The Dreamer and the Dream

My friends have a refrigerator magnet that says "Only the dreamer can change the dream." Frankly, this statement puzzled me the first few times I read it.

My first thought went to John Lennon's great song "Imagine." "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." Call me an idealist ('cause it's true), but aren't we all dreamers? Don't we all dream of peace and equality, a world of hope for our children and ourselves?

So if we're all dreamers, then we all have the power to change the dream, according Julianna's refrigerator. In my lesser moments, I ask "Would that be the dream of wholeness or the dream of separation?" There are times when this life-dream feels like a nightmare. Separation, fear, distrust, agony. For many people, the dream has become a nightmare of pain.

I remember I used to have these awful nightmares that I was being chased by a bunch of people with guns. I could only run and hide, run and hide. I could never, not once ever, actually defend myself. It literally never even occurred to me in those dreams that I had the choice to defend myself.

I was a victim, even in my dreams.

Now, I've done a lot of work over the years to combat this nightmare. I stopped watching the news, I stopped watching NYPD Blue, I stopped listening to violent music. But most importantly, I learned to change the dream.

I am not a victim. I am the dreamer of the dream. Stuff happens, every day. Stuff that I am not in control of happens every single day. I refuse to be victimized. I change the dream.

It's been said that the only thing that you have control over is your own perception of, and thus your reaction to, events. If I perceive God in All -- all people, all events, all circumstances -- then the nightmare becomes a peaceful acceptance of What Is.

I'll admit, this takes some practice. I still have a nightmare or two every now and then. But now, in my dreams, I take on the difficulty, I transform it, and I no longer live in fear.


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