Covid-19 and the unrest it’s causing, literally

As our nation and states have tighten the “stay home, stay safe” grip on us, I mean, effort for mitigation of the spread of the Corona virus, there has been some noticeable unrest in my home and family. Nearly every day for the last week or so, one or more of us have woken up with vivid memories of strange, odd and somewhat unsettling dreams. I have really been struggling with insomnia for several days now and the sleep I do get is restless and dream filled at best. There has been a common tread with some of the dreams we have been having, and that theme is fire.

According to dream expert, Lauri Loewenberg,

“Dreaming is a thinking process and our dreams are a continuation of our thought stream from the day, but they are in symbolic form because, while in the dream state, the brain is working differently. The amygdala, the emotional center of the brain, is highly active so any emotion felt during the day will be significantly amplified in our dreams.When we are going through a stressful time in our life, our dreams will be a metaphor for the stress and magnify it, but at the same time, our dreams will often offer advice on how to deal with it or just give us a better understanding of our situation so we can make better decisions in regard to it.”

Now let me start out by saying, I’m not dream whisperer like Joseph from the Old Testament. I do however agree that dreams are the minds way of releasing and decompressing and continuing some of the thoughts that were present during our waking hours. Often times, dreams will deal with undercurrents of the day. Commonly, it seems like our dreams are exaggerations of the most minute detail that we lived out, something that was barley a blip on the radar of our consciousness somehow made the lead role in our dreams.

But back to the dreams of fire.

After my daughter and I both had fire related dreams on back to back nights, specifically, buildings being burnt down by other people while we were trying to occupy them. So, I decided to do some research. What I found was surprising. There are lots of articles about people experiencing a ramped up dream life right now, due to the affects of the corona-virus and quarantining, more accurately, from the affects of anxiety caused by the corona-virus and quarantining. This wasn’t just me and my family, there are lots of people having strange vivid dreams right now.

In my google search, I discovered the most common dreams people are having are related one of the four following themes. Tornadoes, Flooding, Tidal Waves, and you guessed it, Fire. All of these themes have to do with anxiety, or worry. Which kind of caught me off guard, because, I’m not feeling any anxiety that I know of. I’m not living in fret or worry, but apparently my brain is, if that makes sense. Not that there is a disconnect there, hopefully. But my brain doesn’t express worry in my conscience thoughts, but rather, in my unconsciousness. Or, maybe I don’t take time to inventory whats going on in my thoughts like I should.

Each of the dream themes I mentioned above represent a different, but similar mental concern to do with anxiety. The involvement of tornadoes indicates worry spinning out of control. For tidal waves, feeling overwhelmingly swept away from your normal routine. Dreams of flooding indicate a negative mindset that is getting increasingly worse. And lastly, fires, points to frazzled nerves and being burnt out.

As I learned about this and recognized it in myself, it gave me some freedom. The feeling of concern we may be experiencing right now shouldn’t be dismissed, down played or ignored. Yes, we pray, we release our concerns to God, that’s our best first step always , but we also need to talk to our person or people about them as well.

Something that we don’t always do but really should, is just allow ourselves to be honest with ourselves, especially as men.

If we’re worried about loved ones, reach out to them, if we are worried about money, find ways to spend less, if we have something weighing on us, embrace it and dig into it.

By ignoring thoughts or concerns we may be ignoring the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I am certainly learning this myself.

The psalmist David, knew all about knowing himself and being known by God, he writes in the 139th Psalm, Lord , you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; you understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; you are aware of all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know all about it, Lord . You have encircled me; you have placed your hand on me.

What is to be gained by living your life disconnected from yourself? Bad dreams and sleepless night. Embrace your worry, know when you are experiencing anxiety. Spend time with God, quiet time, let Him speak to you, search you and guide you. Own your stuff and grow from your stuff! God doesn’t waste anything.

Stay Anchored and Unhindered.