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Excerpt from:

The Journey Upward
Defining Moments in the Life of a Spiritual Psychologist
by Marilyn C. Barrick, Ph.D.

Chapter 7
Messages from the Soul

Dreams are faithful interpreters of our inclination
but there is art required to sort and understand them.
–-Michel de Montaigne

         Another dimension of our inner life occurs at night when our dreams reveal the secrets of our soul and spirit. At times these are what we call “high dreams,” dreams that allow us to catch a glimpse of heavenly beauty and experience a spiritual awareness that uplifts the soul and spirit and facilitates our higher consciousness.
         These kinds of dreams are often staged in beautiful nature settings—in snowy mountains, evergreen forests, ocean beaches or other inspiring surroundings. When we awaken from a high dream, we typically feel refreshed, invigorated and ready to greet the day.

What about Scary Dreams?

         At other times we have scary dreams that are upsetting at the time, but they have a purpose—they’re a wake-up call from our Higher Self. They are usually about an episode in the past that still upsets us or a problematic situation in the present that we haven’t yet figured out how to handle. In spite of their scariness, these dreams offer important lessons.
         I remember two frightening dreams that came one right after the other during the same night’s sleep. In fact, these dreams were so terrifying that I was extremely happy to come to the surface and realize they were just dreams and not real life experiences. When I awoke in the middle of the night, the dreams were vivid in my mind, and I immediately realized that they were about the two sides of me—my feminine and masculine aspects. I wanted to go back to sleep, but I knew it was important to record the dreams as soon as possible. By morning I most likely would not remember them clearly.
         As I was still shuddering from the nightmare experiences, I reminded myself that all dreams, including frightening ones, are about some kind of inner dilemma that the dreamer needs to understand and address. After all, no one else is in our head!
So even though I was sleepy, I decided to record the dreams while they were fresh in my mind. As I began writing them down, my mind started clicking away with associations to the dream images. By this time I was wide-awake, so I decided to go ahead and analyze the dreams and try to understand what my soul and Higher Self were telling me.
         I share these dreams and what they meant to me at the time with the hope that you will find the analysis helpful in understanding your own dreams. Analyzing our dreams can broaden our understanding of ourselves because dreams address our inner world. And the better we know ourselves, both inwardly and outwardly, the more likely we are to be successful in life.

Stay Out of Harm’s Way!

         In my first dream, a brief one, I was holding the hand of a little girl who was pulled away from me by a crowd of people moving toward a gate. As she was swept along in the crowd, I panicked for a moment but managed to grab her hand and get her back just before it would have been too late.
The gate slammed shut! I woke up with a start and with the eerie feeling that it was a lifesaving moment because I had grabbed that little girl just before she would have been lost in the crowd. I knew in my heart that would have been fatal because going through that gate meant death!
         As I awoke, I realized that I was being prompted to protect my feminine aspect, personified by the little girl in the dream. So I asked God and the angels to help me understand in what way I needed to protect her. Almost immediately I realized that the dream message had to do with a childhood tendency that I had never fully overcome—the tendency to trust the best in people and go along with the crowd when sometimes they weren’t that trustworthy.
         My dream was telling me that my inner girl child had not yet overcome that childhood naiveté. In the dream I was dramatizing what could happen if instead of being alert and mindful I let myself be swept up in other people’s opinions and decisions. The dream clearly demonstrated how going along with other people rather than thinking for myself could put me in harm’s way.
         Through the dream I was prompting myself to replace the pattern of being naive and overly trusting of other people’s opinions and actions. I was warning myself of the inherent danger in simply allowing life to roll along and being a part of the crowd rather than thinking for myself.
         I prayed to the Father-Mother God to help me replace that childhood pattern with a steady focus on being true to my Higher Self. And to this day, if I sense a recurrence of the habit of going along with the crowd rather than following the direction of my Higher Self, I make it a point to do an about-face and increase my vigilance. For me that dream was a major turnaround!  
         I am happy to report that by paying close attention to the guidance of my Higher Self, practicing vigilance and changing the habit of following the crowd into thinking for myself, I have made great strides in being true to myself. Having had that experience, I also make it a point to help my clients resolve any tendency to go along with the crowd rather than being true to their Higher Self. Hopefully, they won’t  have to experience such a terrifying dream to do a turnaround!

Flying Too High

         The very same night of that life-changing dream, I dozed off again and had another dream. This one was about a little boy who had grabbed a line attached to a glider plane and was swept up into the air. He was excited, gleeful, going very high, but then he was ahead of the plane and the plane broke off contact.
         The boy shot through the air, screaming in fear, knowing he was going to crash. The spectators, including me, watched in horror. In the dream I was saying, “O God, please slow him down!” over and over again. But he crashed and was killed! And I woke up shuddering.
         I didn’t want to go back to sleep until I was over the shudders and understood the scary dream, so I made myself wake up enough to free-associate to the dream and come up with an interpretation. I realized that what the dream was saying was that the boy child was flying too high, going too fast—power out of control.
         I asked myself how this applied to me in my life now, and I had the insight that the boy child represented a certain daredevil consciousness that had gotten me into trouble more than once. I thought back over several risky situations I had gotten myself into and realized that there must be a residue of that consciousness that I hadn’t handled or I wouldn’t be dreaming about it.
         As I considered the implications of the daredevil consciousness of the boy child, I realized that my dream was reminding me to be more thoughtful about my choices rather than acting on impulse. I agreed with myself on that, because I knew that every time I acted impulsively I made trouble for myself.
         What the dream message helped me to see was that I was taking a huge risk every time I chose to “fly high” instead of staying grounded. I thought of several situations in my life at that time where I was indeed acting on impulse rather than thinking through the ramifications of a particular action.
         I knew that changing this behavior would be a challenge because a part of me got a kick out of acting on impulse. So to take command of that part of me, I had to make it a point to slow down and think about  the result and ramifications of a particular action. Then I could make a conscious decision about what would be best in the long run—not just what I’d like to see happening at the moment. In other words, I needed to think about the action I was about to take and reflect on how I would feel about myself afterwards.

Outwitting the Daredevil

      I also knew that to outwit the daredevil consciousness, I needed to focus on the positive qualities of my masculine side and that called for spiritual assistance. As I lay in bed reflecting on the dream, I asked my Higher Self to help me replace that daredevil attitude with wisdom, thoughtfulness and inner strength.
      I made it a point from that time on to check in with myself to make sure I was grounded in my decision making rather than allowing myself to act on impulse. In my heart of hearts I knew the root of the problem--my enjoyment of the rush accompanying impulsive action--and I also realized that it could carry me into harm’s way.
      In retrospect, I understood that the dream was both a warning and a blessing because it definitely slowed me down to a reasonable pace. Today I can say that I have made a lot of progress in overcoming that “Ignore the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” attitude that I had adopted as an adolescent and young adult.
      Although at this point in my life I have that reckless boy child attitude under control, I continue to remind myself that the dream was a warning that the old tendency was still lurking just beneath the surface. So to this day I pay close attention to any suggestion of that flying high attitude, and I make it a point to move forward with thoughtfulness rather than taking risks.

Crash and Burn!

      After the flying dream, I fell asleep and promptly had a third dream that was even more upsetting. In this one I saw a crashed and burning double-wing plane with Red Cross markings on the wings, like one of the World War I planes. A boy, badly hurt, was in the cockpit of the plane. His face and head were damaged, and adults were trying to help him. And he was saying, belligerently, “Shut up! Leave me alone!”
      As I woke up I was puzzled because it was somewhat similar to the second dream, which I thought I had understood and handled. So I had a discussion with myself about what this crash-and-burn dream was intended to show me.
      I asked myself, “Is this dream telling me that my boy child tries to be heroic in helping others but ultimately becomes his own worst enemy because he gets angry and upset? Yes, I can see that in myself!”
      When I came to this realization, I prayed for help in surrendering the residue of stubbornness, reactive anger and the daredevil consciousness. And I asked the ascended masters and my Christ Self to help me transform that fiery nature of my boy child into courage, forbearance, foresight and right action.
      As I continued to contemplate what I needed to learn from this dream, I had the realization that redeeming my inner boy child was not just a matter of changing an attitude and behavior. It also had to do with claiming the true nature of my spirit so that both my soul and my spirit would be in sync for the victorious trek upward to the ascension in the light. ...

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