I have to record this dream because it’s driving me bonkers. I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t remember everything about it anymore but I know that it caused an enormous and most likely permanent change in my thinking and my life.
I was in a store and I had to buy a chair. I drove to the store. While I was in the store I had trouble finding the chair. Just a plain, old dining room chair, something like that; wooden with four legs and a back. I had trouble finding the chair and when I did find it, it was wrapped in some way and I was concerned that it wasn’t put together correctly. But the man in the store told me, “No, no, no. Just leave it as it is. That chair is exactly as it should be.” He continued getting it all wrapped up and onto the belt for me. I bought the chair.
An elder from my congregation was there in the store. (Incidentally, in real life, I’d had a bad situation in the congregation. I spoke to two elders: one made me feel like shit and it ruined my relationship with the congregation; but the other elder, the one in my dream, was very comforting to me and always has been kind.) I think I might have been comforted by him being in the store.
Anyway, I got the chair and when I went outside to leave I knew I needed to take the chair to the congregation. I couldn’t get my key to open my car door. I kept trying and trying and it wouldn’t open the car door. The car was in the parking lot, near something like a loading dock. A lady and a man, husband and wife, come up to me and say, “This is our car.” I say, “No, this is my car” and they say, “No, this is our car.” I look again and it is some little beige-yellow car that isn’t my car. So I’m looking around, “Where is my car?” I see a gray car over in the parking lot, sort of up a hill, and I say, “There’s my car. But no! That’s not my car. I know I got here. Where is my car? Where is my car?” I couldn’t find my car at all.
Suddenly I remembered why. I didn’t get there in my car. I got there in my mother’s car. I was supposed to be driving my mother’s car. Sure enough, there was a car over on the other side of the parking lot that was the same color as my mother’s car (in real life) but it was not the same vehicle; it was an SUV of some sort. But I knew in the dream, that was the car I was supposed to be getting into – my mother’s car.
I finally got into the car. At this point, I don’t know whether I had the chair or not. I get over to the congregation and that’s when everything becomes very fuzzy. There were a few people there but it was clearly after a meeting. I remember flowers for some reason. There was a person there cleaning the building – finishing up the cleaning – and they were supposed to be leaving. But I was supposed to be accomplishing something there. I think it had something to do with the chair. I was supposed to be accomplishing something there and leaving so that the person cleaning could close up. But I got lost in there. I couldn’t remember the task I was supposed to be doing. All I knew was I wasn’t getting anywhere in the building. I couldn’t find my way from room to room and yet I kept running into the lady who was cleaning the building who needed me to finish so that she could leave. I was very well aware that I was holding somebody else up from what they were supposed to be doing. I was so uncomfortable and sad.
Also, while I was there, there was something about me not being able to get into or out of one of the rooms and having to go through a window that was too small for me. It didn’t fit or something. It was just very uncomfortable and I was aware of the lady needing to leave. At one point I felt like, “She’s left. I’m in here. I’m not supposed to be in here. It’s supposed to be closed.”
When I woke up I felt very uncomfortable. I felt uncomfortable all day long. I knew, when I woke up, that my whole problem, in that dream, was because I had gotten there in my mother’s car, not in my own.
That keeps bothering me. The whole problem that I had in that dream – in the congregation, with the chair, everything – was because I had gotten there in my mother’s vehicle and not in my own. That nagged at me all day long.
At one time I was trying to make my religion my own, to really embrace it and allow it be a part of me and me of it. I never really accomplished that. And then I got away. I got away, I didn’t mean to get away. I didn’t mean to get away. I was so unhappy. I behaved horribly while I was away.
My mother was getting older. She was getting old. I thought about that all the time. We were estranged. And so, I went back to the congregation.
Then she died. My mother died.
I was back in the congregation, though. I should have felt good. I should have felt comfortable. I was back with my Father. But it didn’t feel real and it didn’t feel like it was taking hold. I felt like I was there because of my mother. I had returned in time for her to die, in time for me to be able to handle the situation in that congregation.
I never felt comfortable again. It just didn’t feel like it was mine. It doesn’t feel like it’s mine.
I have left religion altogether. To be clear, I have left religion, I have not left God. I cannot live without my relationship with God. He is a real and everyday part of my life. I talk to him often. I beg him for help. I thank him for all the riches he has given me. I beg him for forgiveness. But I can’t find myself in religion and this particular faith was my last hope. It never fit me; I never fit it. When I’m steeped in religion, I can never focus or concentrate on my precious relationship with God because I’m trying so hard to fit where I don’t fit and live up to constraints that I feel are arbitrary and man-made and not at all fitting with what God and Jesus intend for our lives or require for us to be pleasing to Him.
I try my best to live up to the teachings of the Bible, which I do believe in wholeheartedly. I just cannot reconcile God and His word with the religions’ various doctrines.
I have no choice but to put my faith in God, to keep talking to Him, to keep going to Him for help, to keep allowing my conscience to be guided by Him, to keep begging him for forgiveness when I fail, and to trust that He knows and loves me.
That is getting there in my own vehicle.
The religion I was a part of when this dream and my exodus occurred was actually a change I made as an adult. It is not the religion into which I was born; I had tried many and had always been disappointed. This time I thought I had it right. My conviction caused my mother to convert after a time, after her initial displeasure at my decision to change. She did infinitely better in this faith than I did. She was utterly devoted to it and was considered, by the congregation, to be a very spiritually-accomplished member. She reached up to where I never had.