Okay, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I can pick up on a pattern. I notice things. There are certain foods that cause me to dream weird, crazy, disturbing dreams….every time. Now scholars argue about this. Big bucks have been spent to study it and there is still dissension among the psychologists and medical establishment as to whether it is a true and little understood phenomenon or simply folklore, happenstance or just pure nonsense. There does seem to be some historical basis because they say Hippocrates believed food influenced dreams. I honestly didn’t know him that well.
At any rate, the notion has been around a while. Anybody who’s seen “White Christmas” remembers the late night lodge scene where Bing Crosby offers Rosemary Clooney a sandwich and tells her “Tell me what you want to dream about and I’ll know what to give you.” She eventually concludes you shouldn’t mix fairy tales with liverwurst and buttermilk.
I cannot tell you how these things affect other people. What I can tell you is that for me it does seem to be true. Hard salami…I love the stuff, but I’ll never eat it again because the gastronomic pleasure it brings is not worth the nightmares. Pizza, pickles, pepperoni, tacos, anything highly spiced will bring on the most bizarro dreams. All night long I’m pursued, lost, desperately trying to find someone or find my way out of a building that doesn’t seem to have an exit, up to my chin in a churning river and I can’t swim, running from a tornado or dodging bad guys who are within inches grasp of me when I wake up with a start.
Sometimes the dreams are not so intense, but just flaky. Case in point, a couple of nights ago I dreamed I was trying to read hundreds of tiny little documents…all the size of postage stamps…and to keep them organized and stacked up on my desk without them falling over or getting lost. Oh, yes, and the ever popular running dream where you’re several feet above the pavement and you’re still able to just keep pedaling your legs until you get where you’re going. What’s that about?
Most people say dairy of any kind at night is bad, but I haven’t noticed that. Even with the caffeine in cocoa, a cup of hot chocolate an hour before bed seems to let me float away on a happy cloud. A piece of toast with a little cream cheese and blackberry jam seems to be a good recipe for me as well.
I think what you feed your mind and spirit is just as important, or more so, than what you feed your body. I already know there are certain movies I don’t need to watch, certain images that will create disturbing dreams. I just don’t go there. The entertainment factor is not worth it.
I wonder if some of the same principles may not be true about the “other” kind of dreams we have….not the dreams of sleep, but the dreams that are the visions of the future we hope for.
If I fill my spiritual belly with the truth of God and His commandments, how can I have the desire to fulfill a dream that is against everything He’s taught me? Will not my dreams be in line with what I’ve eaten….His word? Can I continually fill my plate with deception, vengeance and hate and expect to see the fulfillment of a good dream for my life? I don’t think so. Some wonder why their dreams have been shattered or remain unfulfilled, and all the while they’ve been feeding on the wrong things. They need a change of diet.
The Psalmist said “O taste and see that the Lord is good”. Fill up on Him and then you can believe David when he says in Psalms 37:4: “Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
That’s quite a promise about our dreams. We just need to watch what we’re eating.