At age 13, I received a gift from my grandfather: several books including a paperback copy of Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams. He gave it to me because he knew how much I loved dreams, but it was too difficult for me to understand—or maybe it just wasn’t saying what I wanted to hear about dreams.

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I danced around my interest in dreams for decades. Sometimes I’d pay attention to mine and write every one down. Then I’d go through periods of trying to ignore them. After all, no one else I knew was talking about their dreams, and besides, some of my dreams were scary or disturbing. But they were still present, even in their absence. Whereas some people claim they don’t dream in color, I feel I don’t live in color when my dreams are muted.

So, eventually I decided I wanted to know more about them. About a decade ago, I gave myself another gift: I ordered Robert Van De Castle’s Our Dreaming Mind from a new age book-of-the-month club. But my life got busy, and the book remained on a shelf for a good five years, maybe more, until my daughter grew up and moved on to college, and I had time to work my way through the encyclopedic tome, chapter by chapter. I then moved on to the works of Moss, Johnson, Jung, and everything else about dreams I could get my hands on.

I have since made a bold a commitment to not just learn about dreams but to dive into them. From 2009-2011 I was enrolled in a dream studies certification program, and now I help other people understand the gifts of their dreams. This commitment to dreams, and the time I’ve carved out in my life for studying dreams, working with them, and helping others get in touch with theirs, has been a great gift, for which I am most grateful.

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A thank you note to my Grandpa Ben dated July 1976. It reads: “Thank you also for the Freud books. They are a challenge to read, but they are also very interesting.”

Thank you Grandpa, for the gift of your love, and for encouraging me to follow my dreams.

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RIP Grandpa & Aunt Essie.

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories.”

What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?

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To unwrap the nightly gift of your own dreams, consider giving yourself the gift of an individual dream consultation.  Click here to learn more.