My husband, Burt, woke yelling, “Aau-aaugh!” In the dream, a lion pats Burt and opens its jaw over his head. Friendly or ferocious? Burt didn’t know, until later. I asked others about their dreams. Email answers popped the seams of a three-part series. (Burt discusses his dream in Part 3.)
• • •
Do you dream?
• “What a fun assignment! Nudging us to reveal our dreams! I often have delightful, energizing dreams…”
• “I dream every night. Most of my dreams are forgotten when I wake up. They are meaningless, and often portray me trying to get something done and I think just make me more tired.”
• “I have some crazy dreams that get (husband) laughing when I describe them. Often they have people in them from my distant past.”
• “Mine are a little vivid and alarming to some :) …not sure they would make a family publication.”
• “My daydreams are my most common dreams.”
• “Dreams take many forms. The search for ‘The American Dream’ brought my immigrant grandparents to this country. In my family some of the children and all of the grandchildren have lived it. ‘Pursue Your Dreams’ is another popular slogan. Many do. My courses in counseling led me to choose ‘reality therapy’ rather than doing what you love without regard for others and without a financial foundation. As senior citizens with less responsibility, maybe ‘life is but a dream,’ However, the news media wakes us to all the disasters and needs there are. Prayers are needed.”
• “The most famous dream is MLK’s.”
• “My sleep doesn’t provide much if any dreaming, so, how about sharing that which I would like to dream, such as spending some dream time with those special people who have gone home, like my brother, my dad, my mom … those dreams have not come, perhaps some day/some night!!!”
Do you find meaning in dreams?
• “I have had a couple of dreams that I remember well, and were special messages to me and I will never forget them.”
• “(Husband) dreams almost every night. He and (granddaughter) talk about their dreams, trying to figure out their meanings. Most of his dreams are frustrations ~ lost luggage, late to flights, confusion in hotels, lost in large cities (mostly Athens, Turkey), can’t find his wallet, golfing, can’t find his clubs, can’t tee the all up, can’t get to the right hole. He never did get lost, never lost luggage, was always on time so has really never experienced most of the dreams in real life.”
• “Just last night, I dreamed of empty rooms in an old building. The rooms are each finished differently, and the doorways are very low. Is it my farmhouse? I suspect the ‘empty’ is my own head…”
• “Last night I dreamed about a couple I had invited for dinner. Yesterday, I picked out reading glasses similar to those of the female in this dream, but the dream went nowhere … I used a hunk of cheese for butter?????”
• “I dreamed Dad was alive, but confined in a coffin in the woodshed — not the house. I could go there and talk with him, but he was not able to leave his confinement. When we discussed dreams in a class later, it was suggested that Dad was undergoing some changes — physical, mental and/or psychological. That made sense to me, but I never forgot the dream. I now think the company was going through changes, perhaps selling out, and jobs were in jeopardy. It was not discussed at home.”
• “One unexpected outcome of (husband’s open heart) surgery is that he remembers dreams more often now . . . I’m happy, for dreams are important pointers to the self integrating…”
Where do you think dreams come from?
• “Dreams usually are a bizarre play on something done, seen, or experienced the day before. Earlier this week, I was recounting the story of my introduction to the man who became my discipler in 1972, in which I seriously, and rather foolishly asked, ‘So, are you saying drugs are wrong for a Christian?’ That night I dreamt I was selling cocaine in an M&Ms pill form, and debating whether I should indulge … (In-laws) are here for (wife’s) birthday, and yesterday the six of us were at a favorite lunch location. I had one beer and several sips of rye whiskey. While running errands later I was feeling slightly impaired, knowing I needed a nap soon. The REM was in a 1.5 hour nap, two dreams in succession … I was drunk, or definitely physically impaired, one while shopping, kept falling down, one while driving and not navigating well.”
• I believe dreams are one of the ways God communicates with us, sometimes providing affirmation, warnings, or even solutions to a problem.”
• “The Bible certainly verifies that Joseph was met by an angel in his dream and told not to divorce Mary but to take her as his wife for God’s intentions for him.”
• “I think my dreams are more about my current worries that keep me from sleeping.”
• “(Dreams) reflect our current insecurities and worries.”
Have you ever had missed-the-big-test anxiety dreams?
• “I dream it’s Final Exam Week at the UW and I should be studying hard and I would be, but there’s a distraction. Books and notes are piled on my dormitory desk, but I keep being pulled away by my infant daughter who is in the opened middle drawer of my bureau. She should be cozy, napping, lying on pillows and covered with baby blankets. But she’s awake and every sound from her pulls me away from chemistry formulas or whatever I am trying to cram into my head. Thank heavens, this is just a dream, but it takes a while for me to burst out of it and awaken to realize there have been no final exams for dozens of years.”
• “A relic of my days as a teacher … The setting is always a kindergarten classroom, opening day. I realize I am terribly late and I can hear the children screaming and running around the room with irate parents inquiring of my whereabouts. I have no choice but to enter my classroom and try to resolve the chaos. The dream continues with me having little success in calming anyone. This scenario was so engraved on my psyche that I continued to have nightmares for several years into retirement.”
• “When I was substitute teaching, I dreamed of kids out of control. In real life, a third-grader picked up his desk and threw it.”
• “After being retired from teaching for nearly seven years, I still have the dreams where I show up to my classroom late or unprepared or the kids are totally out of control, running around the room. I also dream of being a student and at the end of the term I realize I haven’t been to class at all and I ask myself, ‘What was I thinking?’ Those really are nightmares, and I’m always relieved to wake up. Being a student and/or teacher most of my life, those dreams best represent my insecurities. I wonder if I’ll ever stop having those school-related dreams?”