Saturday, July 16, 2016

Cheese Dreams

I am a vivid dreamer. 

Some dreams seem to be very obvious God-dreams. They contain something very profound, life changing perhaps. They have got God stamped all over them.

Other dreams I call “cheese dreams”. Nothing profound happens and they seem to be linked to something that happened at work.  I assume that it’s just the way the brain sorts out stuff from the day. They can be interesting, or not. They can leave a bad cloud hanging over me in the morning, or not. Does the fact that I remember them mean they are not true cheese dreams at all? Sometimes I sit down and pick the dream apart looking for some kind of revelation. Sometimes there is vague insight to be gleaned. Most of the time I put it down to cheese.

This morning I fell among dream interpreters. The intention was a cup of tea with a friend and a handing over of the poetry manuscript for book 2. She had offered to take a look at it and cast a poet’s eye over it.  I’m not looking for any major overhauls of any of the poems, just a gut reaction about whether they made the grade. I have a few poems waiting in the wings for last minute evictions.

Another friend joined us. Apparently I was sort of gate crashing their weekly dream interpretation meeting. The group was usually bigger than just the two of them, but it is school holiday time and people fluctuations were to be expected. It’s possible that it was just tea or coffee on the menu with a break from the dream interpretation side of things – but I tossed a cheese dream onto the table. I was expecting confirmation that it was a cheese dream and no more.

It appears that cheese dreams don’t exist.

I’m not sure what I expected in terms of dream interpretations. I think I was looking for eyes closed and silent prayer and a particular connection to the heavenlies that I don’t possess. I was waiting for “I think God is saying this…” Instead, they took out notebooks and asked probing questions and drew spider diagrams. They went online to hunt down the meanings of the names of the people in my dream. There were corresponding numbers and related Bible verses to explore. They made interesting connections. It was very different from what I had expected. Very thorough. Significant looks passed between the two of them.

I thought it was all down to my insecurities at work. The dream featured people at work being given slices of my responsibilities leaving me lots of time and nothing to do.  I was being overlooked or passed by, or replaced by someone, who in all honesty I felt knew nothing at all about how to do my job better than I could. In the real world much of what I do has been cut down to a minimum and I often feel like a spare part. I know that “they” said I was indispensable and irreplaceable when “they” denied me voluntary redundancy, but that doesn’t mean that I feel particularly valued at times.

I soon discovered as I answered questions and listened to the conversation between the two ladies that unlocking dreams is not always as obvious as it looks. Even if it is just about my insecurities at work, that gives me something to bring before God to talk through and see His perspective. My ladies were not content with that.

My boss, who in real life is so supportive, in my dream showed little concern about my plight.  After some research on his name and linking in numbers and Bible verses they concluded that he could represent God. We all have expectations about God and how He should act – yes, God is supportive. I have been doing my own research into the faithfulness of God for a poem to be included in the book. God is faithful to His purposes in my life not to my purposes. Times when God wants to push me on to a deeper awareness or intimacy can be uncomfortable times. He has begun something in me and He is determined to see it to completion and doesn’t always get my full cooperation. God not acting the way I expect Him to act is something I know in my head, but don’t always embrace in my heart.

There was no dialogue in my dream just a one sided commentary on how badly I thought I was being treated.  I said things and no one answered. I expressed my sense of betrayal and no one said anything. I thought my sense of betrayal was significant. My dream interpreters thought otherwise. The fact that there had been no dialogue about it meant it might not be that important.

They didn’t come to a settled conclusion about the meaning. They missed the usual crowd and the varied tossing of thoughts into the pot. They agreed that despite the dream storyline there was a very positive message coming out. There are, or have been, new beginnings.  It could be work related, or church related or Mel related. It could be specifically poetry related. They didn’t say hard times are coming, strap yourself in. They did say God will show His grace and mercy. And, of course, I should never doubt that God loves me.

What I really valued about the whole experience was the permission granted to express my fears. Dream interpretation wasn’t something done to me. In the context of trying to figure out what my dream meant there were opportunities to look closely at some aspects of my life, to prod and poke around my psyche in a safe environment. All my “negatives” were balanced out with their “positives”.

So, yes, it may not be just about the dream interpretation but providing that opportunity to really talk and explore the hidden part of ourselves.

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