36: Walk Backwards

36: Walk Backwards

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

Walk Backwards

Follow the light of your intuition, and keep away from the darkness of convention.

~Michael Bassey Johnson

Oh, my god, the searing pain! I could hardly get out of my car. It felt like someone had stabbed me in the back.

The trip from St. Louis, Missouri, to Lexington, Kentucky, takes about five hours on a normal day. But this was no normal day! An ice storm had shut down the Midwest for a week. I had already cancelled two appointments and could not wait any longer to leave St. Louis and drive to Lexington.

I was terrified. Only one lane of I-64 was open because the rest of the highway was blocked with snow and ice-covered. I saw semi-trucks and cars in ditches, turned in all directions from losing control. My hands gripped the steering wheel. I didn’t dare use cruise control, so I drove with one foot on the accelerator for the eight hours it took to make the drive.

My whole being was tied up in knots. Exhausted, tense, and afraid, I felt the muscles in my back getting tighter and tighter from sitting so long in that awkward position.

When I finally reached my destination, I was alarmed. I could tell that I had wrenched my back, and it was not going to relax. I had never had that kind of pain before. I worried that if I lay down, I might not be able to get up. I have a couple of friends who periodically have their lower backs go out and can’t move for days.

I could not afford to do that. I had already postponed my trip and had a series of appointments over the next few days in Lexington and Indianapolis. I had to be able to move and drive.

What could I do? I visited a chiropractor, who further upset me. He suggested I take muscle relaxers, return to him every day for a week, and then get adjusted every other day for another week. That was out of the question.

I had another resource to try: my dreams! I had never before incubated a dream for healing, but I had been keeping a dream journal for years and had heard tales of miraculous healings in dreams.

That night, before going to bed, I wrote in my dream journal: “Please give me a dream that tells me what I need to heal the pain in my lower back, and please let me wake up pain-free.”

I was a bit skeptical that the searing pain could actually disappear overnight, but I thought if I was going to ask, I might as well ask for what I really wanted.

I went to sleep, exhausted from the drive and exhausted from the pain. The next morning, when I was in that not-quite-awake state, I heard in my mind a clear voice that said, “Walk backwards.”

I wrote those words in my dream notebook: Walk backwards!

When I became fully awake, the first thing I did was gently stretch, and I noticed that I was, indeed, pain-free! That seemed like a miracle because I could hardly move when I went to bed!

I didn’t want that good feeling to go away, so I just lay there quietly, contemplating the joy of being free of pain. Then I looked at my dream notebook and saw those words: Walk backwards.

Weird, I thought. But I figured I would try it, so I gingerly got up and walked around the room backwards.

It felt good! It seemed to adjust something by walking that way.

I had to get back in my car that morning to make the drive to Indianapolis. I dreaded it and wanted to listen to something to keep my mind off worrying about the treacherous road conditions. I didn’t feel like listening to the radio, and for some unknown reason, I reached for a tape that was in my glove box. A friend had given it to me, and it had been there for months. Never before had it appealed to me, but that morning I felt the urge to pop it in the tape player.

It was an instructional lecture from a man who makes essential oils for healing purposes. He was talking about some of the countries where he travels, places that grow the plants from which he distills the oils. He described a trip to China and said that on the college campus there, the students walk backwards because it adjusts their spine!

Wow! It was a waking confirmation of the message from my dream.

Why did I feel the urge to listen to that tape that day? Hearing that message knocked me on the head, telling me that I had better pay attention to the message that came to me in my dream. Strange as it was, it worked.

Had I not heard it, I might have doubted my dream because it just seemed so weird. But twice in one day I received a wake-up call I couldn’t ignore.

To this day, when I’ve been sitting in a car too long, I feel my lower back tighten up. So I get out at a rest stop and walk backwards. Even though the people around me might think I’m a bit strange, my dreams gave me some good advice, so I’m following it.

~Laurel Clark

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