Friday, September 7, 2012
Lessons from my Dreams
I still dream about my Dad. Even though it has been over two years, every couple months I dream about him. Each dream ends virtually the same, with me becoming aware I am dreaming about him then waking myself with real tears and an out loud cry for him... I usually remember almost none of the dream.
As I type this I have a fresh set of tears from another dream about my Dad, but this one is different, the memory is still here. And I think I am supposed to share it with you all as the words I am typing began to fill my head before I ever started typing.
At first I thought I had forgotten the dream and continued sobbing, but then I did something different, I asked myself a question about the dream. Suddenly I remembered almost the entire dream.
In the dream, I was talking to some stranger, whose face I could not see. It was hidden in the shadows. Anyways I was explaining to this stranger what a great little league baseball player I was when in fact I wasn't.
It should be noted that My entire little league career I think I got a total of 2 base hits in the two years I played little league. It wasn't because of a lack of skill. It was because I had developed such a low self esteem and low confidence about myself that every time I stepped up to the plate, I was scared to swing at the ball and I was scared of getting made fun by the other players when I faltered.
As I am telling this mysterious figure about what a "superstar little leaguer" I was I am suddenly transported to one specific game I played in. I am watching the game, but not from the stands. And the field is reversed almost like looking in a mirror.
This game was significant because all my life I'd wanted to hit a home run, but never did. This game was the closest I'd ever come.
I was explaining this to the mysterious stranger in the dream. As I am doing so I see myself come up to bat and instantly I can remember how I felt during that at bat. All throughout little league I remember I felt like a failure every time I went to the plate. Every time I walked to the plate my head was hanging in anticipation for my next failure.
This at bat was a different one. In my dream I could remember that day. I could remember that day as being one of the only days I ever stepped up to the plate with confidence, knowing inside myself I could hit the ball.
I told the mysterious stranger in my dream this as I looked at my 11 year old self, standing at the plate.
All my life I'd always wanted to hit a home run...
The pitcher threw the 1st pitch and I connected. I had never hit a ball in the sweet spot before, I had never hit a pitch where it felt virtually effortless, and this one did.
As I am explaining all this to the mysterious figure, the dream slows down so I can tell and relive every detail of that moment.
Making contact with the ball
Feeling strong as it left my bat
Knowing it was a home-run
Watching it sail further towards the fence
Making my first step away from the plate
Watching the infielders look up and over their shoulders
The parents in the stands coming to their feet... I'd never had the stands come to their feet for me before.
Watching the ball, going, going, ...
"It wasn't to be," I told the mysterious stranger. As we watched the ball curve right for a foul ball at the last second.
As I watched all this vividly happen in super slow motion, I became choked up and told the mysterious stranger I could not continue my story. Tears began to flow.
"Why?" Asked the mysterious stranger?
"Because," I said
"Because, I figured out why I am seeing the baseball field at a different view than it really was.". "From this view, I can see my Dad's car parked in the field, he had come to watch me, and there it is." I began bawling uncontrollably in my dream as I pointed out my Dad's blue Ford Taurus to this mysterious stranger.
I was crying so hard. Suddenly the mysterious stranger rushed out of the darkness to console me - it was my Dad.
"Jess," my Dad asked, "why were you trying to make yourself sound like a better baseball player than you were?"
I don't recall what my answer was because at this point I realized my sobs were becoming more and more uncontrollable and I was starting to wake myself up. In addition I was becoming aware of a tension in my arms and a numbing in my hands.
As my conscious mind began to take over, my sub-conscious mind began to fade away and so did the image of my Dad. I squeezed my eyes tighter trying to hold the image, only to wake myself up with crying eyes, and my usual " DAD" shout trying to keep him from leaving.
As I became more aware I realized that the reason my arms were so tense and my hands were so numb was that I was hugging a pillow so tight that I was cutting off my own circulation. My pillow was my Mysterious Stranger, the hug was for my Dad.
So why am I sharing all of this with You.
Often, when I fall asleep, I think about specific things and how I can utilize those things/experiences to help people.
Last week I took a bunch of pictures of the sunrise. And as I was falling asleep last night, I asked myself, how can I use those sunrise/sunset pictures to help me help people?
And this is why I believe I remember as much of the dream as I do and why I am supposed to share.
Remember when I started writing this blog, I said "I usually don't remember my dreams, but this time I asked myself a question about the dream and suddenly I could remember."
Well as the dream came back to me the words "sunrise" and "sunset" kept flashing in my head. Then the words began to form sentences:
"Every sunrise is a
of a new day and
serves as a reminder
that this day is a gift.
So while you have it
make sure you live
your day doing, and
saying what is most
"Every sunset is a reminder that the day is nearly over and that if you have not yet done the things that are the most important to you and told the people you love that you do, then you better hurray up and do it because tomorrow is not guaranteed. The only thing that is, is this moment.
And finally, the pillow... I cannot recall one time in my life when I ever hugged my Dad with such love and such intensity equal to the amount of love and intensity I was trying to squeeze through that pillow.
In this life, I am never going to get that opportunity to give my Dad a hug like that.
I took days, I took time, I took life for granted just like we all do.
Here's the thing: while I can't go back and change that with my Dad, what I can do is make a change going forward. And you can too!
My advice I am going to give myself and share with you is this:
When you hug someone today, tomorrow, and everyday for the rest of your life, think about hugging them as if that is your last chance you will ever have to hug them.
The sun will rise and the sun will set. Life will continue on, but there is no guarantee that you and I will continue on with it.
Thank you Dad for this lesson.
I love and miss you.
Enjoy the pics,