Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Daily Prompt : Freudian Flips ~ Dream Interpretation

on June 22, 2014

“Do you remember a recent dream you had? Or an older one that stayed vivid in your mind? Today, you’re your own Freud: Tell us the dream, then interpret it for us! Feel free to be as serious or humorous as you see fit, or to invent a dream if you can’t remember a real one.”

I have two very real, very common (I think), very intense, but quite irrational fears.  The first is the ocean (namely sharks, but really all things beneath the waves that are big enough to eat me!).  The second is tornadoes.  I’m not quite sure why I have these specific fears, but they are definitely there.  When I even consider the ocean, my body has a physical reaction – my heart quickens, my my stomach does flip-flops.  And don’t get me started about thinking about my children in the ocean.  Let’s just say, I am grateful I live in Illinois, far away from any ocean!

I had a dream once, about 8 years ago, that my daughter was eaten by a shark, right in front of me.  It was awful.  Unfortunately, the dream is engraved in my mind – and I can still see the look on her face as the shark came up to grab her.  But that dream is not up for interpretation tonight.  It was pretty straight forward.

Tonight I want to talk about a recurring dream I had for about 10 years.  It was a dream of tornadoes.  Notice the plural form of the word.  That was intentional.  Every time I dreamt about tornadoes, there were multiple – I’m talking more than ten.   They were always out in the distance. The dream usually involved me seeing the tornadoes, an overwhelming sense of fear and powerlessness encapsulating me,  and then me trying to get everyone around me into a safe place.  It was a constant struggle, as I was always unsuccessful in these dreams.  I would get some of the people to safety, and they would leave when I tried to find the others.  People just would not listen, nor would they understand the imminent danger they were in!  It was this elusive battle for control, every time.  And I was always alone in my attempts to save.

This dream took place in a variety of settings and during various seasons of my life.  The end result of the dream was always the same.  The panic that took place during the desperate attempts to get my loved ones to safety always ended unresolved.  They were torturous dreams.  Especially as I got older and my children were involved.

The strangest thing happened when I got into recovery for the disease of alcoholism.  The dreams began to subside, and eventually went away completely.  I didn’t have a tornado dream during the 2nd or 3rd years of sobriety.  I noticed it one day, when I was entering into my 2nd year of sobriety.  I chalk it up to the fact that I am actively working on my issues instead of suppressing them and running from them these days.

If I were to interpret these dreams, I would say that the tornadoes represented unresolved issues that my subconscious was trying to get me to become aware of.  I think the fact that there were multiple tornadoes reflects that there were multiple issues inside me that were desperately trying to get out!  My desperate and unresolved attempts at trying to fix, manage, and control the situation were my feeble shots at trying to deal with the problems without really facing them.  The fear I felt in the dream is the same as the fear I felt when thinking about facing some of my deep-rooted issues.  The fact that I couldn’t handle my problems was creating panic and a total sense of powerlessness in me.  An interesting thing to point out here is that the tornadoes never actually hit in my dream.  I never actually had to deal with the problems.  They just kind of stayed there on the horizon, while I ran around panicked and trying to control everything, and actually controlling NOTHING.  The incredible thing for me to realize, is that these dreams mirrored my struggle with my disease – before I even realized I was an alcoholic!

In the course of the first year of my sobriety, a significant change happened within me.  I turned my life over to Christ’s care and control.  I surrendered everything to Him and I asked Him into my heart to become the Lord and Leader of my life.  Some of you may think that this has nothing to do with my dreams, but I beg to differ.  I do not find it coincidental that my recurring dreams of loss of control subsided after giving my life to Jesus.  I don’t believe that it is chance that as I handed my cares to the Care of my Lord, that the tornadoes no longer were showing up on the horizon of my dreams.  I recognized my powerlessness in my life, and I handed it over to Christ.  The fear of lack of control no longer had power over me.  I accepted the fact that One greater than I had the power to handle that which I could not, AND that He would enable me – through the power of His Holy Spirit – to deal with life as it continued to unfold.  I no longer needed to fear.

Leading up to  the 4th year of my sobriety – a few months ago – I had another tornado dream.  This one, however, was entirely different than any other I have ever had.  In this dream, I was driving in a familiar area and talking to a very good friend and mentor in my life.  Without warning, my car stopped and I realized I was being pulled backward.  Suddenly I discovered that I was in the tornado!!  I had this amazing sense of calm as the realization hit.  I simply told my friend to please tell each of my children that I loved them.  Then I was overcome by joy with the realization that soon I would leave this earthly existence and join my Lord in heaven!  I lifted my hands in surrender and committed myself to Him, and then I was placed ever-so-gently back on the ground.

To me, this dream was a confirmation of the change that has happened inside of me.  I was no longer running from my problems or making desperate and unsuccessful attempts at controlling them!  I was facing my problem head-on, knowing that Jesus was in control and I totally and completely surrendered to his will for my life.  As I surrendered to His will, He released me from my problem (my alcoholism) and set me back on solid ground.  What a beautiful dream this was!!

I am so grateful that God has worked so powerfully in my heart and mind!  I no longer fear storms, not the physical, emotional, or spiritual storms!  I know that my strength comes from a power much GREATER than I, and I surrender my life into His capable hands on a daily bassi!  God is GOOD, my friends!  So, so, So Good!!



One response to “Daily Prompt : Freudian Flips ~ Dream Interpretation

  1. […] I wish I could tell you that every storm after that experience was easy to get through.  I wish I could say that the fear of being powerless went away completely after that experience as well.  I’d like to be able to say, with certainty, that storms never had power over me again.  Well, I could say those things.  But I’d be lying to you.  What I can say is that the power they had over my emotions lessened significantly.  I can also say that I stopped running from them, and started to pay more attention.  I can also say that I didn’t project every thunderstorm into a tornado.  That definitely stopped after that experience with my dad.  However, I still had much growing to do in light of dealing with my core fear of tornadoes.  That would take many more years of intentional work.  (You can read about my battle with recurring tornado dreams here) […]

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