Oink! Oink! I need some R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

From the series: Life on Dog Hill

I woke from a dream this morning that I rescued a piglet from drowning in a clear puddle of water. As I scooped it up, I immediately put its little pink body next to mine and hoped, with all my might, it was still breathing. When I peeked inside my cupped hands, it was rooting around for milk. I smiled.

The dream continued as I searched for a nearby farm where it might have belonged. When I crested the hill, everything had been clear cut and heavy machinery was leveling the rich, brown earth. I rubbed my new friend’s belly and it squealed with delight. It was then I brought the piglet home and named it Prince. Prince Pig.

To celebrate, I gave Prince a bowl of milk with crackers.

Upon waking, I was amused with the dream and my desire to keep the piglet. For starters, in real life hubby and I are focused on simplification. Through the process of attrition, Dog Hill has gone from five sons living at home to two. We’ve gone from five dogs to three. And finally, while we once had a dozen or so chickens, we now only have four — and they don’t even lay eggs anymore!

When I was sixteen, I studied dream interpretation with my Episcopal priest who had learned about dreams in seminary. Using his method to understand the piglet dream, this was what I got.

There’s a struggling, infantile part of me that doesn’t really belong; yet, I’ve accepted it and all the responsibility that comes with it. I’ve given it a grand name, indicating that what is currently my liability will someday be my crowning glory.

I like it. After all, doesn’t everyone suffer from a struggling, infantile part of self?

Then I hopped over to DreamMoods.com to get their take on it. Not good. Apparently, pigs represent lots of negative, dirty things. Even if you like pigs, according to their definition, it has a negative connotation. Not to be deterred, I thought about other aspects of the dream… for instance, the pink flesh of the piglet stood out to me. Pink represents sweetness, affection, and kindness. And then there’s the fact that I rescued the pig from drowning so I looked up rescue. This was where things got interesting…

“To dream that you…rescue others represents an aspect of yourself that has been neglected or ignored. You are trying to find a way to express this neglected part of yourself. In particular, to dream that you rescue someone from drowning indicates that you have successfully acknowledged certain emotions and characteristics that is symbolized by the drowning victim.”

Very similar to my first interpretation, no?

When I was studying dream interpretation as a teen, my priest always reminded me that no one knows better than the dreamer what a dream means. He emphasized that, after all the analysis is said and done, it was up to me to decipher the higher meaning.

With that in mind, I thought about yesterday. In particular, I recalled the big argument I had with one of my nineteen year old twins. His words and behavior left me feeling hurt and vulnerable. I cried silent tears because I didn’t feel loved. Did I mention that according to DreamMoods.com, a piglet could represent children?

So where does all of this analysis paralysis leave me?

Ultimately, I believe it all boils down to me. I am aware of the aspects of myself that struggle and feel out of place. Insecurity as a parent comes to mind even though I know I’m not the only parent second-guessing myself. Then there’s my journey as an indie author, analogous to occasional bouts of insecurity. And, while my first instinct is to rid myself of insecurity, I realize that is not possible. Insecurity is a part of human experience and I will always be a parent. I will always be a writer.

That’s where acceptance and responsibility come in. My son was disrespectful to me but I accept that he’s going through the natural phases of young adulthood. I also understand the need for nurturing myself so that I stay healthy and happy. Last night I had a big glass of wine even though what I really wanted was love and respect from one angry, belligerent son.

Finally, at the end of the dream, I raised the piglet to the stature it deserves — Prince! After all, I am a dotting mother and all of my sons are royalty in my mind. Even when they’re angry.

Image found here.

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