“I had a dream,” said the man as he gazed at the water flowing far below. “And I can’t understand it.”
“Dreams are mirrors,” said the clown, who stood next to him at the bridge railing. “You don’t understand it because you don’t understand your life.”
“That’s why I’m stranded here on this bridge, midway to nowhere. I don’t get it. I don’t get anything.”
“Not knowing can be a sign of courage and maturity.”
The man paused, then began to relate his dream: “Someone was making a picture of everything in my life,” he said. “But there were too many things, and things that didn’t fit. So this person who was making the picture told me some of the things had to be removed. I was wondering how to do that, when we heard a VOICE. This voice carried authority and it said to both of us,
Make a choice.
"So then the artist found a way to include everything. But I . . . "
“You didn't get it,” the clown said, finishing his thought.
“Well, it's your typical ‘choose between alternatives’ dream, right?"
The clown smiled.
“But it doesn’t make sense!” The man was growing agitated. “The voice said everything had to be included, but it also said to make a choice! How can you do both? Besides, there’s no way to figure out what to include or exclude in my life – it’s impossible!”
The clown’s gaze was upon the water. “So you think this is a ‘you can’t have both’ scenario?”
“That’s what it has seemed like for quite awhile.”
The clown put a gentle hand on the man’s shoulder. “Your dream is NOT about choosing between alternatives,” he said. “Even mutually exclusive ones.”
“What is it, then?” asked the man in surprise.
“Those 'alternatives' are important elements of your life picture. They are needed and that’s why the voice said they must be included. You can’t be whole without them. This isn’t about choosing one situation over another or trying to deny responsibilities or connections or relationships. All of those things are expressions of you that need to be accepted, brought together, integrated and harmonized.”
“Then why did the voice say to make a choice?”
“The choice is in whether you will accept the way of wholeness and surrender to embracing all of yourself. Or whether instead you will continue to resist and fight and tear yourself into pieces and put the pieces into separate piles of what is 'acceptable' and 'unacceptable.'”
The man sighed and took a deep breath. “There’s room for my whole life?” He felt peacefully perplexed.
The clown chuckled. "I think you are starting to understand now," he said, walking away.