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I'm not sure if this comes under the category of TMI (too much information), but sometimes I scream in my sleep.
I don't do it often and it's mostly a muffled sound, but every once in a while a nightmare elicits a good yell in the middle of the night.
The other night I dreamed about a pile of long, squiggly black snakes inside the vegetable crisper drawer in my refrigerator and one bigger, lighter purple-y snake that actually didn't look too healthy.
In my dream, my dad grabbed all the snakes in one hand and got rid of them.
I often dream about my teeth falling out or crumbling and about wandering through houses that have endless scary rooms. Sometimes the houses are divided in two, with one bright, friendly side and one that's dark and musty, with another family living there.
I bet I could make a psychiatrist rich just by telling him about my dreams.
Some people say that dreams contain messages from the subconscious or maybe from God and that dream themes mean specific things. In my opinion, dreaming about snakes in the fridge is just about snakes in the fridge.
Still, because my dreams are so vivid and crazy and just in case there's a message in them, I did some researching.
Depending on who's doing the interpretation, dreaming about teeth could mean a fear of saying something stupid or wrong or it could mean a sense of lacking power in a situation - not having "bite."
Snake dreams denote hidden fears or worries of something threatening. A few weeks ago, I dreamed about alligators, which symbolizes "treachery, deceit or hidden instincts" or "unwillingness to acknowledge a potentially destructive emotion."
The people who write these dream interpretation books are probably making it up, because really, how does anyone know? Only God truly knows the mind of a person.
That's why this morning I asked God the meaning of last night's dream in which I was trying to put shoes on a dog that had no legs. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get those shoes on that dog.
According to the dream book, dreaming about dogs supposedly symbolizes anything from forgotten skills to intuition, loyalty or generosity. Shoes are a person's approach to life.
However, when I asked God about it, he seemed to say that I dreamed about trying to put shoes on a legless dog because that's what I do in my waking life.
Putting shoes on a legless dog is just plain silly because it's futile. It's trying to do the impossible, like trying to solve problems that I don't have the ability to solve or trying to control that which I cannot.
Lately, I've been frantic in my thoughts, wanting to solve the world's problems - poverty, homelessness, hunger, disease, the global economy and our bitter national politics. I just want all the bad to stop, and I can't stop it.
I know I have no control over world problems. That's why I mainly concentrate on the things I somehow believe I can control, like finding career choices for my kids that will keep them from unemployment in a bad economy so they won't end up living in an alley begging for soup from rich socialite ladies.
But I can't even guarantee that someday I won't end up living in an alley, begging for soup.
Where does this drive to control come from? It stems from fear, and fear stems from not believing that you're loved. However, "there is no fear in love, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced (God's) perfect love" (1 John 4:18).
Even so, I can't stop trying to control the universe just by trying, neither can I stop worrying or being afraid. Instead, fear (and the need to control) leaves as I begin to believe that God loves his own and that he cares for them as a good and kind father cares for a child. Only kids who truly know that can stop being afraid and stop trying to be in control.
Besides, kids have no control, and even dogs with legs look silly wearing shoes.