Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

Seagulls

“Sleep tonight.  And may your dreams be realized.”  U2- MLK

       What is it?  You know what I’m talking about.  That thing you just can’t have?  Most people have something.  That thing. 

What is it?  Who is it?   Is it a place in time?  Is it an attribute such as being thinner, taller, or smarter?   Is it wanting to make real a memory of what once was and will never be again?  Is it a certain success?  Is it a conquering of something that plagues you or accomplishing a quest that drives you?  Is it a specific feeling, a way of being loved, respected, or admired?  Is it something you never had, but can taste vividly in your mind but can’t seem to grasp or make happen in real life?

Is it obvious to those who know you?  Or do you keep it hidden in a secret, safe place? Is it readily attainable, or frustratingly elusive?  Is it realistic?

Does it mean you have to change?  Or does it mean you have to change your circumstances?  Perhaps you first have to change your perspective.  Maybe you’ll have to change the way your structure your life.  Maybe you’ll have to increase focus and implementation your intentionsless dreaming, more doing.

Maybe there is a reason you don’t have it.  Perhaps it would harm you.  Or destroy you.  Or mislead you.  Or deceive or confuse you.  Or to come to you for a time, only to leave you wanting it more than you do now, an ultimate abandonment.  Perhaps you aren’t ready for it.  Perhaps it’s not the good thing you think it is.

Life is so hard sometimes.   When it is the hardest, it’s hard to be satisfied right here, at this moment in time, with THIS life.  

We learn at an early age that we are born to die.  We don’t always have the luxury of infinite time here to craft life the way we desire it to be.   We’re bombarded with media and messages on how to dress, act, speak, behave, work, look, love, and live in order to finally be able to get it.

But sometimes you just won’t.  You can’t.  And you don’t.   Perhaps there is an internal reason you can’t or won’t and you know you have to make really hard changes to make it happen.  Or maybe it’s external, such as timing, or something even bigger:  God’s will.

That’s a hard one.  Why is it when you do everything to make it happen, it sometimes doesn’t?  Why would God hold back on something you know to be good for you?  A source of happiness for you?  A completeness of your soul?

     Because maybe it’s not about you.  Ouch!

It’s true.    Life is not always about me, and what I want.   The pain comes in knowing you’ll need to figure out how to live joyfully without it.    

        Many of us walk around with a certain hole in our soul, but I believe those that overcome, even better—they thrive in the midst of adversity or even the subtle continuity of specific tribulations, are governed by a higher law. 

Grace.  The law of God’s unspeakable goodness is at work for you, and within you.  Grace is knowing it’s all good, or at least has the potential to be used for good in your life or others.  It’s all going to be okay because your strength doesn’t depend on you, but instead flows through you from a higher power.   Not getting everything we want, or even a specific thing we want never has the power to disappoint or destroy us, once we understand we are already gracefully loved.

When we frame our desires and wants thru the lens of knowing that we are already loved by an all-knowing, all-seeing God who already knows our deepest longings, we find REST.  We TRUST as we wait, and as we move forward, we can choose contentment as our perspective and feel joyful as we go about our lives.  Even when we don’t get what we want or as we wait for it until we do.

“We are homesick most for the places we have never known.”
Carson McCullers

 “I don’t know what they are called, the spaces between seconds– but I think of you always in those intervals.”
Salvador Plascencia, The People of Paper

“There is a space between man’s imagination and man’s attainment that may only be traversed by his longing.”
Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam

 

 

 Be Yourself

I’ve been struggling with something lately.  It’s made me feel insecure and small and insignificant.

I’ve been seeking validation and confirmation in all the wrong faces and places.  I’ve been allowing what others say or do or don’t say or don’t do to define me.  It’s a hang-up, a bad habit I have.  And it always yields the same result:

An engraved invitation to a party:

THE PITY PARTY

      Have you ever been to one?  Oh they’re fabulous; let me tell you!  No limousines or glamorous gowns or flowing champagne and people to tell you how amazing, how stunningly beautiful, how incredibly talented,  how divinely gifted you are.  No!  You arrive, and you wonder where in the world are all the guests?

   You can almost feel the smirk on an unseen enemy’s faceThis is it.  You realize.  This is your party.  A party with the table all set for one: You!    It’s a lonely party.  There are no gifts or accolades or recognition.

Linda Rondstandt’s Poor Poor Pitiful Me blares in the background.   You begin to doubt everything you’ve ever done or hope to do in the future.  Past accomplishments are but a distant memory.  Hope for the future is a concept belonging to others rather than an assured belief. 

How is it that we can be so hopeful one day and feel in utter despair the next?

I’ll tell you.  We forget who we are.

    The moment we forget that we are created by a loving God who has plans so magnificent, our mind hasn’t even begun to conceive what they are, we fall prey to the schemes of an unseen enemy.  The devil, Satan, self-absorption, bad karma, narcissism; they’re one in the same in my book. When we are the ruler of our own kingdom, we become quickly disillusioned when our “subjects” (those people and circumstances we can’t seem to get control of) disobey or at least, disappoint.

I so know this intellectually.  It’s just my heart that trips me up.  Repeatedly.   See there’s these three things I just keep wanting over and over:

Validation

Admiration

Results to go the way I plan

        We do have to make plans in life.  It’s true, there is no such thing as a plan to fail, only a failure to plan.  But sometimes even the best laid plans are laid to waste if a higher law at work deems it so.

I’m talking about God here.  Yes, sometimes God allows us to fail, to hurt, to be disappointed, to not understand.  Why?  So that we can fall.  Fall on our faces and fall on our knees.  He doesn’t want us to fall prey; He wants us to FALL,  PRAY. 

       Do you ever feel restless  in your faith; anxious in your soul?  Do you have an itch you just can’t scratch?  Do sermons and scripture verses and encouragement from others  just sound like words:  blah, blah, blah, blah?  Do you ever feel misunderstood, abandoned, invisible, and disappointed?

     Not to worry.  It happens.  We are human.  This is the cycle of life.  We get restless and start to feel like there is something more over there!   We get restless and feel like if we only had……………

You fill in the blank.  You know what I’m talking about.  That thing.  That thing that if you could just possess or experience or be than everything would be perfect.  Except that it wouldn’t.

We were born to struggle and to wrestle.  To struggle and wrestle within ourselves, our beliefs, with those in the world, and yes, even with God.  We’re challenged to prove it’s true in that which we think we know.

We don’t have all the answers.  But God does.   I know that in all things a good and loving God is in control.   In His time, and in His Way, he is working out not just my Salvation (in Christ) but also my issues, problems, deepest longings, and dreams. 

How do we get back to true?  How do we turn around?  How do we get better?  How do we heal?

It’s simple, but hard:  We let go and let God.  We struggle to get set free as we realize by letting go, we already are.

You already know this.  I do too.  We just need to be reminded sometimes.

     When you know that you know that you know that you are loved by the Creator of the Universe and He has it all under control , despite your feelings today, He will bring you home, to Him, to the love that He has for you, and He has planted inside you, waiting to be poured out, spilling over the brim, in order to bless others.

     You too are loved.  Believe it.  Now live it. 

 

You rise up early, and go to bed late, and work hard for your food, all for nothing. For the Lord gives to His loved ones even while they sleep. Psalm 127:2 (New Living Version)

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 (NIV)

In my dream I was drowning the sorrows
But my sorrows, they learned to swim
Surrounding me, going down on me
Spilling over the brim
Waves of regret and waves of joy
I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
You…you said you’d wait
’til the end of the world…..

“Until the End of the World” – U2

An Unfinished Dream

Posted: March 9, 2013 in Dreams
Tags: ,

Scultpor of Emotions by Gaylord Ho

       “Visions” by Gaylord Ho (“Sculptor of Emotions”)**

      I was having a really good dream this morning.  Apparently on the rare hours I actually scratch out a patch of sleep, I hit the deep R.E.M. cycles pretty good.  My dreams are so vivid.  I remember many of them immediately after words.  If I ponder long enough to recall them once or twice that day, chances are I’ll be able to recall them several weeks from now.

Yes, I was having a great dream.  In it I saw someone I knew a long time ago.  In this alternate yet parallel universe that is so full of life while I am comatose still in real life, everything seems twice as real.   Surreal.  I’m convinced a dreamer came up with the term.

This person was leaving a long red brick building and was wearing an oversized jacket, kind of like a detective jacket.  A scarf was draped around his neck.  Sunglasses on.  I was standing about twenty yards  away.  I smiled.  It had been decades in real life since our paths crossed.  Yet in real life I hardly knew him at all.  It’s not a love story.  It’s an acquaintance.  And yet.

In dreams, it’s always so much more than meets the eye.  Somehow you just know the next day, the dream had a deeper meaning than what just what meets the eye, this dark and silent mysterious place in the mind.  A place where words seem to have been spoken, yet when remembered, it was more like they were simply conveyed.

“Hello!” it felt as though I was shouting.  My heart felt as if it was racing but only in my dream, but why?  In real life, our paths would simply run parallel, never to converge, passing one another unaware.   He simply smiled and waved back at me.  Then he abruptly turned his face and walked away.  Or perhaps glided; it’s the everyday waking moments we take for granted that are more fuzzy upon recall in dreams.  I remember specific details of faces and places, how I felt, colors and their intensity, but everyday things like walking and talking are hazy and out of focus.

Other things happen in dreams too.  We move forward and backwards in time.  We are more free, and unhindered by things like age, occupation, wealth or health, relational dynamics, or even gravity.    This ability for the mind to morph our everyday reality into a super reality seemingly and effortlessly combines all that we actually are, all that we fear, and all that we hope to be converges to make a kind of soup of our real life stories.

“Woof!” “Woof, woof!!”  It’s our new puppy.  In real life. 

My eyes open and try and focus like a zoom lens struggling to find the light in a dark room.  It takes a while for them to dial in on the clock face and another moment to read the time.  4:11 am.

It’s that lucid moment when my dream is the freshest, on the very tip of my consciousness—the moment of perfect total recall. 

This man of mystery simply waved and had already walked on.

     “Wait!  Come back!” I’m internally shouting.   COME BACK!  It’s too late.  He  fades.  The moment in time has passed. It’s too late.  I won’t ever know what would have happened next. 

I throw back the covers and jump into my sweats that are still in the dropped position of where I left them.   I grab my jacket draped over the chair.  I hurry downstairs and let the puppy out to do his business.  It’s 4:13 in the morning and I’m in my back yard feeling like Lord Byron contemplating my dream and wondering what might have been.  If only…..what might have been.

Why did the dream mean so much in my mind when it wouldn’t even register as memorable in real life?  Does God whisper something we can’t quite understand in our dreams?   Why this person?  Why now?  What does it all mean?  And how come I can’t I stop thinking about it?

       I stand outside in real life a little longer.  I’m barefooted.  It’s freezing!  I just want to hurry up and get back to my over-sized bed with its thousand plus thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and super soft fuzzy blankets.    I just want to finish what I started.  But I know I never will.

What’s true in life, is also true in our dreams.  We have to stay in the dream to finish it.   We can’t let interruptions wake us up.  Oh, how they compete for our time though, do they not?    Reality is cold.  It nips at our heels and pushes us towards uncomfortable.   Yes, reality bites.  Life is hard.  Life is busy.  With dreams this much is the minimal requirement:  Stay the course anyway.

I’m back upstairs again and cozily burrowed again under my sea of blankets.   Ah!  Softness.  Warmth.  The great aphrodisiac of the exhausted is calling me:   Sleep, sleep tonight.  And may your dreams be realized.

**(Artistic Credit:  The sculpture above entitled “Visions” is described as “An angel with crystal ball.  The angel gazes into a a crystal ball as she looks for truth and compassion.  The crystal ball represents the earth, the environment, and all mankind.  The angel contemplates the wonder of it all.”  It is on display at The Wyland Gallery in Orlando, FL at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort.)