Oh the beauty of sleep, a time to refresh and renew. Our minds recall and register the events of the day. Our spirits may be soothed and made calm and our bodies recalibrated and healed.
Sleep is an important aspect of life that impacts upon our wellbeing and any traumas that we have faced in life. There is lots of research at hand to increase our understanding of sleep and how it may enhance a healthier lifestyle. When we enter into the realm of dreams and nightmares we may be aware to some extent why we have them. However, it is less clear what effects they have upon us for the present and the future.
Dreams and nightmares
Throughout the course of time sages and various teachers have given much attention to dreams and nightmares and there various interpretations. We also find in plays and poems, prose and song and Holy Scriptures many references to dreams and nightmares and their particular meaning. Many of us will be familiar with the story of Joseph and his coat of many colours. We can follow the timeline of his brothers deceit and betrayal and then many years later their reconciliation. Joseph was involved with the interpretation of many dreams and their consequences as exampled with Pharaoh.
Recently during the time of lockdown, I ventured outside to cut the lawn and experienced a nightmare! The lawnmower did not work. So I wondered what to do and came up with the dream of fixing it myself. In life I believe it is important to chase your dreams, to seek and understand them and to make them real in one form or another.
It is also critical to shake off our nightmares and to try to assess why and where they came from. It might be the case that we can learn from the dreams and nightmares in a positive sense, either as a warning of an impending outcome or as a spur to embark on something new ensuring that the nightmare doesn’t becomes a reality.
Recently through my contacts on LinkedIn I came across the amazing story of Leanne Armitage who at the age of 15 had a dream to become a Doctor and serve her local community. Leanne outlined a number of hurdles that she had to overcome to achieve her goal and gain her two degrees MBBS and BSC.
Leanne then went on to co-found The Armitage Foundation which helps students, from under represented backgrounds, to gain a place at medical school. It is a reminder that goals are there to be achieved and enjoyed and that nightmares are to be overcome and left behind. Leanne acknowledged the support of her mother and sister in achieving her own goal and becoming a role model for other young people to achieve their dreams.
In March I was listening to a man who talked about the important role of a dream catcher and shared how a loving couple influenced his own life and career. The young man at the time felt inadequate but was encouraged to speak publically and be confident. In the course of time he excelled in his studies and became a lawyer. The elderly couple continued in a very unassuming and quiet way to encourage and nurture the man.
In time the young man went on to speak at many large conferences and became a very successful lawyer and businessman. Later in life he became the director of the influential charity Care for the Family and is known as Rob Parsons. The mature couple enabled Rob to catch and fulfil his dream which he would not have been able to do otherwise and when they were told about the effect on Rob’s life they were totally unaware of their full impact.
Dream a dream
Today think about the dreams you are having. Is there a recurring dream that might be a goal for you to aim for, or is it like a disturbing nightmare that needs addressing and smashing? In the Victor Hugo classic Les Miserables a young Fantine, laments her lost love and the impact of having to care for her young child and sings the famous song ‘I dreamed a dream.’
- You have a dream to be loved and affirmed by family and friends. To find personal love and establish your own family.
- You are unemployed or do not like the current job and career you are in. You dream of fulfilling that special job whatever it might be.
- You are not secure in your accommodation and you want to give time to find a better place to live and breathe in.
- You want a better social life. You desire to be more relaxed within yourself and with others. Face up to your nightmares and anxieties so as to unlock the paralysis you find yourself in.
- You may consider a faith in God but all the facts and knowledge acquired does not allow you to let go and embrace faith, to find and experience that ‘peace that passes all understanding,’ and a peace that flourishes in the midst of trouble and concern.
Make plans. Speak to the appropriate people to bring into reality your dreams so as to enjoy your life than just existing. In reaching for your dream, you may experience a nightmare. In our nightmares may we find strength and support to transform them into dreams to be realised.
Cut the grass
Oh by the way I forgot to update you about the grass cutting! I went online and ordered a new switch and capacitor which duly arrived. I then exchanged the old ones for new ones which gave me power and a capacity to cut the lawn, albeit ten days later!
May God’s personal presence, as Joseph found and experienced in all his dreams and nightmares, be yours today.
May you find deep and real peace in the midst of all the concerns you are experiencing, so that you carry your dreams through and over the rainbow of life.
May you be a dream catcher for others, to enable them to realise their own dreams and ambitions.
Dream on! Graham