Hyde: Dreams 2
Guest Writer Bridget Hyde
“What I have continued to find … is that dreams are sources of wisdom for problem solving and life enhancement. They put us in touch with dimensions of ourselves that are normally hidden and that we need in order to grow toward our full potential.” —George R. Slater in Bringing Dreams to Life (Paulist Press, 1995).
The first dream that I took to spiritual direction was a dream about walking barefoot in the snow. When my foot touched the ground in the dream, I became aware that I was dreaming, and then I started to pray. Now, as I reflect on that dream, I see a person who is becoming conscious of the divine nature of dreams. When my bare foot touched the ground, I became grounded in the grace of the unconscious.
I had been recording my dreams, sharing them with friends, and honoring them with symbol work, but I had not sought discernment in this work from a spiritual director. When I told a friend this dream she begged me to work on the dream with a retired Episcopal priest and spiritual director named Allen Whitman.
I followed her stern invitation and began a five-year study of my dreams with Allen. From this inward study, I became aware of many different aspects of my character. My work in dreams began to show me how to connect the symbolic language of a dream to the circumstances of my life. For example, during a time when I was making a big decision, I had a dream that my airline flight was interrupted. The dream plane was grounded and I was forced to wait before boarding another plane.
When Allen and I worked on the dream, we both realized that I had come to a time of waiting in the decision process. Because of this dream, I waited to take decisive actions. I am so glad I did. It was a wonder to see my work in dreams as a kind of spiritual direction. I started to trust my dreams and their divine nature. Looking back, I see how God has guided me through my dreams, and I honor spiritual direction in dreams as a holy gift.