Tag Archives: dreams

God, turn me toward you

Lent is coming, and I find myself pondering where I am being invited to grow. A couple of recent dreams and one of my poems seem to be offering some insight.

For many years, I was in a dream group, meeting regularly with a couple of friends to share our dreams. I believe that God speaks to me through my dreams in the same way God spoke to people during Biblical times, so I try to pay attention to my dreams.

Belonging to a dream group helped me to be disciplined about recording my dreams, and the questions and insights of the other group members helped me gain understanding of the messages in my dreams.

I also learned from those groups that sharing dreams makes me vulnerable because dreams often reveal something of which I am unaware in my waking life; dreams uncover my blind spots and reveal what is hidden to me.

I recently had a couple of dreams that seemed significant because I remembered the emotions I felt while dreaming and a great deal of detail. I wrote out and emailed one dream to a former dream group member and asked for her insights. After a first reading, she asked if I was resisting some change in my life.

Upon reflection, I could see that I was. I am ready for a change and also fearful about it.

God-Lent-dreams

And then last week, a comment about one of my poems connected with the dream I had sent my friend.

The poem was about encountering a homeless person in a park, and the comment was from someone who had had a similar experience. But the truth is that I had not encountered a homeless person in a park.

So why, I asked myself, was I writing about a homeless person? Was this really about some part of me or my life being represented by a homeless person? The poem contained the same kind of hidden message as a dream might, and I realized how my writing can sometimes come from that same place within—that place that can reveal my blind spots.

God is doing something new, I thought, and using different ways to show me what it is.

God-Lent-dreams

Upon reflection, I can see that I am nurturing a tiny spark inside me, barely a flicker, and oh so vulnerable. It is like the vulnerability of being homeless—uncertain, unfocused, on the fringe. I fear the unknown-ness of this tiny spark.

And at the same time, I am drawn to it, wanting to protect it and watch it grow into something bigger and brighter. I want to acknowledge this spark is there, waiting patiently for me to notice it and to anticipate what it might become.

God speaks to me in many ways—through people, nature, dreams and writing—and in every moment, wishing to communicate with me. I need only to be open.

God-Lent-dreams

A time before

I want to go back to a time before,

to a time when I thought we would grow old together,

a time of innocence and naiveté,

when I believed anything was possible.

I want to go back to a time when I thought I could fly,

if only I wished hard enough,

when I believed in magic and happily ever after.

I want to go back to a time before my heart was broken.

Step out in trust

Jump down. Climb up.

My dreams reveal a simple truth: I choose the more difficult way.

Others walk around, but I jump down and then climb up.

Who will take my hand and guide me?

Who will prod me to trust?

Fear is useless, you say.

But my fears are as comfortable as a pair of old slippers.

Step out, you say.

But what if I fall?

I long to hear that one voice reminding me it is ok to trust.

When I hear it, the chains will fall, and I will be free.

Telling our stories

I had a dream the other night that I was facilitating a writing workshop, and I woke up remembering a workshop I facilitated about fifteen years ago called Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography. I enjoyed doing it, but I only did it once. Why is that? And why am I dreaming about a writing workshop now?

As I enter 2020, and get closer to retirement age, I am thinking more seriously about my next act. Is my dream offering direction? Is facilitating writing workshops part of my next act? Does the dream have something to do with my own writing?

God-mindfulness-story

The thing about my dreams is that they are not usually as clear as when an angel appeared in Joseph’s dream and told him to flee to Egypt. My dreams usually need some unpacking; the message is in there somewhere and it is up to me to figure it out.

I used to be in a dream group, and I loved sharing my dreams and having others ask probing questions to help me suss out the meaning of my dreams.

Now when I am trying to figure out the meaning of a dream, I imagine what probing questions my dream group members might ask, and I try to look at my dream through their eyes to see if I can get a different perspective.

I believe dreams carry messages for my waking life, and I try to honor my dreams as part of my spiritual practice, as much as I do prayer and meditation.

God-mindfulness-story

So, about writing.

I have been writing this blog for close to seven years, sharing my story in bits and pieces and gaining clarity about what parts of my story are most important to me.

I know my writing has themes, and that the stories I tell and retell have a message and an invitation to me. Those are the stories that I need to hear because those stories hold deeper meaning and healing for me.

God-mindfulness-story

Each of us has a story to tell, and each of our stories holds healing messages. Sharing our stories helps others to get in touch with their own blessings and brokenness and to gain insight into their own healing.

What invitation do your stories hold for you? How are you sharing your story?

Telling our stories

I had a dream the other night that I was facilitating a writing workshop, and I woke up remembering a workshop I facilitated about fifteen years ago called Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography. I enjoyed doing it, but I only did it once. Why is that? And why am I dreaming about a writing workshop now?

As I enter 2020, and get closer to retirement age, I am thinking more seriously about my next act. Is my dream offering direction? Is facilitating writing workshops part of my next act? Does the dream have something to do with my own writing?

God-mindfulness-story

The thing about my dreams is that they are not usually as clear as when an angel appeared in Joseph’s dream and told him to flee to Egypt. My dreams usually need some unpacking; the message is in there somewhere and it is up to me to figure it out.

I used to be in a dream group, and I loved sharing my dreams and having others ask probing questions to help me suss out the meaning of my dreams.

Now when I am trying to figure out the meaning of a dream, I imagine what probing questions my dream group members might ask, and I try to look at my dream through their eyes to see if I can get a different perspective.

I believe dreams carry messages for my waking life, and I try to honor my dreams as part of my spiritual practice, as much as I do prayer and meditation.

God-mindfulness-story

So, about writing.

I have been writing this blog for close to seven years, sharing my story in bits and pieces and gaining clarity about what parts of my story are most important to me.

I know my writing has themes, and that the stories I tell and retell have a message and an invitation to me. Those are the stories that I need to hear because those stories hold deeper meaning and healing for me.

God-mindfulness-story

Each of us has a story to tell, and each of our stories holds healing messages. Sharing our stories helps others to get in touch with their own blessings and brokenness and to gain insight into their own healing.

What invitation do your stories hold for you? How are you sharing your story?

Heartbroken

A local chamber music concert included both old and new music. The last piece on the program was called “Pieta” and was introduced as a new piece. The program listed the performers as a mezzo-soprano and pianist. A man and a woman entered the room and the woman gave us the background for this premier performance.

She told us that her son had been a musician—like his mother and grandmother. He had studied music at a university in Chicago, and she was clearly proud of his accomplishment. Not long after graduation, though, he came down with mononucleosis, and then a complication caused his sudden and unexpected death on a winter day almost three years ago. She had been devastated.

She told us she did not remember writing the words we were about to hear, but her friend (the pianist) had set them to music, the piece we were about to hear.

And then he began to play the piano and she began to sing.

She sang of her love for her son and his delightful personality; he was the light in her life. She sang of her sorrow, and she promised that she would never forget him. She sang the love letter she had written to him.

I was mesmerized by her singing, her story and her passion. It was operatic in that sense of being an event that could happen to anyone and yet was bigger than all of us. The depth of her sorrow and grief poured out through her singing.

Every parent who has experienced the death of a child needs to hear this, I thought. Her sorrow is their sorrow.

The title was not lost on me either, and I recalled standing before the Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome—a grieving mother holding her dead child, Mary and Jesus. This performance brought that statue to life.

How brave this woman was to sing of her deep sadness, to give voice to the sorrow that comes from the loss of a child. She held nothing back.

death-love-vulnerability

I love opera—the music and singing, costumes and sets. Opera presents ordinary events with all the underlying feelings and emotions. It invites us to experience hope, joy and sorrow.

As I listened to this mezzo-soprano, I imagined the story line of an opera—the young man, growing up in a house where music was valued, going off to college with all his hopes for a bright future as a musician. I could see the ordinariness of his college days and then his becoming ill with something common to college students. Then the unexpected, dramatic death, and its aftermath—confusion, anxiety, sorrow, grief.

All that promise gone. All that potential vanished.

What remains is the pouring out of a mother’s feelings of love and loss in this beautiful song.

My heart was touched by this performance and opened by the emotions shared by this grief-stricken mother. I was deeply grateful that she shared so honestly. What a gift.