I’ve been having dreams lately about houses. In the most recent one, I walked from room to room checking out my new home. There was nothing about it that was familiar, yet I knew it was my own. People I know kept dropping by and “helping” me by setting things up, always outside. My husband built a brick fireplace--next to a shrine site for Mother Mary. A woman from my parish set up pansies up and down the entrance, and a friend brought over chimes that I could hang in the back yard, something I love.
Houses are a common theme in dreams, and I learned years ago that they represent various aspects of the self. Experts will tell you that every specific room that shows up in your “house” has a special relation to specific facets of your personality. And even the condition of the house may reflect how you feel and think about your life right now.
As I think about the houses in my dreams, but especially this latest one, it is clear to me that they reflect the reality that I’m in a transitional phase, journeying into something new, something unknown. I’d like to think that my wondering from room to room in my dream may signal my willingness for self exploration. As life details outside me continue to change, I do want to turn inward to listen to what God is showing me there.
As God’s sense of humor would have it, at daily Mass this week, the visiting priest spoke two days in a row about dreams, especially in relation to Advent.
Advent, I heard him say, is a time not only of waiting, but also of newness. As we prepare for the beginning of Advent on Sunday, he suggested, why not ask God directly to show me what new thing, idea, possibility He wants to show me.
One way to open and ready myself to the newness of God, he said, is to deliberately shake things up a little bit. Try adding something different to my regular prayer time, or take half of it in a contemplative walk. Read about a saint that I’m not familiar with. Look for divine beauty in the ordinary moments of my life.
It is in dreams, I heard him say, that there is possibility--and God will make His presence known there.