Getting over Oneirophobia? Anyone close to me knows about my voracious ability to dream, some nights I have as many as four or five full-blown intricate and vividly colored adventures and sometimes I am able interpret and decode the symbolism in my dreams. But lately, I’ve been going to bed at past 3 a.m just to avoid them.
Oneirophobia is the fear of dreams. The origin of the word oneiro is Greek (meaning dreams) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear). In my case, it’s not just dreams when I sleep, but dreams I have for the future and as with any phobia, the symptoms vary by person depending on their level of fear. Isn’t everyone scared of the journey and the cost of what it takes to make their dreams come true?
On my manifestation board, I have visual representations of my dreams, which include a picture of a lavish home with a huge curricular balcony with grand views of mountains. I love mountains because I have a promise that – with my words, I can move something that seems so permanent and insurmountable.
I also have this picture of me chatting with Oprah about my book, sitting on David Letterman’s lap ( it’ll happen one day – sans David) and one of me hoisting an award over my head in absolute, jubilant victory! There are many other representations of my goals, like my dream car, etc, but these are the most significant.
Clearly, I don’t envision a small, unproductive life and what scares me is the process and sheer grit needed to navigate from where I am to where I want to be. I’m scared of the depths I have to go down in my soul to excavate the mines of my life for the treasures that will be covered with glory, grime and dirt…and I am scared of diving for the pieces of this enormous puzzle!
I know the plans I have for you…plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 (Paraphrased)
What would it take me to love dreaming again? Defining the one thing that matters in achieving my goals.
Writing. Writing something everyday. It’s really that simple.
For someone else it could be singing, molding clay, going out everyday with the camera, drawing, painting etc. whatever is the nucleus or core competence that fuels the dream. You’ve got to believe that it matters.
I’ve been meditating on the passage that says, “the Father does the work” and I am realizing that when I worry about the process and the “hows” I get paralyzed by the sheer magnitude in my finite mind. While it’s my job to dive, I’m not responsible for the treasure and broken pieces I find buried deep within and I am also not responsible for completing the picture.
I can release the hyper-analysis and tracking, and just focus on what brings me joy and when the doors swing open, I’ll be ready or almost ready, and even that doesn’t really matter.
As much as I can, I’ll avoid ambien- induced dreams, so that I can not have fireplace chats hanging from my ceiling and music from the piano maestro that looks like me, except there are no black keys… and not show up to a meeting as Mr. Potato Head! I have cleared all the clutter and distraction and I left one thing on my to-do-list…put words on paper or the screen or my voice recorder, every single day. Beyond NaBloPoMo.
Now, how intimidating can that be?
“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”― Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Prompt: What’s the thing you’re most scared to do? What would it take to get you to do it?