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Is life just a game? Just a series of lessons? Or is there more to it? Do I need to dig deeper?

Published May 28, 2020 by Laura Crean Author

Is life just a game? Just a series of lessons? Or is there more to it?  Do I need to dig deeper?

If you are a Christian or a gamer or maybe a Christian gamer or just part of the game of life – read on… (also included if you follow the links Sonic the Hedgehog Trailer and other gaming and book links)

It’s OK to say I have experienced a lot of pain and trauma in my life and I need to learn from it and grow, but what does that look like?  If we have to learn something then that implies that the pain and trauma, the suffering and hardship is a teacher, right?  Well, the thing with having a teacher is, you are and I am the students.  And at some point the student has to learn, grow up and move on and become the teacher – so what does that look like?

Well, as I said, if the teacher is pain and suffering, well that’s what the teacher looks like!  That paints a picture in my mind of Jesus on the cross.  And if life is just like a game and a series of lessons to be learned, then life also is a teacher, right?  We are all in this together – the teachers teaching the students and the students becoming the teachers and so the cycle continues…and life may be a game but we are all characters in that game – without the characters, there is no game and the game would have no meaning.

This week I have been at home on annual leave, trying to take stock a little.  Trying to look inwards and see where I am going.  I started off the week worrying about all the things I thought I should be doing while I had the ‘time’ – gardening, house hold chores, writing my novel, catching up with art projects, paying bills…and the list went on!  Until I felt like it was more stressful to be not out working that actually out working.  So I stopped that and I can’t get that lost time worrying back but I can learn from it.

Now, it’s helpful to have metaphors to use to look at ourselves and our journeys, and I’ve used those metaphors in my art and writing as all artists do.  ‘The Realm of the Purple Dragon’ was a way for me to express myself in a time when I needed some healing.  “There is a time and a season to everything under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 – It’s just a children’s book.  A fun, I think clever, light-hearted story for children (for my inner child who needed it at the time).  And aren’t we all just children at heart?

Lately I have been thinking of just abandoning all the creative stuff that I try to ‘put out into the world’ and just focus writing my blogs as a way to talk to my children.  Sending them to them as personal emails, because I have come to the conclusion that this is all that matters at the end of the day after all – our connection to our children.  And in the same way, our connection to our Heavenly Father as his children!  Because as much as we want to think that we make a huge impact on the world and the global consciousness and effect change on a grand scale by our efforts – that’s just our egos talking.  Maybe a very few do have some impact, but in the most part we are all just tiny parts of a big machine.  We are all just players, programmed and running around the program doing what we have been programmed to do.  And unfortunately the world we are living in is computer gaming on steroids!

If you know me you know I like to learn from my dreams.  The symbolism I see in dreams and the world are a language that seems to communicate to me.  I like to think it is a conversation I have with my creator, and prayer I have found, for me anyway, certainly does get responses or answers, some answers are more profound than others, and sometimes it is loud and clear but more often than not it is harder to hear.  But I continue listening all the same.  Well last night I dreamed I had these huge embarrassing hairs on my chin – which does happen by the way, but these whiskers or hairs in the dream were huge, like hedgehog spines!  Bear with me, this is all related to the game metaphor, I swear…

Recently, last week actually, I watched the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie because when I was in my twenties and a young mother, that was the game we played with our children; apart from Spyro, which is what inspired ‘The Realm of the Purple Dragon’.  But sonic was harder to play in a way, even though it was a simple concept, because it is a fast game.  You have to think on your feet as it were and make quick decisions with obstacles.  It is essentially a race.  You run around like a loony collecting gold rings and trying to get to the end as quickly as possible.  But with that fast pace game (another metaphor for our fast paced living perhaps) you can’t slow down to look at the scenery – to observe the beauty of the artistry of the game’s background design.  And sometimes you also miss the hidden places where treasure is to be found!  Maybe that’s part of what the dream was trying to tell me; to slow down and smell the flowers so to speak.  To sit quietly and look for the treasure in this game of life; to talk to the kids, to read my bible and seek wisdom (God’s hidden treasure in his word) to re-charge my batteries and to have some fun; some joy and peace in the moments.

And what of the spines?  Those hard thorn like follicles of hair on my dream self’s chin?  What message is trying to be conveyed here?  Well, these spines represent a beard firstly.  So a beard, what does that conjure up in my mind?  Well, perhaps as we think of men as wearing beards, it must represent masculinity, strength, power and perhaps wisdom – as the longer you grow a beard, the older and wiser you should technically be!  The image of the statue “The Thinker” also springs to mind.  Stroking your chin or beard or leaning on your chin may be an indication of deep thinking; perhaps wisdom again?  Also hair represents a covering, a protection of vulnerability, more power!  –   To be honest I’m not entirely sure what this imagery is trying to tell me!  Maybe I am spending too much time running around like Sonic the Hedgehog trying to keep myself safe, looking too deeply at things?  Trying to do it all myself under my own strength –  maybe I need to look deeper?  After all those hard spines could be used as a weapon – so maybe that is my strength – my wisdom and power!  Well what do I consider to be wise?  Knowledge worth having?  The only knowledge and wisdom I consider of any worth is that found in the word of God. 

And so this week I am listening inwardly at that quiet conversation between my God and myself and paying attention to the signs.  He says, “stop trying to run around like a loony doing things under your own steam, you’ll only burn yourself out!  Remember that I am in control and have the controller in my expert hands.  After all I designed this game and I know where you are going, even if you don’t” and “I am for you not against you”.  “I want you to win!  And you will win.  It’s just a matter of letting me play out the game.”

So as God takes the controller and I run on under his steam not my own; I can sit back and look at the scenery, the awesome design that I am a part of and keep my eyes open for the hidden treasures as I go.  And as I learn the secrets of the game – become the teacher and pass on those little cheats, those little nuggets of wisdom to my children, perhaps I can pass them on to you too through my writing and my art.  That’s my power, the gifts that God has given me after all, so I shall power up and get on with it.  But not this week.  This week I’m on holiday in my garden – well that’s how you have to roll in this lock down world we are living in.  And yes, I will stop to smell the roses!

The Hand of God

Published August 18, 2018 by Laura Crean Author

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I see the hand of Jesus
At work in ALL he’s made.
He is reaching down from Heaven
– God’s glory will never fade!

“MY flesh and MY heart may fail me,”
Because I AM weak indeed!
But the LORD’S strength will be MY portion,
HIS strength is ALL we need.

“The Lord IS our refuge and strength,
An ever-present help in trouble;”
So when your fears are overwhelming,
PRAISE God! And his grace and mercy will double!

Reach OUT to the hand of Jesus –
Take hold of EVERY promise he has made,
For you can do nothing by your OWN strength,
As this WAS designed to fade.

But Glory, Hallelujah!
God is HIGH and lifted UP!
He IS above EVERYTHING –
So look up! Look UP! LOOK UP!

There is nothing in God’s creation
Visible or not,
No rulers or authorities are above him,
HE is above the lot!

He is ABOVE the foolish notions,
He is ABOVE every trouble, every trial,
Give him ALL of your devotions
Because the JOY of the Lord is your strength- so smile!

Holy! Holy! Holy! Is the Lord God almighty,
His Glory IS forever but it fills the Earth TODAY.
His Glory is in his Spirit,
So let him enter in YOUR heart, I pray.

Yes, the Earth is FILLED with his Glory,
In US, his CHURCH, in YOU;
HIS strength is made perfect in OUR weakness;
So let him Carry you through.

When you become aware of all your frailties,
Then let your strength come in through Christ,
And he will use YOU for his Glory;
WE ARE his Kingdom and his choice.

Laura Crean

 

The Shepherd of my Soul

Published August 9, 2018 by Laura Crean Author

Another Psalms inspired painting and poem :-

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Today I am thankful for my Shepherd
Who leads me on my way.
I’m thankful for my Shepherd,
So I look up and say:-
“Lead on my Lord – I’ll follow,
I am your faithful sheep,
Lead on my Lord- I’ll follow,
I trust my soul you’ll keep.”

Yes I will follow faithfully
By those waters still and calm,
I will follow you to the ends of the Earth,
And even through the storm,
Or through the darkest valley
Where shadows make men fear –
Lead on because YOU’RE with me
And in YOUR light the path now clear.

And yes I may well stumble,
But I will never leave your side,
Because YOU are my protection and my safety,
My Lord, YOU are my guide.
How comforting to see that rod and staff,
Gently steer me back onto your path,
And even as a weapon –
No fearsome beast can pass!

So I can lay down now to sleep
In pastures green and lush
While you become the very gate!
– and so in you I put my trust;
And WHEN the WOLF comes calling,
With YOU I have no care,
You make my Spirit so secure
Just knowing that you’re there.

Lead on my Lord – I’ll follow,
I am the safest in your flock.
Lead on my Lord – I’ll follow,
With you there will be no shock
Because YOU protect me and direct me,
You always keep me near
And if I tire or I stumble
I have no need to fear…

…On your shoulders you will carry me,
Until I can walk again,
Because it is in your nature
And it is in your name;
So I will follow you, my Shepherd,
Lead me to your feast
Where I shall sit around your table,
And be at perfect peace.

So I will follow you, my Shepherd,
Lead me to your cup,
May it fill to overflowing
As I lean in to sup!

The enemy may try to trick me
And say my future ISN’T clear,
But he cannot steal my joy TODAY,
Because I know you’re here.

Laura Crean

The Story of God my Lighthouse

Published August 8, 2018 by Laura Crean Author

Another poem and painting from my ‘inspired by Psalms’ collection…

 

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I am in a battered boat
Drifting on tattered tides,
In the midst of a troubled sea
My destination hides.

The ocean roars about me
And splashes in my face,
My vision clouded by the storm
As darkness now gives chase.

I battle on through the windy wake
And row until my arms are weak,
Soon my strength will leave me
– safety I MUST seek!

Life is like that ocean,
Stormy, rough and tough to sail,
And lonely is that journey
When you’re battling through a gale.

And it’s hard to seek God’s presence
When the waves are driving you back,
It’s hard to look upon his promises
When your focus is your lack.

But when you see salvation
Is just within your reach,
God’s beacon is so beautiful,
His light so bright and rich!

That lighthouse is your protection,
It will be your shelter through the night,
Have confidence in its security
And not upon your plight.

God’s presence is your protection,
The stronghold of your life,
Have faith and trust he’ll guide you
And surround you in his light.

God IS that bright beginning,
He IS that cleansing light,
Let him fill you with his blessings,
Just keep him in your sight.

His light is his presence and his glory
And with him you can dwell,
Take heart upon the story
I’m trying here to tell;

Gaze upon the beauty
Of that lamp that guides you through –
Jesus is the light to follow
And HE is calling YOU.

Laura Crean

Dream Blog – Dear Laura – I’m always running away from zombies…

Published May 29, 2013 by Laura Crean Author

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A lovely lady sent me a message on one of my Facebook pages the other day asking me to interpret a rather disturbing dream for her.  She has given me her permission to share her dream and my interpretation on here.  I won’t use the lady’s name but I thought it was a good example of how really scary nightmare images can actually be very simple symbols to interpret and help you in your day to day life.

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The Dream

Hi Laura,

I had a dream the other night. Don’t know if you can help me, but I’m always running away from zombies. (okay, so it’s more than just one dream).

This weekend I dreamt my brother drove someone over, then shot himself in the head. I watched the whole thing. It felt soooooooooooo, so real. I ran to the car and the blood wasn’t coming from his head but his heart – the wound was there instead. I woke up crying. I couldn’t stop. It felt too real.

About two weeks earlier I dreamt I was hiding. I don’t remember all the details but the dream started off calm, then there was an explosion and next there were guys with guns chasing us. We started running and I changed direction because I knew it would not end well.

The “runners” ended up hiding in a room. I found a small box and hid in there, thinking it’s the last place they’ll look.

A tall black man found me first, shot me twice in the heart and what should have been a lot of blood was a dash (almost nothing).

To my surprise I didn’t die. So I pretended to be dead but he found it strange that my eyes were closed, not open-dead. Then my body jerked and gave me away.

He shot me again. Each time, I pretended to be dead, but my body jolted and gave me away. And each time he shot me in the chest, almost no blood and at the end I was afraid he’d get tired of it and just kill me with his hands and spread my body parts across the room (that way I wouldn’t be able to come together and be alive).

At the end my body jolted and I had a whole lot of water coming out of me.

Care to indulge me?

I actually feel a bit more powerful having this dream. Usually I lose a lot of blood (energy), and it feels like whatever it is, it’s not hurting as much.

This same night zombies were chasing us in another dream.

Anyway, thought you may have a different angle.

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my response

LOL funnily enough I’ve had a few zombie dreams myself.

Anyway, Hi!

I am by no means an expert – I’m not a psychologist or anything like that, so I can only offer you my personal view on dream imagery. There can be so many different interpretations to one symbol in a dream – the best person in the end to figure it out is yourself. But here are a few things that may help you work out what your dreams are trying to tell you.

Your dreams sound more like nightmares – were they very scary? I would say the first thing I’ve learnt about dreams is that every image is telling us something about ourselves. So don’t be scared – whatever is happening in the dream, it is your unconscious trying to draw your attention to something in your life that may need sorting out or not – depends on the symbolism.

Running away from something in a dream usually means you are avoiding something, not dealing with a situation or anxiety perhaps or an aspect of yourself you are afraid to face. Usually it is advisable if you can become more aware in your dream state that you turn and face whatever it is that you are running away from. A zombie is by definition ‘the living dead’ – a creature that is only a semblance of life, therefore maybe you are not living your life to the full and feel a little like that zombie – just a semblance of yourself, maybe lacking in energy, just sleepwalking through life. Death can also mean an opportunity for new life – so maybe you are running from a part of your life that is dead and no longer relevant to your life now and you need to leave it behind and get on with living your new life.

Now the dreams where you are hiding are very similar, you are avoiding facing up to a situation, perhaps not being honest with yourself about something. The box you are hiding in where you hope nobody will find you is basically of your own making. In life maybe you are limiting yourself – just trying to blend in with everyone else – probably best to break out of the box and expand your vision, don’t impose limits on yourself. Do you feel like a certain situation is boxing you in, trapping you somehow?

The pretending to be dead part and keeping your eyes closed is just another way of hiding. The fact that you were surprised you didn’t die shows that you know that it’s ‘not the end of the world’ and you are more powerful than you give yourself credit for.

An explosion after a period of calm could mean that something has happened in your life out of the blue that has had a powerful effect on you or that some pent up feelings have been released and need to be dealt with. Guns in dreams usually have a sexual connotation and being shot usually leads to losing energy. If men are chasing you with guns, I wonder if you are avoiding something about relationship issues to do with a man or men in your life. Your choice to change direction could be something to do with a new relationship – maybe you are in a new relationship or there is something about a relationship that needs to be changed. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a love relationship, but I’m guessing it is with a male. However it could be a change in a part of your own relationship with yourself, perhaps a masculine part of you like you are feeling more powerful and in control or you need to be more powerful and in control in your own life. It could also be a change in a spiritual relationship. In the end when you just have water pouring out of you – to me water is emotional energy so a relationship you are in may literally being draining you emotionally.

The whole image of the tall black man shooting you in the heart is an interesting one to me. The black man I feel is unconscious, unknown parts of yourself, maybe those strong, male powerful aspects I talked about before, perhaps you have been afraid to show your more powerful, confident, assertive side and it is that aspect of yourself that is trying to take control of the situation or indeed you in your life. Your heart is your emotional centre – losing energy through a wounding could mean someone is draining you emotionally – are you getting caught up in other people’s trips, giving away your power to others by over empathising with them and not concentrating on your own needs? The heart is also the ‘Christ centre’ so it could be a spiritual rather than a relationship crisis.

Now to go back to the incident you opened with – your brother running someone over with the car. The car is you – your vehicle through life. The fact that your brother is driving the car makes me feel like, either he has more control over what you do than you yourself or that aspects or strengths that you see in your brother are aspects you need to have in your own life. Running someone over may mean you have hit an obstacle in your life or that someone is in your way – standing in the path of your life’s journey. The shot to the head may mean that you are over thinking a situation or that something is too hard to deal with or think about and it is leading to you losing emotional energy from the heart chakra again – i.e. it is draining you. The fact that you woke up crying, suggests to me that there is something in your waking life that is upsetting you and draining you emotionally that you need to take control of.

How was that? Any help? Or was it total drivel?

LOL If it has helped in any way can you let me know.

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Her initial response to my thoughts

Hi Laura,

Wow. Thank you soooooooooo much for all that help.

Your input is so much appreciated. I need time to discern, dissect and categorize everything as I am indeed not facing a lot of things. But not because I don’t want to. Because I am tired. Tired of so much. And hurt. By an old relationship which was so close to being rekindled and now I have to forgive myself for messing it up.

I’m just so thankful that I could share that with you. It sort of feels great to have someone who can look at something from a different angle 🙂

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So there you are – a real person with a real dream that on the surface appears really scary and overwhelming but when you break it down and look at the images symbolically they can be used to see how your unconscious mind tries to give you clues about what’s going on and how you can deal with different situations in your day to day life.

I just wish I could use my dreams to help myself!  LOL  Oh well – helping others is good therapy too! 😉

Love and Light

❤ Xx Laura xX ❤

(Symbols used – source – The Dream Book – Symbols for Selfunderstanding by Betty Bethards)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dream-Book-Self-Understanding-Betty-Bethards/dp/0967979013/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369838909&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Dream+Book+by+Betty+Bethards

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