In the wee hours of the morning, I had a dream that something had happened and the President was no longer in charge. I was in the middle of learning something – trying to learn something – when it was announced on TV that __?___ was taking the presidential oath of office. Who? I didn’t catch the name. It wasn’t the Vice President or Nancy Pelosi, no, in fact it was someone like 6 levels down on the chain. I woke up, scribbled down this much that I could remember, and then wrote, “What the hell is going on? Who’s in charge?”
There’s a lot of us asking that question these days. We’re having trouble sleeping. Anxiety is running high.
This isn’t about supplies. Last week when there was a nationwide run on toilet paper, I noted what seemed like an obvious metaphor: our panic could be an indicator that collectively and individually we are afraid that everything is going to shit. Sure, that may sound funny. Only, it’s not. The fear is real. Buying tp was our only form of control, our way of doing the one thing we could do to be prepared.
Now that most of our normal activities have stopped and we are sheltering in place, many of us alone, the anxiety is only increasing. The term “social distancing” isn’t helping. It amplifies our isolation, both real and perceived.
Those who are doubling down on “everything is ok, people are over-reacting” are possibly the most afraid. Their response is just another way of trying to control something so clearly out of control. This is human nature. We all do it, in some form or another. Some of us are baking bread, a metaphor for nourishment, providing that which can sustain us. Others are praying, believing in something greater than ourselves to intervene.
We’re looking for answers. For trust-worthy information. For assurances we’re going to be okay. All the while a voice inside is screaming, “What the hell is going on? Who’s in charge?”
The Jungian approach to dream analysis is to consider every character in the dream as an aspect of our self. So, who is the 6th line of succession to the president? The Secretary of Defense. Now that’s kinda interesting, don’t you think? At least in relation to my dream. Who’s in charge? Who’s taking the presidential oath to lead me and the country during this pandemic? The one who’s job it is to protect our nation from harm. If that’s an aspect of myself, then I am calling on my own innate ability as a defense leader to protect myself and others; to protect and lead our country.
In my dream, this news flash occurred as I was trying to learn something. What? It wasn’t clear, I couldn’t remember when I awoke. Maybe it was this: the lesson was learning to be a leader.
Here’s the final bit that I find so very interesting: in numerology, the number 6 is associated with home. Not only the dwelling and all corresponding aesthetics, but also family. Family is always another aspect of home. Six is home and family wrapped up together in harmony, beauty, and interdependence. The person being called to lead in my dream is the one in charge of protecting the most important place to me, the place where I reside, where love resides. (Now for any militia pro-gun enthusiasts, I can only say this: home is the dwelling place of the soul. It’s more than the place or people or things. Soul cannot be protected with guns. And a virus can’t be killed with a bullet.)
Here we are, quarantined in our homes. Safe in our homes. Our homes are presently the best line of defense against this epidemic.
So, who’s in charge? We are. Each of us.
We are protecting not only ourselves but each other and our country when we stay home. We are being called into service, asked to take the highest oath in this land, one of leadership and defense, to ensure we all get through this crisis safely.
Some of us won’t. There are going to be casualties. There are already and the numbers are growing.
I implore you. Embrace the wise and calm leader within. Do the right thing. Take the oath and stay home. You’re in charge. What kind of leader are you going to be?