You Really Can’t Go Back

'Wisdom' and Other Words To Live By From a Wet-Behind-The Ears Oracle

Every now and then, friends will tell me about dreams they’ve had that were unusually vivid or memorable—sometimes especially meaningful or distressing.  I’ve long been a believer in the power of dreams to illuminate important issues in our lives and to offer insights about where we are or what we’re doing.  I also know their power to confound us.

Funny how I think nothing of asking The Shower Team about dreams shared with me by others but when I have one that is striking to me for some reason or another, it takes someone else suggesting that I ask The Team what it might mean before it even occurs to me.

In any case, I recently had a dream that was unusual, even for me.  So in the interest of practicing what I preach, I’m offering it here—and sharing the Team’s response to my questions about how to make some sense of it.

I was in this very complex, elaborate kind of downtown shopping mall . . .  and I’m pretty sure that I was in downtown Philadelphia when I went into the mall but this mall was so huge that you could exit the mall in any number of different locations.  I ended up getting lost and coming to exits that were in New York or San Francisco . . .  All I really wanted to do was go back where I came from but I couldn’t find my way there and I kept asking all these people and even the people who worked there couldn’t tell me how to get back to the Philadelphia entrance. At some point I ended up being directed to a sort of ladder that turned out to be a wobbly wooden book case and I was going to have to climb several stories down this book case to get to the exit that I wanted.  I’m pretty scared of heights that are unenclosed so I got not even halfway down and panicked and had to have someone pull me back up and through this little doorway back to the floor . . .  After that I just kept wandering around never finding the exit I was looking for—and woke up exhausted!

We love this dream for all the ways that it speaks to the points we are always trying to find new ways of making to you in your quest for what you are asking for . . .  the points that we continue to make over and over in our response to virtually any question that you ask.

First, remember that dreams are an indication of what is active in your vibration—they tell some aspect of the story you are in the process of telling, even if they tell it in ways that you may at first have trouble recognizing or understanding.  In your dreams you visit the places where you truly live—either consciously or unconsciously.  You encounter the ‘reality’ that you are manifesting because it is in some way a match to what you are giving your attention to—even in those cases where the dreams seem so ‘out there’ as to leave you scratching your heads as to what possible meaning they might have for you where you stand.

In this case, however, you’ve dreamed a dream that isn’t terribly hard to decipher at all.  In fact, you might have lifted it right off the page of your life story—the life story that in fact many of you are in the process of telling.

There you are . . .  in the midst of this vast, colorful, stimulating context—the contrast and variety of your here and now . . .  the immeasurable and unlimited galaxy that is your time and space reality, the material plane where all your desires potentially appear in response to your asking.  There you are, walking around in this literally unlimited shopping mall, with more choices than you can even take in at one time, more options and opportunities than you can begin to count . . .  and what are you doing?  Trying to go back to where you were.

Instead of exploring and discovering and choosing and deciding from this galaxy of new possibilities, instead of taking advantage of any of these new and exciting opportunities to ‘exit’ to a place you’ve never been before, exciting and stimulating and energizing and breathtakingly beautiful new places . . .   instead of finding your way to any of these new, exhilarating possibilities you steadfastly, even stubbornly persist in your determination to get back to where you were.  To find the doorway that you entered through and to safely exit back into where you’ve been, in effect—to return yourself to whatever state you’ve been in—even when you can only do so at considerable peril and with considerable anxiety and exertion.

In fact you will exhaust yourselves trying to stay where you are—expending all kinds of effort not to go forward, not to step through any of the new doors being opened to you . . .  in fact, not even recognizing the opportunity in those opportunities, but rather choosing to remain in the habits that you’ve trained yourself to believe is what you know and do best . . .  no matter how difficult it may be . . .  no matter what price you may ultimately pay for not moving forward.

This dream shows you with unmistakable clarity the fact of your physical experience, which is that it is—MUST—always change.  You can try with all your might . . .  you can give every ounce of effort toward the end of standing still or going backward to what you knew, but your life simply won’t have it.  You are all on a forward trajectory that no amount of effort can reverse or halt or even effectively slow down.

What’s more—no one else can direct you with any real reliability toward where you are going.  You must find your own way—and you can make that journey as easy or as challenging as you wish.  But either way, you will get where you’re going because YOU took yourself there, not because anyone else gave you directions or offered you a ride.

We are continuously reminding you of the freedom that you posses.  Freedom to chose for yourselves what your ‘reality’ will be . . .  freedom to choose from among all the variety in front of you and around you . . .  freedom to choose freedom—or freedom to choose bondage.

You can even ‘choose’ to be lost and many of you do, on some level, to the extent that you do not allow yourselves to see and to recognize what is available to you.  You ‘choose’ to see yourself as limited or lost.  You choose to see yourselves as needing to go back to what was, when in fact there are so many other possibilities in front of you, if you will only allow yourselves to see them, and to believe that any one of them can be a doorway—a portal to the unlimited potential for joy and fulfillment that is a direct response to what you are always asking for.

You can wander around, feeling lost, trying to get back to some place where you think you will be comfortable or safe.  Or can you recognize the value, the power, the possibility, in going forward, in opening up to what the Universe has placed in front of you—and in allowing yourself to touch, to taste, to try on those possibilities.   You can find any number of ways to get to any number of places—all of them ahead of you.  All of them on the bright, unlimited horizon that is always calling you forward—never backward. 

In this case, any of the exits to that mall could be the gateway to your joy . . .  except the one you came in through.  Philly was a fine place for you to start . . .  but you’ll never find what you want by going back there.

Frankly, I’ve no idea why Philadelphia was so important to me in the dream.  I’ve never lived in Philly.  I’ve only been there a couple of times and except for the fact that a very good friend lives there, it holds no great significance for me that I’m aware of. 

But following the close of another eventful year and in conjunction with the beginning of a new one, perhaps it makes sense to be wondering on various levels about where I’ve been and where I’m going—and for some part of me to be clinging to what was or resisting where I’m heading, if only for the ways I can’t predict it or feel in control of it.

For whatever reasons, in the dream Philly felt safe.  I was even willing to risk my safety to keep myself there, when all kinds of interesting options were available to me.  I’ve always been pretty wary of resolutions, but I do believe in intentions and so I’m telling myself to take this dream as an invitation to me to look forward—to recognize that no matter how safe or familiar the past seems, everything I really want is ahead of me . . .  calling me forward . . .  ready for me to decide that I’m ready to go toward it.


About Dan

Published novelist, poet, essayist, copywriter, photographer and college educator. Visit me at

Posted on January 3, 2010, in Channeling, Creating Your Own Reality, Deliberate Creating, Dreams, Empowerment, Faith, Joyful Living, Law of Attraction, Manifesting, Self Development, Spirit, Spirituality, Well being, Wholeness. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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