This post was inspired by comments made and shared with Unbiased.
An interviewer once asked me why I had put "sleeping" down as one of my interests. I told him it was because when I slept, I dreamt and when I dreamt, I went places. I did things. Saw things. Lived a bit more. I was stronger, braver, happier and more free; qualities that I felt I needed to develop to survive in my creative career path of architecture. I don't know if he agreed with me because at the end of the day, I did not get the job but then again, I had not seen it in my dream that I would so I let it go until the one that was for me came along.
Most times, when I tell people of my faith, I either get an immediate flurry of questions aimed at discrediting my choice or they make the assumption that I am in it simply because I was born into the faith. No. I had been given many chances while growing up to change my faith. In fact, Islam is the registered faith on my birth certificate. However, I have chosen to remain an Eckist because I have tested its principles against my life and they have been to my liking. One of such principles is the study of my dreams.
I really like those ads that come up on television where some person tells you that they can help you find solutions to your life by helping you to interprete your dreams. That intrigues me greatly because I know for a fact that my dreams can only be read by me because over the years of documenting my dreams - I keep what is called a dream journal; a book into which I write whatever it is I remember about the dreams I have- I have been able to pick up enough signs and symbols that apply just to me.
Mostly my dreams tell me what is to happen in advance.
I graduated from secondary school in 2001. It took me three years to get into the university. I did not want to school in the country. From an early age, I sensed I was different and that if I was not careful, the environment I was in would crush that and make me just a generic individual- not that that is bad, but if that is not what you want, that can be horrible- so I did all I could to try and get out of the country. When I started my plans, I wanted to go to the United States. My family possessed neither the money nor the connections to make that happen. I tried for a scholarship. I failed Jamb twice; once because I couldn't be bothered and the second time because I refused to pay the invigilator. My mother sold her only land to pay for A levels, which I failed as well (yeah I know I am one of those kids). It was still good enough to apply to university in South Africa and I began the process.
It was taking forever so I figured I was going nowhere. My father was not even for the idea. His dreams had been shattered long ago and he had developed the survivor's habit of dreaming just within your reach. I put in my application for OAU to study architecture. With my A level grades, I was accepted into advance placement - Year 2. I began to make arrangements to settle down nicely in my fatherland. Maybe, my first sojourn to the white man's land would be as a tourist...much better sef than stressing over school.
Then I had a dream. I was walking on the roof of a building. I was carrying a little girl and holding the hand of a little boy. Ahead of me was a man, lugging a suitcase and a huge bag. I looked down from where I was and there were many people in coloured shirts milling around. I could not make out their faces or where I was. When I woke up, I was so freaked out because I thought I was seeing myself with my children. The man, whom I did not recognise, was much older and I knew definitely that I was not older in the dream than I was in real life. I thought it meant that if I continued on the same path as I was with one of my guy friends, I was bound to get pregnant -hence the kids. I started to avoid the boy like a plague. Because God knew that my agro-ed adolescent body was just a ticking time bomb.
Flash forward almost eight months. I have arrived in the United States after a whirlwind of activities- got my 1-20 when one yeye man who does not know his own name told me I wouldn't get one, got my visa in one try and got the last economy seat on the plane. My cousin whom I had never met, picked me up from the airport and took me to school. I was left to check in and he went to get his kids. When he came back, he had with him my suitcase, my brand new bedding set purchased from Target (which I thought was the bomb and still do), his three year old daughter and six year old step son. Because we got into the east wing of the dorm and not the west, where my room was, we were shown a linking bridge between the two buildings via the roof. I carried the little girl and took the boy's hand cos he looked like he was about to try some spider man tactics and fly off the roof. My cousin walked ahead with my things. As we crossed the roof, I suddenly had the urge to look down. The student organisations in their coloured shirts were singing and dancing and passing out water, trying to get the freshman hyped. I nearly passed out when I realised that I was looking at my dream. Then it became clear why the school was familiar and why out of three colleges applied to, it was the only one to give me admission.
Over a year later, this same cousin hit me repeatedly in a fit of anger and threw my things out of his house in the middle of the night - a story for another day. As he hit me, the only name I could shout was that of my spiritual guide. Luckily, the bruises were emotional and mental. I was not shocked by what he had done. I had seen it in a dream weeks before that he had hit. I had "cancelled" it with my spiritual exercises but still it happened. For many reasons. One, I had become complacent since my arrival in the states. I wasn't doing my spiritual exercises as dedicatedly and unknowingly had become a financial burden on him; a burden that neither he nor I had foreseen nor one that he felt capable to accomodate. He was stressed. He lost his temper. I swore that the next time a man raises his hand against me, I am prepared to die defending myself because like all things controversial, his family brushed it aside and asked me why I had angered him.
The next time I would see him, I was prepared in the dream state. I was to go to my aunt's house on xmas eve and take her out to go see "Memoirs of a Geisha". I saw him in the dream and for the first time in months of seeing him or his family members, I refused to run away but stood and faced him. He could not say anything to me in the dream. My aunt called to warn me the next day that he had just called her to tell her that he was coming to her house. I told her I already knew. She was shocked. I did not elaborate. She told me that there was to be a dinner at his house and if I wanted to come. I said no. I had been warned in my dream not to go. She went. There was an arguement. He hit her, broke her leg when she slid in the ice, knocked her older sister who had jumped in to break the scuffle and frightened her little boy.
This and many other things unrelated to him have been shown to me in the dream state. I don't have to go to any priest or spiritual leader to see what is to happen to me, what I need to do or what I need to stop doing because I will always know. Dreams are for me, my most direct link with Holy Spirit. I have learned that from being an Eckist.
You in your individual faiths can learn that too. Your dreams are an indicator of your inner and outer life. Chances are that if you remember and acknowledge your dreams, you are a spiritually aware soul and can easily pick up on signs that come your way from Holy Spirit both when you are awake and asleep.
Yoruba's say " Ala go" which means "Dreams are useless". I disagree. Study yours and you too might do the same.