Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dreams (Like the ones you have at night, not goals)

"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange."

Dreams are weird.

When I dream, I dream very vividly, always. Apparently this isn't how everyone dreams. It makes for some interesting nights. I will awake and it takes several moments to realize I was just having a dream or what just happened didn't really happen.

When I was a child I would have a couple of reoccurring themes or dreams. One theme was the end of the world. I would always be so terrified when I awoke from dreams like this, terrible-ugh. Suffering, fear, pain, the unknown. Also, I would inevitably lose my glasses and be wandering around totally lost without being able to see.  The second dream was always the same. My mom would be driving me and my sisters home and stop a few blocks away and get out of the car. We would have to find our own way home with the car. Of course we were all under driving age. I was never scared in the dream just confused. It was odd.

As of late I've been having some more dreams with reoccurring themes. I keep dreaming about things in my life that have happened and then I change the events so the outcome is different. I'm sure this stems from wanting to have acted/responded to situations differently.

Oh let's take a short bunny trail here....I think it is utterly fascinating to explore dream meanings. If they have meaning at all or if they are purely for entertainment. The smallest details can represent something (or nothing at all just purely in the dream because of your subconscious.) Of course I'm leery but I've done a little bit of research out of curiosity. But as they say, curiosity killed the cat. OK, back on track.

The next dream theme is school. I have had so may dreams of my senior year in high school. Our class trip, daily classes, the senior lounge. It's strange because I am who I am now and I keep thinking, "Why am I still here." (Supposedly) this can have the meaning of needed to look toward the future instead of the past. Interesting.

OK, here's where it get kinda strange. I kept dreaming in gray tones and of dead bodies. Not a scary nightmare but of strange circumstances and I would stumble upon bodies. Not gruesome and gross but morbid for sure. Meaning: gray can represent fear, depression, or emotional disconnection and dead bodies can represent the fact you are sick of your mundane daily routines. I didn't really need a dream to tell me that my life need some change but it took dreaming those dreams to spur me to action.

Its strange that in dreams we just accept things for the way they are. We are adults in our childhood home. We know previous things that only apply to that current dream. There are places, things, people, etc, etc, that we have moved on from but they appear in the dream.

I do believe that dreams are a mix of elements of our day and our subconscious. Sometimes they have meaning and some are entertainment. I think it is folly to try and put meaning to meaningless things and you can't take your dreams too seriously. But I do think dreams have the ability to help deal with life. It may sound strange but bare with me. People who have lost someone can dream of a loved one and receive comfort. You can have a conversation with someone that could never happen in life. Some resolution can occur which leads to the ability to move on. Having an experience in a dream will finally be the "kick in the pants" that one needs.

Bottom line: are dreams there to teach, help, inspire, give hope, scare, frighten, encourage change,  entertain....

Who knows, maybe I'll never know but until then...."They say we only use a fraction of our brain's true potential. Now that's when we're awake. When we're asleep, we can do almost anything."

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Grateful Heart

During this month of Thanksgiving I've been reflecting on things that I appreciate or am thankful to be able to enjoy. I've frequently answered the question what are you most thankful for with a very simple answer. I'm most thankful for the ability to walk, run, and enjoy the world around me. I never want to take simple things for granted in this life. I'm able to get outdoors and enjoy a wonderful day with my daughter and husband. Breathe in the fresh air and soak up the sunshine. I can't imagine one day being robbed of that.

Here are some other simple things that I am thankful for...

A wonderful little family that loves me for me, flaws and all.

A sister that has the ability to lovingly set me straight and tell me when I'm way off.

A dad that knows how to father a daughter.

A mother that I can call and ask how to make mashed potatoes.

A husband that respects me and loves me (pretty darn close to) unconditionally.

A healthy, joyful daughter that God blessed me with.


True joy.


An excellent read.

A funny T.V show.

The teachable spirit that I possess.

Life can be funny, challenging, dramatic, and downright crazy. But so often it is a matter of perspective. Looking at what you have and not at what you don't have is vital to true happiness. We can get stuck in a rut of "if I only had this or that" or constantly comparing and sizing ourselves against some one's measuring stick. That's no way to live. The grass maybe greener but look at your own. It maybe be dead or sparse but IT'S YOURS! You have the ability to make it as lush as you want, as bright and full as you want. You just need to get to it!

Approaching life with a balance between risk and caution is where I want to be. Content with where I am but not with my own growth. You can lose out on life when your focus is off. Little moments of joy float by unnoticed.

During this season I hope to take time to really look at the things I'm grateful for daily, breathe them in, take time for them and have a grateful heart.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

I've been thinking a lot about decisions lately. Small ones. Big ones. How they form your life. The direction you take or don't take. A certain path. At a crossroads. I've been looking back at my own life and the things I decided to do or not do. Decisions never come easy for me. Well, for the most part they don't come easy. Often I don't have an opinion so the choice doesn't really matter. Take for instance what to have for dinner. I usually don't care. It doesn't matter too much, BUT when I know what I want to eat I WILL speak up.

If I look back I've been this way my whole life. Not really knowing what I want so I let the choice be made for me. I'm not sure where it came from either. I'm a youngest child but I didn't have my sisters speak for me. I was kinda a shy kid (I still am until you really get to know me) and not too opinionated. I'd often answer a question with, "I don't care" or "It doesn't matter"

Where was I going with this....oh yeah. The choices you make with the decisions you have in your life are HUGE! Growing up I made so many choices based on a boy. Where to go. What to wear. What team to cheer for. What music to listen to. What movie to see. Then I made choices based on guys. What to do with my life. Whether to go to college. Whether to get married. Buy or Rent.

Then men. By this time I didn't have any sense of self to stick up for or know even what I wanted out of life, for myself, to give to others. I gave those choices to others in my life instead of take the time to figure out what makes me-ME. Growing and learning from there. I made so many decisions based on others and what I thought I needed to do or be for them. I was lost because I never really formed an I.

Fast forward to now. I've always said I'm a person without regrets because everything that has happened has made me who I am today. Well, I'm realizing that's not true for me anymore. I regret I gave up my freedom of choice for so long. Yes, I let others form who I am. That makes me shake my head at myself. I had the power to be, to do, to become whatever I wanted. I was content to let life happen because (in my mind) when I did finally make a decision my track record was bad. I've made some awful mistakes that lead to terrible decisions. I've made small decisions that lead to horrible mistakes. But that doesn't mean I should stop making decisions altogether.

So, self, what do you want out of life? Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go from here?