I’m reminded this week about the gift of sharing dreams with the beloved children in our lives. Children live so close to their dreaming selves, and it doesn’t take much to create a spontaneous dreaming moment, one that can bring closeness and understanding in beautifully unexpected ways.
I was once at a friend’s house and met a young girl, about seven years old, visiting with her family from far away. I asked her about her dreams, and she shyly shared that she had a reeeeeeally scary dream that week.
“Really scary." Oh? Tell me more! “I was home and the wall in my bedroom was full of eyes looking at me!” Oh, how scary! Was it day or night? “Night.” Oh! Scary! “Yes.” What would you like to see happen with those eyes if you could do anything? “I want them to close!” Oooof. Me, too. What could make that happen? “I’d shine a big light at them.” Great idea! What kind of light? “A big flashlight!” Perfect! Would you like to do something about those eyes right now? “OK.” All right…see that wall…let’s imagine that wall is the wall in your bedroom. “OK.” And now…I’m here with you, so you’re safe…can you image that wall is full of those eyes, just like in your dream? “Ooooo Yes!” OK, we need a flashlight, right? How about if I be the flashlight, and you shine me on all of those eyes and make them not only close, but also disappear? “Yeah. OK!!!”
We did a little dream theater right on the spot. This beautiful little girl, empowered and happy, shone her imaginary flashlight all over the wall, guiding me as the flashlight to shine right where she felt the light was needed. It was just right and the dream was no longer scary. No interpretations, no lessons, just a moment of dreaming together.
Meanwhile, the adults were deep in conversation and didn’t realize the beauty of the moment. My new friend skipped off to another room and I rejoined the conversation.
About twenty minutes later, she came up to me with a big sheet of drawing paper…she wanted to share more dreams with me, and had drawn sketches of about a half dozen dreams…and was brimming with excitement at telling me about her dreams. A gate had opened simply because she found someone who was genuinely interested in her amazing inner life. We can do this for others, children and adults alike, and if we open to dreaming with adults, the child within will come out to play.