I had a nightmare this week. I don’t often remember my dreams but when I do they are super vivid, like the old fifties movies in technicolor.
My nightmare wasn’t physically scary like monsters. My nightmare was emotionally scary. Here is what happened – I was in a place with my hubby and a blond a woman. I was engaged to my hubby and we weren’t married yet.
And as the 3 of us were talking I realized this other woman was his wife. And it totally freaked me out. I didn’t understand in the dream how we were engaged and he was married at the same time, it was one of those crazy topsy-turvy dream things.
But I remember intensely the feeling of, “he didn’t choose me” and “I wasn’t his first choice.” These two thoughts freaked me out so much that I woke myself up from the dream in that startled, “what the heck just happened?” state where I turned in the bed, saw him sleeping soundly next to me and just reached out and touched his arm just to feel his energy calm me down.
Yes, my husband can calm me down even while he is sleeping. He is very super-heroish in that way.
Usually when I have a disturbing dream I shake it off, but I couldn’t shake off this one.
Now let me be clear. My hubby is married to me. There is no blonde woman other than Felicity on Arrow and we both love her so that totally doesn’t count.
The hubs has always throughout our whole relationship prioritized me, us, time together and being present for anything that’s important to me. From day one – if I text him, he texts me right back. If I call him he answers unless he is in a meeting with his boss. Things like that are normal around Casa Reyes.
So this dream was not about anything happening in concrete terms in my life, but I kept thinking about it in my head and realized a few things –
I still haven’t fully healed “Not being chosen.” My parents were divorced, I didn’t grow up with my dad and for all intents and purposes, he chose a different life. He didn’t choose me. As an adult we have re-connected and I feel really good about that intellectually. However, somewhere inside me there is a little girl that is still afraid of not being chosen. I thought she was okay but every once in a while she wants me to know she is there.
And she wants ME to choose her.
I have had some resistance to consistently practicing self-care. To giving myself permission to want what I want even if it’s for no reason.
Does anyone really *need* a blow dry or a manicure? I don’t need those things but I love having them.
So one of the Aha’s that came up for me from that dream was that I need to choose me.
What that looks like might change over time, but it’s basically checking in with myself and asking what do I need now? Time with a friend? To rest? To work? To write? To be with family? To be alone?
The other thing that hit home for me was realizing how often and consistently we choose each other first in our marriage.
We have chosen each other first since we were dating.
Yes, we have jobs and hobbies and friends and other things we do, however it’s the *way* we do them that I am talking about.
We plan our couple time first, then make plans with other people.
We check in with each other for priorities, worries, dreams or just preferences and then decide on whatever is on the table that day.
We are both passionate professionals with big projects and responsibilities – but we see our jobs as the way we contribute to humanity and to each other – the job supports the relationship, not the other way around.
The last Aha I had was to write this post to ask you – Who is your first choice? What comes up for you when you think about that? Does whatever you are choosing first align with what is most important to you? If not, why? And do you want to change that or keep going?
This is the way we create amazing lives. With a simple question that came from a nightmare. The big events that everyone sees – anniversaries, parties, and holidays – those are like frosting on the cake of life.
The daily choices we make, the tiny ones, those are the layers of the cake.
Who (or what?) is your first choice? Think on that today.
And if you want help to prioritize what matters most to you in your life and in your marriage, the Modern Married Coaching Program is open. You can find the details about how to create huge shifts in your relationships by taking tiny daily steps by clicking here.