Friday, September 9, 2011
Now What Was That Dream Again?
I may rehearse the mantra, "just write it down", but it doesn't always mean I practice it. I still, after all these years, resist some dreams when I wake up from them. I find myself just sidling on past the journal writing part, into my morning prayers and ablutions. Sometimes, I even feel angry at my dream source; "I"m not writing it down, too bad." But I've dialogued with my dream worlds long enough to recognize these ignored, repressed and dismissed "icky" dreams for what they really are, sheep in wolf's clothing.
In my vocabulary, an icky dream is one that I knee-jerk don't like because it shames me or makes me feel otherwise, icky. They're not nightmares. Nightmares are different; they scare the pajama off me and I always write them down and work with them. But icky dreams often don't make it on to paper right away.
What typically happens is that I wake from an icky dream and just skip it; don't write it down, even though I remember it. It haunts me from time to time until, maybe a day or two later, something pops into my head about it, usually an image that escaped my attention. All of a sudden a light bulb goes on and I see the potential in this dream for healing gifts, gifts I've actually been asking my dreams for before going to sleep.
So, I sit down, a little chagrined for my silliness, and write it as clearly and honestly as I remember it. I remind myself that this is for my eyes only, to serve my memory, so I can mine the gold that I now see, but failed to recognize fresh from the dream experience. From there, I'm off and running with it. I can re-enter this dream and gain the understanding it offers. I can carry it around with me until I get it. When I get it, the ickyness is always transformed, replaced by awe, gratitude and usually, a good laugh.
Thoreau is often quoted as saying; "The unexamined life is not worth living." He also said "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined". I'd like to add that in order to do that, it helps to go confidently into your sleep dreams, because they are gifts, gateways to self-knowledge and self-love. They help us free our imagination in waking life so we can follow our bliss.
Jesus is quoted as saying, "The truth shall set you free." That's precisely the reward pursuing the trail of an icky dream offers me. If at first I resist, that's okay. I know my truth pursues me in my dreams until I have the heart-courage to face it. It might take me a few days to, as Robert Moss puts it, "brave up", but because my dreams have never let me down, brave up I do.
I'm offering these thoughts on the heels of owning and writing down an icky dream from earlier this week. As I wrote it out, I knew I had to share the experience with you. Maybe it'll help you claim dream gifts that come looking a little icky at first.
(Sorry about the dead sand shark, it was the ickiest picture I had handy:-)