Right before waking up this morning, I dreamt a friend and I were standing in the middle of a four-lane road with cars flying by in either direction. We were discussing the vital importance of practicing the act of writing for 20 minutes everyday, no matter what…

And then I woke up

Prior to waking up and prior to standing in the middle of the road, where I was, incidentally, holding a vintage typewriter under one arm, I had been at a beautiful gathering of writers and journalists who were sitting at tables together, sharing and listening. There was oxygen in the room with a mix of joy and tension. And even though I was in attendance and felt deep in my guts I was a writer, too, in the dream I had the sense of being only an observer at the table, disengaged and emotionally unattached to the others. I viewed them as “real” and doing the practice, and me as someone still not owning my wiring, someone still waiting for permission.

After the gathering was dismissed is when I found myself in the middle of the busy road, walking right down the center of the double yellow dividing lines, cars whirring past in both directions. There, I was having a conversation with a friend who was encouraging the two of us to make writing a part of our daily practice, no matter what, because it was part of who we were. Our conversation wasn’t influenced by our surroundings, but was intentional and matter-of-fact.

Several things speak to me from this dream:

One, I am a peacemaker. It’s in my DNA. I don’t avoid conflict at all costs, but I believe there is always more than one side to any story, and there is value in listening and hearing in order to empathize, find healing, and move forward in the fullness of life. I LOVE leading people toward God, each other, and themselves, making peace with their true identities, which is the heart of peacemaking.

Two, I am a writer. From an early age, the world made sense to me in words and words helped the world make sense to me. When I look at the world around me, words well up within me. Some seasons in my life I have known what to do with those words, how to give them a voice and life, or even termination, outside of me. Other times, more often than not, those words have weighed me down quite literally, hiding deep in parts of me where they were never meant to be stashed, almost like the picture of a hoarder’s house we’ve seen only on TV, but on the inside of me.

And that’s how some words are: some are fine and purposeful, others are clutter and frivolous. But unlike hoarding, when words have a natural use and proper life span, they are helpful, have their place, and then are done or released. However, just like hoarding, even if the words are good but piled up and up and up within a vessel or dwelling that has a size capacity, they become clutter, poison, moldy, useless, over-plentiful, irrelevant, and at some point, condemned.

Hoarding wasn’t part of the dream, but it was part of my processing of the dream as it relates to my personal weakness and my actual physical body and some gut issues I’ve been experiencing. The symbolism is not lost on me:

Words, digesting deep within me. Processing thoughts and ideas, not yet expressed. Words not given a space to come out of me, whether they are real or true or accepted or received or not. I’ve hoarded them because I’ve seen how humans eat one another, and I’ve stayed silent at times because some people have said hurtful things to me. I’m a peacemaker so why would I seek being eaten?

It’s toxic, the hoarding of words, when you know you’ve been wired as such, but can’t seem to find the freedom for expression, whether from fear of man, comparison, or whatever other reason. In man’s world, not God’s world, to some degree I have come to falsely believe I am only a writer if my writing fits certain criteria. In man’s world, not God’s world, I’ve also become keenly aware of the risks of writing freely, from the heart, practicing the act of vulnerability, knowing some people lie in wait to pounce, “brothers and sisters,” akin to certainty and judgment rather than love, listening, exploration, and learning…trusting God is big enough to graciously handle our limitations.

The part of the dream where we were standing on the dividing lines of the roadway was symbolic, also. Because I am a peacemaker, my vantage point from the center line, is seeing many directions or points of view at one time. And, holding the typewriter while being on the double yellow stripes reveals to me the need for me to share the stories of the people passing by…because everyone has a story, and none are meant to outshine another, but simply be told.

See, I’ve always been a huge fan of freedom, peacemaking, living from the heart, exercising authenticity, and longing for the same true connection with others. Therefore, it’s easy for one to see where if I stash those things, hoarding my thoughts and words, then I’m not living fully as my true self, my child of God self. (John 1)

And that’s mostly what the dream revealed to me. It was a reminder to be all in…all in to living as my true self, my child of God self, my peacemaking-writer self, speaking God’s truth in love, and not worrying about the dangers of being eaten alive because I wasn’t made to make everyone happy.

Whether any of this makes sense or not is not the point of this blog post. The point is: I wrote it down. I got the words out. And in getting the words out, it feels like just the beginning of a beautiful drive down a road that leads to freedom.

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