As I woke from a particularly disturbing dream yesterday, God gently reminded me that my dreams often relate to unresolved issues in my life (see https://wp.me/p45bCr-dov). Then this insight was taken further, by showing me that dreams offer the possibility of a very special kind of healing: the healing of the unconscious mind. This truth was established long ago by far greater thinkers than me, such as Freud, but yesterday it struck me in an intensely personal way.
The purpose of my dreams
Dreams make me face and re-experience unresolved issues hidden from awareness in my unconscious mind. Remembering them when I wake enables me to become conscious of what was previously inaccessible. This process re-establishes a connection with everything I have forgotten, suppressed, or repressed during my lifetime.
Because of my dreams, I can now begin to pray about the contents and conflicts in my unconscious mind, and to ask for healing. It seems extraordinary that I knew nothing about this until it was shown to me yesterday. By paying attention to my dreams, identifying their major themes, and bringing them to God in prayer, I now have an opportunity for all the damage, anger, fear and guilt hidden in my unconscious mind to be healed.
If dreams represent life-events which need healing, it’s easy to see that recurring dreams reveal an insistent need to face repressed issues consciously, to pray about them, and to ask for God’s assistance.
It is therefore perhaps unhelpful to ask for a series of dreams to stop, however unpleasant they are. Rather, I need to ask God to help me face and accept the problematic themes they reveal. Then the related traumatic memories hidden in my unconscious mind can at last begin to emerge for healing.
Once I face what is revealed in my dreams, I can pray about it, and, if necessary, ask for help. Ways forward might include discussing the matter with someone I trust, talking to the person concerned (if they are alive), going to confession, or working with a therapist.
My expectation is that when my disturbing unconscious issues have been resolved, the bad and recurring dreams associated with them will cease.
Reflection on what I experienced
Yesterday, as I perceived everything described above, I was in God’s hands, full of awe, though not afraid. For the first time ever I was able to see into my unconscious mind for a short while. It looked like a living, roiling mass of dark grey clouds. Previously, I have only seen its smooth, oily, reflective outer surface – the interface between my conscious and unconscious minds.
My way forward
My dreams bring what is unconscious into consciousness, so I can access, act on, and resolve buried issues during my waking hours. In the light of this, from now on I plan to handle my dreams in a new way:
As soon as I wake, whilst that night’s dreams are still fresh in my mind, I will try to identify and name their themes as honestly and briefly as I can, noting them down.
Then I will thank God for my dreams (including bad dreams and nightmares), and ask God to to help me face, pray about, explore and tackle the memories, experiences, traumas, sins, conflicts or unresolved issues they have revealed.
In conclusion, I thank God for showing me that my dreams can bring the contents of my unconscious mind back into consciousness, so that when I awake, I can deal with the issues they raise. This feels like a very profound opportunity indeed for healing.
Last prayer before sleeping
Thank you for revealing the contents of my unconscious mind through dreams.
Please show me whatever I need to see each night, so I can consciously reconnect with it.
When I wake, please help me to identify and name the theme of each dream, and to thank you for all it reveals.
Please help me to take whatever action is necessary to engage with your healing process.
I am awed that you can do all this, and that you are so determined to heal not just my conscious mind, but my unconscious mind as well.
I ask this through your dear Son’s name. Amen.
I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness – secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name (Isaiah 45:3; NLT).
O LORD, if you heal me, I will be truly healed (Jeremiah 17:14; NLT).
I was able to start putting my plan into action this morning, and to note the major theme of last night’s dream, which was insecurity.