Sammy was my much beloved companion for 17 years. He was a small mixed breed dog who was so beautiful, he stopped traffic. (It’s true! But that’s another story.)

In my dream last night, I’m at an outdoor gathering in a small neighborhood park with Sammy on a leash. He’s kinda restless and pulling at the leash. I’ve always been super cautious and rarely let him off leash. He comes when called, usually, but he’s also oblivious to danger, including cars. In the dream, I’m working on being a more relaxed dog mommy, so I think I’ll just let him off the leash for a bit so he can sniff around.

As soon as I release him he starts heading towards the edge of the park. I call him. He doesn’t seem to hear me. I start after him. And call again. No response–not so much as a flick of his perky little ear. He’s heading quickly away, as though he’s late for an important date. I’m moving faster now. He starts up the street, a tree-lined quiet street on a gentle incline. I know it leads into a wooded area. I can’t seem to move fast enough. If he doesn’t slow down, I won’t catch up.

I had wanted to give him a little freedom, that’s all. Let him explore. Be a little wild. But now, he was in danger. A car or a coyote could . . . .

I would never forgive myself if anything happened to him. Never. I had let him off the leash. I was responsible. Good intentions meant nothing. I felt only fear. And love. And they swirled together, like the chocolate and vanilla batter for a marble cake. I was the chef, and the cake, and all I could do was watch the swirling. Feel it. Be with it.

And run. Run!

Sorry, the dream ended there.

It seems to be about motherhood. But, when I awoke, I felt its connection to The Wisdom of Trauma, the powerful new documentary I saw last night. In the film, Dr Mate shows us his work with adults who have been traumatized as children. To ease their emotional pain they turn to addictions. Dr. Mate sits with them with great compassion and acceptance. Emotions arise and in Gabor’s skillful presence, healing happens and people come alive.

There are no short-cuts to healing. The only way out of pain is through.

In my dream, I felt a deep willingness to “be with” the painful swirl of emotions. When I can bring genuine acceptance and compassion to my experience (and others’ experience) it’s like I open a door. More healing and more love walk in.

I’ve had my share of childhood trauma. And spent many years both avoiding pain, and trying to heal from it. I’m happy to say, I’m still discovering new doors and new ways to open them.

Thank you, Gabor and Daniel Mate and all the others who created this film, for bringing your profound wisdom to a wider audience so beautifully! May it inspire many to mobilize their innate power to heal themselves and the world.