40: Working It Out

40: Working It Out

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

Working It Out

We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together.

~Bill Richardson

I have never been one to find much meaning in my dreams. In fact, my dreams are usually so chaotic and confusing that I sometimes wonder what that says about the state of my mind! I will never forget, however, two dreams that were so clear, meaningful, and helpful that they instantly healed my relationship with two co-workers at the advertising agency where I was a writer.

The first dream involved a man with whom I was always butting heads. We could never see eye to eye, and we argued about almost everything. One night, I dreamed this man and I were at it again — yelling and screaming and stomping our feet. Suddenly, another person entered the room, looked around, and said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I was looking for some adults.”

When I woke up the next morning, not only was that dream still clear in my mind, but its meaning was also obvious. I was behaving like a child! My heated exchanges with this man were little more than temper tantrums I was throwing because I couldn’t get my way.

After that dream, I finally began to behave like the forty-year-old professional I was.

The second dream occurred only a few months later. I had been assigned a permanent partner to work with — a lovely lady I’ll call Linda. Our partnership was supposed to be ideal because we were both very much alike — perfectionists. Can you see the potential problem here? Two perfectionists don’t work well together when their ideas about perfection differ! On a personal basis, I really liked Linda because I could relate to her persnickety ways. But our professional relationship was quickly growing tense and uncomfortable.

Then, one night, I dreamed that Linda walked up to me in the lobby of our office building, and we embraced. And as we embraced, I felt genuine love for Linda. I didn’t feel like I was “in love” with her exactly, but I certainly felt a very deep sense of compassion for this lady.

And guess what? When I woke up the next morning, that warm, tender feeling stayed with me. And from that point on, I was able to treat Linda with the loving kindness she deserved. Sure, we still had our differences of opinion. But after that dream, I was able to work things out with her in a way that was much more patient and respectful. My heart had opened up, and our troubled relationship was healed.

To this day, I don’t know whether those dreams were something that arose from my own personal psyche or were something more “heaven-sent.” All I know is how grateful I was — and still am — for the power of dreams to resolve a troubling issue in an instant.

~Steven Lane Taylor

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