, honesty,
>> or a host of other virtues?    The virtue of peacefulness will allow
>> you to stay fully on your own own unique path, which is different
>> probably than almost everyone you know.  The further your path is away
>> from the mainstream the more you need the quality of peacefulness.  It
>> allows you to be free from distractions and trappings of the world.
>>  You are likely already on that path, but now your poised to take some
>> major steps forward.  That is why you are so keen to do the spiritual
>> work.
>> Warmest greetings
>> Richard
On April 10, 2016 Richard added this post to his website about inner work and transformation after experiencing trauma. I find it relevant.
Here is the link.
Since then we also worked on a 19-Day Transformation Program and a Dreamwork Module.

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