What does it really mean to dream? If you look up the definition of dreams, it will say something like, ” A dream is a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. The content and purpose of dreams are not fully understood, although they have been a topic of scientific, philosophical and religious interest throughout recorded history.” (Taken from Wikipedia).
Some folks are able to dream while they are wide awake. They see a goal and know exactly how to make those dreams realities. Others of us dream at night and a majority of folks don’t remember their dreams most of the time. There are heroes who have spoken of dreams through their speeches. Icons like Martin Luther King, Jr., who helped to bring about change through his words and actions are still inspiring the nation to begin changes that are allowing many to change for the better. Words are powerful. Dreams can be even more empowering if we use them for the good in things. When we incite violence based off dreams, we are only creating chaos and fear.
There are some things in dreams that scare the death out of me. For one, it scares me when I see that actions of those who wish to harm others are often overlooked until it’s too late. Many times the ones who have inflicted harm are often the ones no one sees coming because no one gave them the time of day when they needed it most. When I look at the shootings in our schools, businesses, personal tragedies and other venues that I won’t mention, my heart drops. All the unnecessary violence was done because of someone else’s dreams or nightmares. I’m not really sure which to be honest. I can’t see inside the mind of someone who has reached the tipping point. I can tell you that when that person/persons reaches that point, it’s really difficult to get through to them because they are no longer in control.
Perhaps that’s why dreams fascinate me. As a young girl, I used to dream a lot. I remember many of those dreams. I’m not sure whether that’s a curse or a blessing. When loved ones died, I saw them in my dreams. I’m not sure if they really came to me or if my subconscious really wanted to see them so badly that I chose to believe that it was them speaking to me. Either way, it gave me a peace. I still remember a dream when I was about ten years old. I had told the devil that he could have my soul and as I slept, I dreamt about 100 snakes were all over me. They were slithering all through my hair, my arms, my legs, every part of me was covered. I was terrified. In my dream, the angels told me not to open my eyes. I kept my eyes closed tight, screaming in horror, wanting the nightmare to end. After what seemed like an eternity, an angel was in front of me and told me to open my eyes. They said my soul had been saved and I was never to make a deal with the devil again. Was it real? I will never know for sure but it sure seemed real. I hope I never feel that way every again.
When I was sixteen, I had a dream within a dream. I had just gotten my drivers license and was hell on wheels. I had no fear driving. One night I dreamed the angel Michael came to me. He showed me in a separate dream what would happen if I continued to drive in the manner I had been doing. I saw the crash. I saw where I was laying in the car, bloodied, bruised, unresponsive and where my soul was standing outside of the car looking lost. In my dream Michael warned me that I had things to do and that he was warning me of the dangers to come if I pursued things in a reckless manner. I remember being so shook by the dream that I had drenched the sheets in sweat. I tossed and turned not wanting to die. He had told me that I would be dead by the age of 21 if things continued on the same path.
Needless to say I’m still here. Were they warnings of things to come? I have no idea. I do know that I changed my behavior and that wasn’t a good thing. I used to take risks a lot more than I do now. It affected me then and it still does to a point. I’m not allowing myself to be paralyzed by fear anymore but at the same token, it’s an ongoing battle.
Our dreams have the power to change us whether we realize it or not. Many people can relate to the story of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Scrooge had his ghostly visitors show him from his actions the past, the present and the future. I don’t know if I truly believe that dreams control us but they definitely influence us and our decisions. It may not be a conciencious decisions but subconsciously we are dealing with our insecurities through our dreams and surrounding environments.
As I got older my dreams changed. I started dreaming of settling down and having a family but I didn’t listen to my dreams like I had earlier. When I got involved with the man I eventually married, my dreams told me he wasn’t the one. I let him talk me out of not getting married. I tried to have a family. My body wouldn’t let me. I fell for another man when I was married. I never pursued my feelings and only watched from afar but my husband had pushed me away so much that I didn’t feel like his wife. I felt abused, neglected, and unappreciated. I truly felt that my husband loved everything else more than me. Eventually it pushed me completely away. I hated myself for falling for someone who wouldn’t act on how it appeared they felt. I hated myself even more for convincing myself that everything was my fault as to why the marriage fell apart. I didn’t want to accept that it took two people to be in a relationship and a marriage. I was only one half of that equation. I couldn’t control him and didn’t even want to. I had to start taking control of myself.
When he and I were together, I lost myself in the relationship. My dreams never came. It was always about what he wanted. Over time, I began to really look at myself. I had allowed myself to become a statistic. How could I get myself back and get my dreams back when I had no inkling of where to even start? When I had my miscarriage, it gave me time to think. That baby was my whole world and I never even got to hold her. I never had the opportunity to watch my daughter grow into the incredible woman that I knew she would have been. I wondered if she would have had dark hair like her father or if she would have taken after me. I begged God every way I knew how to make the hurt go away. Eventually I stopped begging and started listening to what God told me. One night I was crying myself to sleep and I started to dream again. Only this time, I was back on a college campus. I was learning and discussing things that I had thought at one time that my voice was irrelevant. When I awoke, I went to the kitchen to get some breakfast and a commercial for Guilford College came on about the adult program. They were having an information session in three nights. I decided to go. That decision changed my life for the better.
Two years after that, I had received my four year degree. That degree has kept me working. What it didn’t do, was guarantee me a higher income. I had no clue when I went back to school that my dreams were about to take me on a new adventure. I asked my professors about dreams. I remember they one told me that I needed to write down everything I could remember about my dreams. If nothing else, it would help me to sort out the garbage from the pertinent information that my mind was trying to tell me.
I started looking things up on Youtube. Videos like the one below are wonderful examples of the types of resources I found as to why my dreams were affecting me.
I began looking inside myself to discover what was making my mind constantly swimming with dreams? For me, I’ve discovered it’s my way of sorting through stress and baggage. Many of my dreams are like having movies and plays in my head. I mentioned one of the other dreams that I had in a previous blog. I once dreamed of Puss and Boots raising the Titanic to a symphonic background that completely reversed the catestrophy. Not only did the ship get raised but it came back together completely. The people who perished were brought back to life and given the option to get off the ship. Their memories were fully intact. Then I began to awaken again. I had to ask myself some really hard questions. If we could go back in time and change things, would we? Would we really want to? For many of us, those dreams we have are a reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Dreams are not always literal. For many folks, dreams are just dreams. But for others like me, dreams are not lightly disregarded. For to live without dreams, is to live without air. I’m a very visual person. The dreams for me have been a roadmap to change. Whether they are from God or a figment of my imagination, time will tell. I have no way to know the future. I do have an active imagination that helps me sort out the clutter.
When you dream, be sure to write down what you remember. Sometimes, dreams hold the key to our own locked boxes. Many decisions that we have to make are made when we don’t base those decisions off emotions but rather off facts. Our dreams often have facts that we miss. Whatever you do, keep dreaming. We can’t have an interesting world if we stop the dreams. Sleep tight and sweet dreams.