blog #dresstoexpress Sign up here for a weekly blog summary and style tips
Last night I had the most extraordinary dream. I dreamed that I was visiting a group of young men in prison. They had killed a friend’s son. There was a group of around six or seven of them, all in their 20s. The prison was not a modern day prison, instead they were housed in a kind of large underground dungeon. There were skulls littering the floor of all of the prisoners who had perished in there over the centuries. They crunched underfoot as you walked across the room.
I was with my friend, whose son they had killed. She, along with most of the rest of society, wanted revenge on these young men. There was a petition for them to be executed. Judges were considering it but, in the meantime, there was to be no parole and no chance of release.
I visited these young men to show moral support to my friend. I was struck by the hopelessness of their situation. As I looked into their eyes, any anger or hatred I felt towards them ebbed away. I felt connected to them by common threads of humanity and love. . It felt like I was seeing beyond their physical form into something deeper – a kind of light at the heart of them. I found myself encouraging my friend to speak to them. Then I spoke to them about forgiveness and love and hopeMy friend found herself able to speak with them of her pain and loss without anger or recrimination. They responded with genuine regret.
As I left, I realised the dungeon was on a rocky island surrounded by sea. Rather than wait for the boat to take me across to the mainland, I decided to walk and found that I was able to walk across the water without sinking.
I was powerfully affected by this dream when I woke. It seemed full of symbolism and messages from my sub-conscious. The most powerful message seems to be one of forgiveness and a recognition of common humanity and common frailty. I was struck by the interconnectedness of us all. I realised that all of us make mistakes all of the time. We all do things we regret. But some of our mistakes have bigger consequences than others. I was struck by the utter loss of hope for these men who had made a mistake with potentially life-long consequences and my heart opened with love for them.
When I woke I found myself full of forgiveness. I realise that there is one person in particular that I have been unable to forgive for months and months. It is a friend who let me down when I really needed him. Every time I’ve thought about the situation I found myself seething with white hot anger and unable to see beyond that. He has asked for my forgiveness twice and I found myself unable to say it. In my experience, there is no point saying the words if we do not feel it in our hearts.
After last night’s dream, I woke with a powerful sense of my shared humanity with this friend and a willingness to let go of my righteous indignation to be free from the burning heat of rage. I don’t believe what he did was right but I find myself willing, for the first time, to let it go and move on. I sent him a text saying “I forgive you.”
I don’t know if I will get a response and it doesn’t matter. I don’t know if we will still be friends and that doesn’t matter either. I just know that, over night when I was sleeping, I have come to a place of peace within myself that has allowed me to let go of my anger and my refusal to forgive.
There is more work to be done before I find myself able to walk on water but it feels like I am no longer crunching the skulls of the unforgiven.
Today I wore one of my favourite dresses – a knitted dress is a bit of an enigma. I bought it off Ebay. I have no idea who the maker is as there is no label inside it. I love the colours, the intricacy of the design and the shape of the yoke and sleeves. I am wearing it with a long purple waterfall cardigan by Oska, bought from Frockaholics Anonymous on Totnes market. The handmade purple leather lace-up boots are by Conker of Totnes. I love the divine Cadbury purple and I added ribbons rather than the rather threadbare laces (they were secondhand when I bought them). The purple and gold knitted hat is by Toast. The red felted coat is made in Italy. It is reminiscent of a Sarah Santos design.
These photos were taken around Totnes.
Coat: Made in Italy in the style of Sarah Santos