The other night I had a romantic encounter with a man who is not my husband. I was feeling rebellious, went to a sporting event by myself, got a glass of red wine (which I haven’t done in years because of alcohol addiction), and met this guy to watch the game. It was thrilling being next to him, and I felt the rush of being seen and known and feeling the possibilities of new passion. He put his arms around me, and then . . .
It was my husband’s arms that encompassed me – it had only been a dream. But after I woke up, I still felt the emotional thrill of the dream lingering and knew I had to listen to whatever it was trying to tell me.
In my old life as a devout Evangelical Christian I would have shamed myself for this illicit dream, discounted it as the ‘enemy’ trying to attack my marriage.
But my new awakened self won’t let me make such narrow, limiting conclusions. So instead of shaming myself or running in fear from this vivid dream, I went to my journal as I do every morning, and just asked,
What does this dream mean?
My old self would have been too scared to ask this question, because I would have been afraid that something was terribly wrong in my marriage. But I’ve learned that things are
seldom as bad as we fear,
and seldom what they seem.
My first thought was that there must be something stifling my marriage, and that it was probably
my husband Vince’s fault.
I started getting angry at him for certain things I could think of that he’s not doing that could make our marriage better, like
working more on his own spiritual journey or
following his dreams more fully.
There’s got to be a part of himself that he is hiding or not expressing, and that is probably what’s making me feel trapped in some way, I thought.
I told my best friend Rachel about the dream, and she was SO GREAT.
She didn’t judge me, or shame me, or validate any of my judgments about Vince, she just listened and encouraged me to talk directly to Vince about it. What an amazing gift, to have a girlfriend who will support the highest good for me and for my marriage, and who didn’t get afraid for me or freak out, but simply listened? I love you Rachel!
I went back to my journal that afternoon and had the idea that maybe this dream had nothing to do with Vince at all,
but with ME.
I was in the middle of reading the incredible book called The Shadow Effect by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, and Marianne Williamson, and was intrigued by the idea of
I learned that whenever I judge someone or get angry with someone else, it is because I’m projecting something in myself onto them –
usually something I’m scared to look at in myself.
So I thought about the judgments I was making towards Vince, that there was something he was hiding that kept him from following his destiny, and suddenly, it hit me:
This is truth about ME.
I am in emotional pain, and
I have not let myself feel this pain, and
it’s stalling me in my destiny.
So what’s the pain? Recently I took a huge leap forward in following my destiny, by releasing 10 YouTube videos, including a 7-part series called Noelle Remembers, where I tell and sing the story of my life in raw detail: everything from
pastoral sexual abuse when I was 9, to
2 failed marriages,
alcohol addiction, and finally
my spiritual awakening and total freedom.
It took a LOT of guts to release my life like this on YouTube – I was flowing with energy to do it, and it was a huge step forward in my destiny.
But I haven’t yet gotten the response I would love to have from these videos, and that’s where the pain came in. The reason I haven’t let myself feel the pain of only having 12 YouTube subscribers and a low number of views, is because
I judged these feelings as not valid.
In my head I KNOW that it takes time to build a following on YouTube – obviously anything of lasting value doesn’t happen overnight, and I just need to keep giving, keep sharing, and my dreams will come true.
So because I know all of this, I wouldn’t let myself embrace the little girl in me who wants
my family to be proud of me or
who wants the world to see me shine.
Suddenly I knew this was the answer, and
I let myself just feel it.
I wrote everything down, even if I didn’t think it was VALID.
My discouragement, my disillusionment, my sadness –
I let myself feel all of this, without judging myself
for being insecure or needy.
This is part of my journey – to embrace, at every level, the little girl in me that never felt affirmed or felt free to shine.
It’s MY job to comfort that little girl.
And as soon as I did that, I felt
I had the revelation:
ALL emotional pain MUST be expressed,
or it will GROW in the darkness and cry out to us until we let ourselves
FEEL it completely
and then let it go.
After I let these thoughts and feelings fully surface and released them in tears,
I could feel ENERGY and life
returning to my veins.
I had regained ALL of me,
even the dark side,
which has fueled me to have the energy to keep going,
to keep giving,
to keep sharing,
because my motivation isn’t affirmation or approval (which I can only really give to myself) —
my motivation is the PASSION I have to tell the world how
And until every one of God’s children knows his/her own radiance,
I will not stop giving,
I will not stop sharing.
So what was the result with my marriage, you ask?
Let’s just say –
we are at a new level of passion!
I’m right where I want to be, with the
man of my dreams,
living the life of my dreams,
and not one bit afraid of my dark side –
my shadow will always point me
to the LIGHT,
if I will just listen when it cries out to me.