The Power of Dreams to Forecast Future Events
I have been a dreamer all my life and within the last six weeks I have had a number of dreams that both frightened and baffled me. How is it possible I ask myself that after 40 years of dream jounraling and being trained as analyst that I am still that stupid?
Part of the answer is that I don’t pay close enough attention to warnings when I can’t make sense of them. For example, when these dreams began someone I didn’t know had contacted me out of the blue and insinuated himself into my life by praising someone I love. The very next night I had a dream that told me that a man was coming to harm me.
When I awakened I thought about this stranger, but discarded him immediately as the threat because he seemed so sincere and kind. We struck up a long distance communication that seemed benign, although I must admit that from the beginning I was suspicious of his talk of having an instant ‘spiritual conversion’ and the “high” that accompanied it. I also felt wary of the man’s obsession with light, and his identification with it.
At the same time I began to have some physical issues that only arise when the “I” in me is at odds with what my body knows to be true. I questioned the stranger’s motives, but couldn’t anchor anything threatening in his behavior beyond his obsession with light, which continued to trouble me. Identifying oneself with light is like becoming a god, and false gods proclaim their superiority at other’s expense. They think they KNOW. I had also learned that light and shadow belong together, and if one element is missing there is some kind of problem.
Yet I remained confused. Finally I attributed my physical symptoms to very real fear and anxiety around not being able to take care of myself this winter. I attempted to deal with my anxiety by keeping my awareness focused on this issue. Trying to work with my fears didn’t help.
A second very frightening dream occurred in which a HUGE BIRCH with elephantine arms was threatening me. Immediately, I attributed this dream to the winter birch holocaust of last year, wondering if more trees were going to fall in another ice -storm. I didn’t know then that this man was also obsessed with a dead man named – you guessed it, Birch.
I stopped sleeping. My body couldn’t rest.
I dreamed about a monster boy.
I dreamed I need a light to see though this darkness.
I dreamed that someone was interfering with my brother’s real story.
I dreamed a predator was near.
I dreamed that I was building a house that also looked like a boat and its prow had many windows, but I couldn’t see what was behind me.
On January 6, the beginning of the New Year and the Feast of Epiphany, I dreamed I must attend to my body’s truth. Frustrated, I had no idea what else I could do, beyond what I was already doing.
I dreamed I saw a hideous desert –like muddy vortex swirling in the ground that was trying to pull me in.
In the final two dreams I was buried under three feet of snow, and a tree, that was also me was chopped down.
The very next day this stranger betrayed my brother and me, my family, living and dead, in a most heinous way.
The “Wolf” had finally identified and exposed himself as the Predator he was.
Happily the story doesn’t end there. What I didn’t mention is that in between the troubling dreams during the last six weeks, I had a series of three powerful dreams about my brother that indicated that all was well and that he lived deep in a forest he loved with the deer. These dreams overrode the egregious actions of the wolf, and left me in a state of peace.
As my dearest cousin and I untangled the tale of “the wolf in sheep’s clothing” we recovered what had been stolen for only one day, the truth around my brother’s life, who he really was, and who he might have become.
Billy reiterated, “We are Family!”.
It’s probably not necessary to add that both of us have developed into people we respect. We know our shortcomings and can own them. Integrity, humility and compassion come to those of us who are willing to take responsibility for our lives and have learned how to love. Being able to be emotionally present for one another is just how we are together.
Is it any wonder that my gratitude runs beneath this story like a great underground river?
I wrote out this personal narrative to close a brief chapter in my life, but also to help me understand how I managed to miss the meaning behind so many threatening dreams. The key seems to lie with my body. Like that of any animal, she is always instinctively grounded in truth.
The “I” in me is easily confused, and if my mind cannot make rational sense out of dream messages, I choose my own words (read: interpretations) instead of turning to my body and asking her to help me uncover what my feelings are trying to warn me about.
The bottom line is that I am still privileging mind over body as my culture has taught me to do.
The other problem belongs to me. One of my good qualities is that I am genuinely kind and generous. I routinely project* my kindness/ generosity onto others. This tendency has gotten me into more trouble in my life than the reader can imagine. I still don’t know how to stop doing this with other people, because today I do own my generosity of spirit.
*Projection, a Jungian term, occurs when we can’t own a quality either positive or negative in ourselves and unconsciously place it on another person admiring or vilifying that individual. All humans engage in this behavior.
Either way, the challenge is to learn to see when this is happening, and to own and integrate that quality into our own personality with awareness. It can be just as difficult to own a positive quality, as it is to integrate one that is negative, but if we are to mature we must learn to do both or we will continue to see ourselves and other people through a distorted lens.