Re-runs In Your Sleep

In different times in my life, I have had recurring dreams. 

As a child, I remember a series of dreams in which I could breathe worry free and play with the fish under water. Those dreams provided the ultimate under the sea getaway. I loved those dreams. There was an abundance of joy and freedom feeling when I woke up. Then the disappointment would hit when I remembered that I couldn't actually breathe under water. 

As a teenager, I had dreams of being chased, which usually involved at least one flight of stairs (exhausting at best).  Baby birthing dreams are common during pregnancy (some wonderful, some terrifying) and I experienced those as well. 

One dream that spans through my college years was the experience of pulling a never ending stash of long string-like pieces from my eyes. That is probably similar to the concern felt from dreams of teeth falling out (I have had a few, but the string-in-the-eye has been much more prevalent).

This morning I woke up feeling the stress of my dream. It was the most recent of my most common recurring dreams over the last 10 years. The mission dream. In my mission dreams, I am who I am now (as opposed to being dreams about my missionary experience that spanned between October 2002 and January 2004) and I am new in the field. 

In this repeated dream, I am conflicted with a few things. The first is the obvious--what am I doing as a Sister missionary when I have a husband and kids at home!? The second and more overpowering conflict is my perceptions of what we should be doing versus my companion/the mission president/whatever is going on. Last night I arrived in a new apartment with my companion. I didn't have an up-to-date name tag (the only one I had was mine from Portugal), we didn't know where the area book was, there was a fish tank in the apartment (!?), there were no clocks on the wall, we had schedule forms, and we had received no training on the mission rules.

Are we supposed to be reading the white handbook together? I asked. Why don't I have a new name tag? We need to talk to the mission president and get this figured out!

When I opened the door of the apartment, I walked down the hall and I see someone standing at the vending machines. Want to guess who it is? The mission president. I explained to him that we needed help, direction, training, and a clock! He began to sort things out...just as I woke up.

Dreams like this one leave me unsettled and concerned. Even though I realize that it was just a dream, those emotions of confusion feel so real! 

I remember my dreams almost every morning--sometimes just one detail, other times I can describe long stories. Mr. H's favorites are when I wake up mad at him for something he "did" in my dream.  Poor guy. Sometimes the feelings are so intense, I actually ask him to apologize. Because he is amazing, he does it--and then is very grateful to have his wife back when the fog of the dream wears off.

The following is from this article "Dr. Michael J. Breus: Recurring Dreams And Their Meanings"

One of the most famous accounts of a recurrent dream is from Abraham Lincoln. While discussing the war with General Grant during a cabinet meeting he told the general that there would be big news from the warfront. When Grant asked why he thought this he replied:
"I had a dream last night; and ever since this war began I have had the same dream just before every event of great national importance. It portends some important event that will happen very soon."
That evening Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

Do you have a recurring dream?
Do you wake up confused or can you snap back into reality quickly?

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Linda said...

Our poor husbands...they can get in trouble even when they are doing nothing but sleeping! Ah, yes. Dreams. At least I don't have to have missionary dreams! ( Along with my college dreams, people in my house dreams, additional rooms in my house dreams and teeth dreams!)

Jamie said...

What a dream!! which mission president was it?? ;) My favorite dreams have been when I dream about someone I really admire and look up an apostle. I have had one dream about President Monson and two about President Uchtdorf. It seems they always provide me with much direction in my dreams. I really feel like a lot of my dreams TEACH me something I need to learn--if I look beneath the craziness and focus on what the dream might be symbolizing. It's really fun to try and interpret dreams like this! I wish I remembered my dreams more vividly like I used to. I wonder how I can get back to having vivid dreams??? Thanks for sharing! I love every one of your posts!!!