God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds (Job 33:14-15; NLT).
In prayer yesterday, I saw that when I can’t remember a dream, I can be sure that it contained nothing I need to know about or deal with at present.
The same is also true when I remember a dream, but no significant theme or emotion stands out. After thanking God for these quiet dreams, I simply let them go. Experience shows that any vague fragments I recall will quickly fade from consciousness.
Even if I miss or forget something significant, I’m confident that it will emerge repeatedly in my dreams until I’m ready and able to catch hold of what it has to teach me. This is because the contents of my unconscious mind (memories, traumatic experiences, hidden desires, buried emotions etc), are constantly present, even though I’m not conscious of them. They bubble away beyond awareness, constantly influencing all I feel, think, say and do. They affect how I understand and judge my past, how I react to events in the present, and how I approach the future. They help to determine how I experience life, and how I relate to others.
If I had to face all the contents of my unconscious mind at once, I’m sure I they would overwhelm me. I would become very disturbed, and break down. On the other hand, if I tried to avoid facing them altogether, I would be unable to change, grow and move forward in my life.
Gradual healing, through dreams
Given time, I believe that every significant unresolved experience, trauma and emotion buried in my unconscious mind will gradually be revealed in my dreams. This natural process will continue until I have remembered them all, named them, and written them down. This will enable me to face them one at a time, bring them into the light of my prayers, and asking God to heal them. Thus, through dreams, these issues will no longer remain hidden in darkness, until symptoms such as panic, loss of temper, or despair erupt uncontrollably and without warning, apparently from nowhere.
Cause for rejoicing
So when I check my notebook each morning, I rejoice to see what has been harvested from my unconscious mind during the night. Despite no longer remembering the dreams themselves, their major themes have been safely retrieved and made accessible, ready for prayer. This is all I need.
No surprises for God
Of course, there are no surprises for God in all that surfaces; only for me. This is because God already knows the thoughts of my heart and everything about me that is hidden from conscious awareness. With dreams as my way forward, it’s wonderful to know that even my unconscious mind is being healed.
O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me (Psalm 139:1; NLT).
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).
I am the LORD who heals you (Exodus 15:26; NLT).