A few nights ago, C had a bad dream and came into my room waking me from a dream in which he was gathering together a bushel of candy including giant swirl lollipops and other confections that reminded me of Willy Wonka. In my sleepy stupor, I suggested he try to enter my dream where he was getting lots of sweets. He looked at me like I was crazy, but smiled as he climbed into my bed and snuggled against me drifting off to better thoughts.
I don’t think it is crazy to believe that we can visit one another’s dreams. And I do think that there is a giant pool of subconsciousness that we all swim in and, whether or not we realize it, there are ripples from each other that affect all areas of our lives, including our dreams. I also believe that we are constantly taking in messages and information throughout the day that can’t all be processed, so we work a lot out in our dreams.
My dream life ebbs and flows like everything else, but lately the energy that has been flowing at night has created some very vivid and captivating dreams. I try to remember them and jot pieces down when I wake up, but in the hustle and bustle of my mornings this isn’t always possible. For me, not only are dreams an excellent source of inspiration for story lines and characters, but I use them to decode those messages and lessons from my subconscious and assimilate them into my waking life. This can be fun or disturbing and many times confusing, but the dream I had last night was easy to understand. Mostly because I woke up not just remembering a series of bizarre images and weird story, but because I could still feel it. Like when you catch a whiff of a scent that immediately transports you to another time and place. I can still evoke that feeling now.
In the dream, I had to get somewhere and it was important. I found myself lost and happened upon a friend of mine who offered to show me the way to get where I needed to go. We had to journey through a huge estate where there were museum rooms and people dressed up like colonials and there was a ranch and a funeral and some ducks and a car accident and a swamp that needed to be navigated and many other little pieces that I could have a field day trying to interpret. But the true focus for me was the feeling of how I trusted my guide wholly. I felt so connected to him and forged ahead without care, talking and laughing, even though some of what we were encountering wasn’t pleasant and some was downright scary. At one point, he took my hand and smiled at me and we continued to walk that way; I was filled with a sense of well-being and peace at my core, even though my heart began to quicken and the butterflies swirled up a storm in my belly.
Now, in real life, it has been a long, long time since someone caused that physical and emotional reaction in me just by taking my hand or standing nearby. There is nothing more intoxicating than how an innocent touch or look or smile can create that incredible feeling of falling in love. It’s not the same as being attracted to someone physically, although it can have a similar effects. It’s the sense of wanting to stay in that moment forever; when the right person is smiling at you or standing near you or touching your hand and the rest of the world is just a blurry dream sequence around you.
It didn’t matter in my dream that I had to wade through a swamp where there were nasty leeches and other bugs. It mattered that I was traveling with someone who I completely trusted. That I felt safe from the inside out.
When I woke up, I could still feel that fluttering. I could still conjure the warm burn in my belly. And I realized with certainty, this is what I want. Not the man in the dream, he was just a symbol. I want my heart’s desire. I want a love that allows me to navigate the dark forests and murky swamps of life without batting an eyelash. Not only do I think I have reached the point in my real life adventures where I would be happy to have a traveling companion, I know that I am ready to take that leap of faith, to entrust someone with my heart (and the hearts of my sons), to open myself to fully receiving someone’s love and to know that we are safe in each other’s care.
Obviously, that kind of love doesn’t happen along every day. And while I feel lucky enough to have experienced some wonderful relationships and deep love in my life, I often wonder if I used up all my chances. If my opportunities for making that kind of love last in my life have come and gone because I wasn’t ready to trust in it or to believe I was worthy of it. I’ve wondered if I have missed the occasion to let someone show me that love because I was looking for it to appear in a different form.
My single girlfriends and I have lamented how difficult it seems to meet the right guy. We go out on dates, we put ourselves out there, we hope for the best, we give second chances, we wonder if we are expecting too much or not the right things. My dream last night has reaffirmed my belief that if someone isn’t making you feel the way I felt in the dream, move on; the lesson is clear: accept only the hand of the one who makes you laugh, stirs the butterflies with just the nearness of him, and who makes you feel safe from the inside out. We are all worthy of that kind of love and shouldn’t settle for anything else.