This morning at 6.30 I woke up and had the sensation of becoming awake while a dream was continuing around me. It was unusual because I could see that the dream was coming from all around, in a wide spacious sense. It didn’t seem to be coming from my body or my energy. I think it was one of those dreams that has a special meaning.
The dream went as follows: I had a job in a city records department, working with computers. I found evidence of suspicious activity, a hack attack on the city library. I passed this on to the city police. The case was eventually resolved. Then there was a meeting, where bonusses and recognition for the case were handed out, and the police officer who handled the case got 211.000 euros, and I got a measly 44.000 euro finders fee. In the dream I got jealous and angry, as if my work had not been fairly rewarded, because without me they would not have had a case.
Thinking about it this morning, it seems to me that there was an expectation of high reward, and that it seemed to me that there was something unjust. There was an attachment, an expectation of reward for work done. This paralleled something that happened to me earlier in life, where project bonusses at work were very miserly.
In reality life does not owe you a fair deal. It is a good idea to let go of this expectation, to recognise that other people are going to do what their sense of greed or fairness is going to motivate them to. They are also caught up in samsara, deserving of compassion.
On further reflection, what is hiding behind this is the inner child’s need for appreciation, and ultimately the desire to be loved. Reward for work is appreciation, is love deep within. The key to finding this out was this short quote from an article in Lion’s Roar about dealing with difficult emotions:
I read the quote, thinking, I wonder what was hiding behind that jealousy, with kindness, and suddenly there was a cascade of insights.
A good day’s work.
The Guest House by Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jalaluddin Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks (The Essential Rumi)
It struck me this morning that in the language of the heart, jealousy is also connected to recognising the other, to the feeling of separation from others. Early in life your heart is big, and you love everyone, but later you get the idea that your siblings and your parents are different from you, and then the need for the love of the other enters, and jealousy too… why does he get but not me?
In women often this jealousy is strong, as is the need to be loved. When you experience the sense that all is one, and that all is love, a lot of these things are resolved, you come back into your heart.
For me this whole series of insights feels like a block has been lifted, as if I was trapped by this illusion of separateness and wanting a fair reward for labour. I feel more wholeness, more love, more spaciousness in the last 24 hours. It feels like something really significant has happened, a turning point in my relating to others.