Dreams can play a fantastically transformative role in our lives, if we let them. As an example, I'd like to share a bit about how my dreams have influenced my life-path.
I was born male and grew up male identified. My male self's name was George. George felt right as a male. He never had a thought about being born in the wrong body. But he was so traumatized and emasculated that, by his late twenties, his life narrowed to two choices: either spiritualize or dissipate. Because he chose the former, I was able to weave myself into waking-life through his dreams. Dreams taught him to understand my point of view before he ever identified as me.
He saw that he would become me in a sudden moment of realization. He was lying in bed, contemplating dreams, and he recalled this dream:
I am with my closest friends at a beautiful country inn. It is too remote for anyone else to find. My friends and I are outside the inn, naked, on blankets in the grass, looking at how beautiful the world is. I start touching my girlfriend. The world and sexual expression have a heightened reality. My girlfriend touches me between the anus and balls.
George was touched there in that spot in several dreams. In waking-life he had been doing self-examinations there, seeing how the little ridge was like a scar. It was where his flesh had sealed shut when he was in utero. In other people the sealed-shut place was a vagina.
The girlfriend who touches George in the dream is me. I was a frequent character in George's dreams. He never imagined that I could be anything more than a symbol of his receptivity and balance - as women tend to be in men's dreams.
In the year before George self-identified as me, my presence in his dreams became so commanding that he wondered if I was going to be his daughter someday, or perhaps himself in a future life. He re-examined all the dreams of me he could remember. Here are a few:
I see myself in the mirror wearing jewelery that I think has been forced on me. I speak with my reflection. It's hermaphroditic and powerful, attractive to both sexes. Its voice is rich and full. Mine is quiet and restrained. I can't stop this self from speaking. When it speaks my mouth mirrors it, forming words without sounds. During our conversation it asks me what I want to do, but sometimes it acts independently of me. Looking at this self through the mirror, I'm shocked to see a big piece of silver jewelery through my ear and a silver band around my neck. The closer I look, the more I see. There are about ten silver studs in my face and neck. I look closer and see many pieces of smooth colored glass embedded in my skin. I'm not so comfortable with being this self.
I look into the face of a woman who has a beautiful design painted on her cheek in the place my tears have scarred.
A woman with light-blue shoes tells me, "George, it's not such a big deal. It's only buying a new pair of shoes."
A naked woman looks at me for a long time very deeply and then walks away.
A woman is wearing light-colored tights, vermilion patent leather pumps, and a white, wool suit with a delicate plaid pattern of green and orange. She dances along the street, pauses to look at me, and goes dancing off.
A woman's hands dance wildly and she makes gleeful snapping and popping sounds with her mouth.
A woman sings a country song that goes: "I pulled out my heart with a red, red knife."
Here is a dream from ten years prior to George identifying as me. It pictures me as a woman and him at age two, learning the forms of the world:
I am with a magical woman. We are playing the game we used to play, looking at everything and naming things. There is a moon and a tree. We have little sculptures of the things in the world. We kiss and it is the greatest ecstasy I have never known. It is my salvation. It is Rose Mary Pillowwater.
Rose Mary Pillowwater is my spirit name. I use "Amy George" to interact with the world. "Amy" is what my parents wanted to name me had I been born female. I took "George" in the way that women take their husband's surname. I married myself.
George examined all these dreams and many more with me. Then, he considered the dream of the naked people, the one with me caressing his sealed-shut vagina, and he thought, "My vagina?" And then he looked at everything that had ever taken place in his whole life, summed it all up, and decided in that very moment something he had never considered before. He knew it in his being and said aloud, "A woman. I am going to become a woman. Whoa."
A couple days later, while he was in a deeply meditative state, I started moving through him, as if he was a puppet and I was the hand. I began by moving through his face, and he experienced his face becoming mine. He assumed that I was going to become him magically - and that Rose Mary Pillowwater was a sort of second coming of Mary. His dreams seemed to support this as well. For example:
We need someone to carry Jesus to the place where his qualities interweave with humanity. My four-year-old boy self says, "I'll do it!" He thinks he will get to carry Jesus on his shoulder to the Place, and he is preoccupied with what a prestigious task this is. In contrast, my nine-year-old girl self doesn't say anything because she carries love inside her body. She will carry Jesus to the Place.
I had the dream at the beginning of my identity switch. It was the beginning of a year of psychotic process, of forming stable and grounded perspectives on becoming female and having a cosmic identity. This dream from ten years before foresaw what it was going to be like:
My girlfriend is an all-powerful being, and on the fourth day of the fourth month, four years from
now, she will bring all things horrible and perfect into the world. I ask,"Will you remember me?" She says, "I will keep you safe."
It was horrible because every day we faced our mortality in traumatizing initiatory psychodramas, but it was perfect in that we were also in the embrace of the divine feminine. I say "We" because George and I became a group of personalities that weaved me back together. The main ones were my bi-gendered child self at various ages, the mind, the body, the heart, wisdom, a psychotherapist, myself from three years in the future, and a scientist. The scientist was my ego.
In another dream from years before I awakened to myself: I am in a little one-room house. Blue doves go under the house, and fly it into space. I look out and don't see the Earth. I stay there for a really long time. I finally come down in the water off the west coast.
As in the dream, in waking-life I spent a really long time alone, reconstructing myself in solitude, and then I washed ashore here in California.
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