Community

Dream analysis reveals stress, builds discipline

I have a couple of reoccurring dreams that invade my sedate sleep time on occasion. In one dream I’m losing teeth. In fact, they come tumbling out with such speed it is all I can do to scoop them up and push them back into my mouth. I’m never aware of any associated pain. I’m simply faced with teeth that fall out all at once.

This dream began in the third grade when I fell off my brother’s skateboard, breaking off my beautiful front teeth. My poor parents were about to host a dinner party and I recall mild hysteria and a speedy dash to the dentist’s office. Those front teeth were immediately capped and I’ve never seen them since.

Repeating dream number two is far from tame. I’m always in a store with aisles and being chased by armed, faceless people. I’m ducking and hiding. My breathing is labored as I run out of the fear I will be overtaken. I cannot trace this dream to any real-life experience. I can, however, connect this dream to moments in my adult life when I am juggling many projects and they need to be completed.

This is not an unusual dream for people who take their obligations seriously. They expect much from themselves, but frequently anguish over deadlines.

Sometimes we worry we have overbooked ourselves or have procrastinated to a point that we might not be able to meet our own expectations. This is one of the causes of my third reoccurring dream: a dream my husband and millions of other sleepers experience on occasion, just like me. In this dream I am back in school, have not been attending class, but have a final to take.

In yet another school dream it is the beginning of the semester and even though I have a locater card, I’m wandering the halls, dreadfully confused. My arms are filled with books; I’m prepared! Yet, I worry I’ll remain hopelessly lost. Other students do not seem to share my dilemma or care about mine.

I spend very few waking moments analyzing my dreams. I do, however, know that some aspects of life are routinely stressful and not terribly stimulating. In our dreams we often work through the angst that is associated with the things in our lives we find difficult and never-ending while awake. Like staying on top of housework when everyone is running in 20 different directions. Like managing the needs of a chronically ill spouse or looking for a job because you’ve been laid off.

Highly disciplined people of faith approach even the mundane aspects of their lives with courage, storing away God’s great truths and practicing good habits as they approach each task. They do not look too far ahead, for they know life can feel overwhelming. They do, however, develop a sense of direction and pace themselves.

Disciplined people accept the notion that life is not a thrill a minute. Neither do they waste valuable energy regretting life’s dull moments, procrastinating, or scheming to avoid them altogether. Instead, they ask God to create joy where there is none; to bring wonderful people into their lives when human connection is most appreciated.

Disciplined people pray that God will show His face on a daily basis, and they will develop the eyes to see Him in action. They build into their lives interconnectedness with God, believing that they are part of a greater scheme and even mundane experiences have value.

Let us live victoriously this week, whether we are mopping floors, returning from a spring break spent on a distant warm beach, or stuffing Easter eggs late at night in anticipation of upcoming holiday events. There is joy to be found in it all.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 1 edition online now. Browse the archives.