A new book has just been released

Go to My Blog

follow @seeker1010

Go to Home Page
Go to Book Info Page
Go to Ultimate Privilege  Article
Go to Tears Article
Go to Not Perfect Article
Go to Joy and Freedom
Go to Greatness Article
Go to Dreams Speak Page
Go to Spiritual Journey Article
Go to Journaling Sessions
Go to Quick Aids Download Page
Go to About Me Page
Go to Contact Page
Go to Gifts Page
Go to Copyright Policy

Do Dreams Speak Truth to us?

Chaplain Joy L. Smith, M.A.
 Mental Health Counselor - Spiritual Mentor

When a person desires to relate with God, a number of things happen.  For one, guidance comes--and this is where the very depths of that person’s being can be affected.  Sometimes, a message will come mystically allowing for what can be thought of as God’s felt presence.  God also speaks through other people, an event in life, or within the wonder and beauty of nature. One of the most frequent ways we hear God speaking to us comes while reading the Scriptures; words seem to stand out vividly when perceived as pertinent to our current circumstances.  We also see God’s truth spoken to us through books of a grace-filled nature. And, there are times when we hear God speak to us though dreams.  A dream below portrays how powerfully our dreams can bring needed healing. In some instances, dreams have significantly changed my life!

Many dreams are what the experts call “housekeeping.” Perhaps, like computers, our minds need “defragging” on a regular basis. The subconscious mind is dynamic and uncontrolled. Seemingly, this part of ourselves is striving to attain consciousness during the night when our guard is down and we are sawing the zzzzzs.  Meanwhile, symbols and images are the language of the subconscious mind. So, it is within our dream world that we encounter these strange and confusing “plays in the night.”  While sleeping soundly, emotions can arise as if they take on wings.   Without this aspect of our dreams, we might never remember them.

Some people think they don’t dream, but everyone dreams. Mostly, we dream while in REM sleep. Dreams can powerfully trigger emotions--some pleasant and some are not so pleasant.  Some of us remember dreams fairly often. Experts say remembering depends on when we awaken after a dream. There are ways to help one’s self be more likely to remember dreams.  (More is coming on this topic in a Little Book about Dreaming soon to be offered on Amazon.)

Sometimes, dreams carry a message that addresses something we need to learn.  Dreams can also speak truth that is able to help us heal hurtful events of the past that exists deep in the subconscious mind.  Through a dream, at times, we can acknowledge and accept something about ourselves that we have been unable to look at.  When this is true, the dream is apt to break into our thoughts during the following day, or maybe a few days later, as the dream is beaconing for attention.  It has something to say.  We can ignore these “flashbacks,” or do some work to glean the message from them.

Through years of working with my dreams, buried grief and anger are allowed to surface.  These are emotions I learned early in life to keep hidden deep inside. The price tag for this, however, came in having to deal with ongoing, pervasively felt apprehension.  This is called “free floating anxiety.”

When painful experiences are stuffed down so deep we can’t reach them, we need healing. Dreams can help us reckon with things that are still hurting after many years or decades. Consequently, life does not hold as much enjoyment as it otherwise could.

Having the help of an expert with this work is ideal. When past experiences are reached, a therapist can help you explore and cope with the pain that may arise. Sometimes old traumas need to come to light so healing can begin. I urge people to work with professional help, at least here and there, as they work with their dreams. Still, there is much we can do on our own. At the end of this article, I will include the titles of a several books that can be informative on this quest for utilizing the power of dreams.

Once I began my quest for inner healing, I made it my practice to watch when difficult emotion arose, either through a dream or through daily living.  Now, I can easily see when difficult feelings arise. I acknowledge them and look at what is hurting me within the given circumstance. Acknowledging what I fear, at this point, brings self-understanding.  I now purpose to release the pain these feelings bring and, with God’s help, do any forgiveness work that is needed. This is a method that works powerfully well.  (See article titled “Dealing with Difficult Emotions” listed on this website.)  I sense the presence of the Holy Spirit assisting me as I do this emotional work.

Dream work has played a major role in my learning to honor my emotions, particularly the difficult ones, which were ignored far too long. As I work with dreams, I find journaling helps the process in amazing ways, as I ask the Holy Spirit to help me understand what a dream is telling me. Then, while listening, I write what comes to mind.  Payoffs I find in this work include better emotional, mental and spiritual health. 

During the 15 years before training as a chaplain, I extended a lot of effort toward gaining physical healing, as well as to have less inner angst.  Studying psychology, along with the medical field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI*), I began to see that there is a connection between what is experienced in the psyche (soul) and what is experienced in our physical health.  Through studying vast amounts of materials, I became encouraged to believe that since my physical health reflects what is taking place in my psyche (soul), I had the responsibility to reach for as much psychological healing as I could. Without a doubt, spiritual healing also has a huge effect on the body’s health.

The subconscious mind holds all that has ever happened to us.  There is good in it and also some muck and mire. Early in life we form most of our beliefs and some of these beliefs are not healthy. Like the belief revealed in the following dream, some beliefs call for God’s healing truth.

My dream, here, deals with the sexual side of myself.  Without knowing it, my psyche held some negativity with which I never dealt. Most people find dreams frequently involve sex.  And, mostly we are uncomfortable with this. The dream I am relating is titled, “Mice Have Their Place.” 

This article will contain only one dream. However, the coming book, mentioned above, Little Book about Dreaming will be offered on this site during the summer (2013).  In that book, several dreams carrying messages that helped me understand myself and gain healing, will be included.

As I relate the dream I have titled “Mice Have Their Place,remember that dream symbols don’t make sense; it is our job to make sense of them. Deep inside we have the truth about our self and our life. We just have to reach for it.

This dream begins as I see a mouse playing around on the face of my clock. It was a big, white clock with gold hands and gold numerals. The mouse hides just under the clock’s face, but I can see his long tail hanging down below. I watch the mouse as it comes out to play around on the clock’s hands, then ducks away quickly to hide again. I go off to do something in another room. When I return the mouse is cavorting on the face of my clock--then hides at the sight of me. I do not want to make a mess--although I do want to club this mouse.  I yell, “This has to stop!” I run off to get a glass of water to sprinkle on him. He drops to the floor and scurries for cover behind a dresser close by. He sure isn’t giving up easily.  This mouse wants to stay on the face of my clock. Meanwhile, I see filth in his hiding place--a lot of it! I shout at the top of my voice at the mouse, “I will win!”

The mouse is shaking, wishing to escape. Eventually, he is trapped in the corner of the room. I think, “You are too dumb to know what I said.” But, in the dream I know the mouse did understand. He knows I will not stop until he is dead—and gone the way of all flesh!

It is always important to name each dream within this work. It is also important to recall, upon awakening, the feelings experienced within the dream.  The feelings in this dream were anger, repulsion, power, and pride in that I am bigger than the mouse. (Yet, I can’t get rid of him!)

This dream took some prayer and pondering to determine what the symbols of the clock, the mouse, the water, and the hiding place (behind the dresser) meant. Dr. Carl Jung taught that each dream symbol can represent a part of ourselves. I decided the clock represents my life. (It is steadily moving--and it is limited.) It seems likely the mouse represents my playfulness, but there is something about it that I don’t like—and that I fear God might not like. Mice are dirty, after all.  (My mind immediately goes to how I feel about sexual fantasies and sexual dreams when these come.) Within a few minutes of pondering the dream, I see the mouse is telling me something about my playful self, as it as relates to my sexuality.

The thought of throwing water on the mouse makes me smile, as water is a symbol of cleansing. Water carries many spiritual concepts within Scripture. Throwing water on the mouse means I want my whole self, warts and all, to be clean--even this playful, sexual side of myself.  As I work with the dream through prayer and jouraling, I see my lack of full self-acceptance. I am faced with the need to believe all parts of my life are loved by God, even the little mouse that I thought didn’t belong in my house.  (Dreams often show the psyche (soul) of a person as a house, a tent, an edifice, or some kind of building.)

John A Sanford writes of an energy that arises within both our physiology and our psychology in Dreams: God’s Forgotten Language, “The fire of the psyche comes from the biochemical life of the body, which in an unknown way is transformed into autonomous spirit or fire.  It can be a destructive fire, inflaming the ego into passionate actions, or burning up the ego with energies with which the ego cannot cope. Or it can be a creative fire, providing the ego with the substance and inspiration of creativity and rising up as a great expression of love.” Surely, we do think of sexual energy as heat, at least, if not fire. Sometimes we wish to wash it away with cold showers.

As I work with people, many reveal discomfort with fantasies and sexual dreams when these arise. For some, there is shame and/or guilt when such spontaneous picturing takes on a life within a person’s mind. 

There is a lot to be gleaned from this dream. Only part is included here.  It is enough to say the dream shows me the “mouse” comes to the “house,” even in spite of the tight control I like to hold.  In the dream, it is like I “baptize” this playful side of myself, as seen in the mouse, by throwing water on it. I bring holiness to it, since the mouse is not going to go away.

I think of creation and how it fully revolves around procreation. For sure, this belongs in the “house.” It is undeserved shame and self-recrimination that do not belong in the house.

I wrote in my journal, “Lord, I see the house in the dream as my soul.  It encompasses all that has to do with my human experience. I want to grow in my acceptance of who and what I am within my human experience.” The dream helps me realize that my “playful side” has God’s acceptance.   And, that when there is something that needs cleaning up, God is quite able to bring it to my attention.”

Working with dreams is an adventure. However, there is a lot to be learned from our dreams. If you are interested in utilizing the potential for healing and integration through working with your dreams, here are some suggested books with which to start:

Herman Riffle, Your Dreams: God’s Neglected Gift, Random House, 1985.

John A. Sanford, Dreams: God’s Forgotten Language, Crossroad, 1984.

Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols, Doubleday, 1964.

Morton T. Kelsey, The Other Side of Silence, Ramsey, 1976.

Note: For help with your inner healing quest, please click on “Journaling Sessions,” one of the links listed on this website’s homepage.

Go Back to Top