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.
Shelly Walker is an author, teacher and speaker who believes that every person can heal their past and become a fully empowered, happy individual. Shelly is the author of Awakened Power and the upcoming Parenting Keys. For more information, go to http://www.AwakenedPower.com .