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home : opinion : perspectives

7/27/2017 9:00:00 AM
Dreaming of treasure

In 1982, while in grad school, I took a course in dream interpretation. Since then, I've enjoyed identifying parallels between dreams and real life.

When family members or friends say, "I had the strangest dream last night," I ask them to tell me what they remember. I often recognize the symbolic connection to events in their lives. By simply recalling and discussing the details, they do, as well. It's fascinating and a lot of fun.

Lately, I've been contemplating the negative role that pride plays in my life and what I can do to improve the situation. In my world, daytime contemplations usually result in nighttime REM (rapid eye movement) dream activity that delivers food for thought.

The other night, I had a dream about a boy who was searching for a treasure while wearing a large backpack. He was certain the treasure existed, but he could not locate it. His desire to find this treasure created a nagging need that permeated his daily thoughts.

Finally, when he was walking on the beach, a treasure chest washed ashore. It was a marvelous discovery! Overwhelmed by its beauty, he fell to his knees and, with surprising ease, lifted the top.

Peering inside the chest, the boy found a collection of old, stuck-together papers containing "directions for life." He carefully peeled apart the papers and eagerly followed the instructions.

Before long, he was relieved of the nagging, searching feeling that had preoccupied him. Embracing his newfound treasure, he willingly carried it everywhere he went.

After intentionally adopting the "directions for life," good stuff started happening for the boy. He was accomplishing things he never imagined possible. He received accolades and trophies for his achievements and stored them in his large backpack.

Life was good and the boy was growing increasingly proud of himself. After a while, carrying the treasure chest seemed an unnecessary burden; so, the boy decided to return it to the beach. With gratitude for the benefits it provided, he lowered the treasure back onto the sand where he had found it.

Although his backpack was getting heavy, the boy lugged it everywhere he went. It made him feel important and he gradually forgot about the treasure. He was busy collecting and polishing his awards.

Time passed and a familiar, unwelcome sense of nagging and searching returned. The boy longed for the treasure chest and the peace that had come from following the "directions for life."

Then he got an idea. He dropped his heavy backpack and ran back to the beach, hoping the treasure would still be there. He arrived at the exact location and, to his great pleasure, it was waiting for him.

Once more, the brilliance of the treasure overwhelmed the boy and he fell to his knees. With little effort, he lifted the top. There inside were the pieces of wisdom, all stuck together, ready to be peeled apart.

The boy was thrilled. He jumped up and down on the beach, hugging the treasure and promising to never let it go. Once again, he embraced the valuable guidance hidden inside.

Soon afterward, the trophies began pouring in again -- but, now, realizing that the glory did not belong to him, the boy gently lifted the top of the treasure chest and placed the awards inside.

(Mrs. Bonanno attends St. Mary's parish, Albany. She can be reached at berni@nycap.rr.com.)

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