The power of dreams

“Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.” ~Marsha Norman

This quote, which was posted at Kim Klassen’s Inspiration Studio blog a few days ago, really caught my attention. My first thought was “nice…something to think about.” But then I thought about some of my dreams and instead of being inspired (as I’m sure is what was intended), I became a bit worried.

I’ve often heard that dreams are the mind’s way of analyzing and perhaps resolving problems that weren’t dealt with when a person was awake. That seems logical…if the mind is more relaxed while its owner sleeps, it may be more uninhibited than when the owner is awake and is either ignoring his/her emotional response to situations or is too engaged in everyday activities to deal with difficult problems.

I used to have essentially the same dream on a regular basis. In this dream, I was in a car, at the wheel, but usually not in full control of the vehicle. Sometimes the car was going forward but more often, it was backing up—worse, whichever direction it was going, it was going there really, REALLY fast! At the time, I was in a very stressful job, where there usually weren’t enough hours in the day to attend to everything that needed to be done. Though I left the office after 10 or 12 hours of hard work, I usually took the job and its worries home with me, pondering them while trying to take care of home and family matters. This dream was obviously my mind’s reaction to feeling overwhelmed at work and essentially confirmed what I already knew because I lived it every day! The good news is I left that job and my current position is very different from that. I work hard when I’m in the office but at the end of the day, I leave my job at the office and am able to relax and enjoy my evenings and weekends in a way I couldn’t in my former job.

I have another recurring dream. Though the specifics of each dream vary, my reaction to each is the same. In these dreams, I am the main actor in situations that are completely unrelated to my everyday life, and the consequences of my actions in these dreams are truly awful to consider. For example, I might be in a bank confronting a teller, perhaps waving a gun and threatening everyone around, attempting to rob the bank. Even while I’m dreaming, there’s a part of my mind saying things like “I wouldn’t do that” or “There’s no way I would ever…”. These kind of dreams are so unsettling to me that, once I wake from them, I’m usually not able to go back to sleep.

If dreams are indeed soulful illustrations, I’m going to have to work harder on a lifestyle that results in happier dreams than the ones I remember.

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