Revelations: Leap of faith
Every so often, I dream one of those vivid dreams that feels eerily real.
The other night, I experienced such a dream.
I was at an outdoor, Olympic-sized swimming pool competing in a high-dive competition.
It was known that I wasn't a diver, and the fear of the climbing the ladder to the high-dive plank was increasing with every breath.
Slowly, I climbed the ladder and reached the diving board. I stood at the end of the board and stared at the still, clear water below.
The ground was far beneath me; I knew I would have to turn back, and I was embarrassed and angry at myself for not being able to jump.
Despite people shouting from below, "C'mon, you can do it!" - I couldn't. I was too afraid.
I don't remember climbing down, but somehow, I ended up back on solid ground near the deep end of the pool. For several moments, I felt shame and embarrassment and I could see the "It's OK" looks beginning to pile up around me.
Unable to let them - and myself - down, I forced myself to climb up the board again.
And when I looked down this time, the fear was even greater than the first.
I lay down on the board, my head facing the railing, and I inched my feet to the edge, gripping either side for dear life.
When I stood up, the pool looked far away, and I knew I wouldn't be able to make the jump.
So I paused and convinced myself, "It's not as bad as you think."
Standing feet first, hands by my side, I leaped off the diving board, feeling the weight of my body plunge mightily into the deep end seconds later.
I could feel the cold water around my body, and the water rise through my nose.
Though I knew it wasn't exactly a dive, and I knew I wouldn't win the diving competition, I remember feeling proud of myself - in the dream - that I tried, that I made the leap even while afraid.
When I woke, I wondered what would provoke such a dream?
I have long thought dreams were our connection to our spiritual selves, and I wondered if God was trying to communicate a message.
"Take the plunge? Keep going when afraid? It's a tough climb but an easy fall? It's easier than you think? Your dive doesn't have to perfect, you just have to dive? It's OK to fail?
All of these dream interpretations seemed relevant, but I'm always reluctant to diagnose or interpret my own dreams.
Out of curiosity - and not at all searching for any real, divine message - I searched "diving in dreams" online, wondering if perhaps someone else had experienced a similar dream.
I came upon this explanation, "A dream like this tells you that you are on the precipice of a pivotal moment in your life and you just need to take the jump as soon as you can."
Wow, I thought. Isn't that the truth.
Who knows how accurate this interpretation is, but it certainly makes me want to take the jump in real life.
At the very least it reminded me that even while asleep, my subconscious thinks if I were standing on the edge of a tough, fearful decision, I would still force myself to jump.
Jennifer Preyss is the faith editor for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535, jenniferpreyss.com, or on Twitter @jenniferpreyss