“God, please, I am not a child anymore. I am not a victim. The things that are happening…I must be drawing them to me or not paying attention to the warnings. Please, turn my intuition back on.”
I had just suffered a very traumatic event that I absolutely did not see coming and it led me to the day that I found myself on my knees and praying that prayer through tears. Desperate for change and feeling alone in this world, God was the only one I felt would have my answer. That evening I had a very strange dream. In the dream a very specific scenario unfolded, including a guy who was mentally challenged, could barely speak English, had curly hair and he was holding an Inner tube from a tire. In the dream, I was trying to be nice to this guy. Recognizing his condition, I wanted to be kind. He ended up physically harming me in the dream and I found myself saying, “Why didn’t I see this coming?”
I wrote down the entire dream, analyzed it and found great meaning for myself. What happened next though, I was not prepared for. I went down to my community pool to find a young man in the pool flopping around, with a yellow baby inner tube floaty around his ankles; he had curly hair, he could barely speak English and he was mentally off. Long story short I spent an hour trying to be nice to him but feeling really uncomfortable. I was sending him mixed messages. Eventually I remembered the dream and fled back to my apartment. Later, I discovered this gentleman had been convicted of assaulting women and children both physically and sexually. In tears of gratitude, this time, I fell to my knees again, “God, thank you, thank you, thank you for hearing my prayer and offering an immediate answer! You are very good!”
Since that dream I have continued to write down my dreams and to find all kinds of meanings and messages in them. Some dreams just nourish me, while others point to unresolved issues or let me know when a friend needs my ear or a shoulder to lean on. Have you ever had a dream and wondered what it meant to you?
This article was inspired by an interview I just did with Kelly Sullivan Walden- she is a dream therapist. During our interview, I shared all of the details of the above dream and she shared the meanings and symbolism for me.
“When I look at a dream I look at it from two different perspectives. I look at it literally from what is obviously going on and how it relates to what is happening in your real life and then I look at it from a deeper aspect and how the dream relates to an underlying message that the dream is trying to communicate to you.”
Kelly, science and my own experience are enough validation for me that dreams are an important part of our human experience. If you pay attention to them, they can be a source of wisdom, protection and inspiration. Here are some things that you can do to help you use your dreams more powerfully.
Keep a notepad by your bed. On the cover of the notepad write, “What did I dream last night?” Get in the habit of asking yourself this question as soon as you wake up. Then remember and quickly write the whole dream down. When I lived with family, my first question in the morning used to be, “Did you have any dreams last night?” This will help you recall your dream. If you ask these questions right away, you are more likely to remember your dreams. Otherwise, they could be quickly forgotten.
When you get the time, write down what you think the dream means. Then look up the dream symbols. I use Kelly’s book and I also use Dreammoods.com. I love dreammoods.com because I write my dream in a document on my laptop and then look up the colors or symbols online and I cut and paste their meanings into the document. This is very effective and it is especially fun when you have a dream that comes true and you have prior documentation of that dream. The dream journal doubles as a log of your self-discovery and growth.
Once I wrote down a dream where an old friend from years ago found me on Facebook and sent me a message saying how proud he was of me. The next day I received a message on Facebook that was word for word the message I got in the dream.
You can even put your dreams to work for you. How? Well, sometimes before I go to sleep I will make a request of my mind and dreams and repeat that request over and over. A few days ago, there was a situation in my waking life that was really baffling me so, before I went to sleep I said, “Give me clarity in my dreams, give me clarity in my dreams, give me clarity in my dreams.” That night, I had a dream that really did show me, very clear answers to my dilemma. At first, you may not even remember your dreams with this practice. Yet, you may notice that you have the answer or the attitude you were looking for. When we sleep our mind rests and the subconscious mind is detoxing, processing and dealing with everything that is happening in our world. This includes the things we are aware of and emotions or feeling we may be suppressing or too busy to notice. Dreams are a sort of therapy for us.
Pay attention to your dreams. There is a whole world of opportunity for you and one more excuse to hit the snooze button!