Saturday, July 18, 2015

Putting Myself to Sleep

The other day I bought the kindle version of Heather Sutherland’s “A Beginners Guide to Spiritual Dreams”.  It was recommended by a facebook friend. I have had my fair share of very vivid dreams.  Some I attribute to cheese, but others bear the divine stamp.  Some dreamed decades ago still continue to speak to me today. 

A section of the book deals with “Cleansing” dreams.  I nodded as I read the first sentence – “Have you ever dreamed of being on the toilet or in the shower?” Yes, to both of those scenarios.  The toilet one creeps into my dreams when, in the real world, I actually need to go to the toilet.  It is my sleeping brain’s way of alerting the sleeping me that I really need to go. I tend to recognise it and then dream I have woken up and gone to the toilet.  Then another toilet appears in the next dream scene and I know I didn’t wake up for real.

The shower one is not always a private affair! I tend to be more concerned about where the water goes as it’s never a proper shower, but a shower head hanging over the top of my bed or some other impossible place.  I always appear much slimmer in my dreams and I’m almost proud to show off a shapely body.  In real life there’s a lot more of me and less of an exhibitionist attitude.

The interpretation given is about getting rid of toxic issues in my life. How I feel about certain people – negative thoughts, or hate or bitterness.  Other people might know about these issues and have some insight.

I was reading this the other night.

“Issues?” I mumbled to God, “I don’t have any issues, do I?”

“Do you want the whole list or would just the top two be enough to go on with?”

Now, in order to dream one must sleep!  I used to sleep, once upon a time.  I still do, but never for the whole night.  I sleep in two-hourly segments.  If I go to bed at 11.00, I will wake up at 1.00 and at 3.00 and at 5.00.  It’s always two-hourly give or take five or ten minutes.  I generally go straight back to sleep unless I accidentally wake my brain up.  If I dream a verse of poetry, the brain is roused to write it down before I go back to sleep.  Of course, once the brain has done its task it has to write a second or third verse and then tweak words before it will settle.  It’s best not to wake the brain.

If you count the hours of sleeping I am getting enough, and I dream a variety of dreams.  I don’t know whether it’s a case of any dream will do or whether there is a depth of sleep where only there can God touch your dreams.  Do I ever reach that depth with my two-hourly routine?

I am not aware of any particular anxieties that keep me awake – except for worrying that I won’t be able to sleep, but I decided last night to enlist God’s help in getting a good night’s sleep.  Out of curiosity I googled prayers for going to sleep.  I pray before I go to sleep but I don’t pray to go to sleep.  I had never thought about doing that before. My two-hourly sleep cycles didn’t appear to be having a detrimental effect.  I don’t think they were doing me any good though.

I started reading some of these prayers and praying them as I read them.  They were beautifully written.

“You’re treating them as spells,” said God. “A prayer is not a magic string of words said in that particular order to get a certain end result. Sometimes I’m not that interested in what your mouth says. I’m more interested in what your heart says.  Just talk to me – your words, not someone else’s.”

So I prayed my own prayer for God to help me to sleep and to stay sleeping throughout the night.

Well, I fell asleep very quickly.  I didn’t sleep throughout the night.  The two-hourly sections stretched to three hourly ones, waking at 2.00 and at 5.00, and I really did feel more rested.  I don’t often lie in, but this morning I rolled over and slept for another couple of hours. It might not seem much to you but I felt progress had been made.

Did I dream? Yes. I was in a church, painting fishes on a wall.  Make of that what you will.

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