There are several versions of this tender and meaningful anecdote:

There is the story of a little boy who was frightened one night during a big thunderstorm. Terrified, he called out from his room, “Daddy, I’m scared!” His father, not wanting to get out of bed, called back, “Don’t worry, Son. God loves you and will take care of you.” There was a moment of silence.  Then the little boy replied, “I know God loves me, but right now, I need somebody with skin on.”

Sometimes we need somebody with skin on…

Our dreams are filled so many characters, some challenging, frightening…some we love and some we don’t love…some who love us and some who don’t.

Then we (hopefully) have those dreams where we feel utterly connected and loved. It may be a sexual connection, a sensual connection. It may be the love of a parent and we feel the beloved child. It may be our love for a beloved child. In our dreams we feel this thrill through our entire being. Even if this is scarce in our outer world experience, our dreams will bring us these relationships…this promise of who it is we truly are.

It can be a big ask of those we know in waking reality to ask them to stand in for the divine, to love us as the divine love us. For they, too, need this loving support and presence. Yet (hopefully) many of us have known this in some way. We have been the recipient of a loving gaze…a caress…a lingering physical touch that grounds and connects us to another human being. There are also many of us who have had too little of these moments and we feel the loss and longing for that touch that escapes us. It can feel just out of our reach.

I am reminded of the lines from the song ‘My Sweet Lord’ by George Harrison:

I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you Lord
But it takes so long, my Lord

Many of us can relate to that, can’t we? We want this inner relationship with the mystery, the numinous, the inner Beloved but it seems to take so long. The separation seems too vast to cross. What if there is a wisdom that knows this and has found a way to keep it alive as we make our way home?

Our dreams know this and they know the difficulty of repairing this separation. Often to heal outer world wounds our dreams will first help us heal from the inside out.  They will take us back to the beginning…how before anything else we were loved…we were the beloved…and help us to remember that we still are.

They do through the appearance of loving and supportive characters. In this simpler…even safer inner world, these being help return us to feeling of being loved…the feeling of knowing we matter.

The human experience is a precious one and our dreams acknowledge this. They don’t seem to distinguish, separate and compartmentalize the inner from the outer. As human beings many of us have forgotten our soul lineage and cannot remember or recognize those numinous beings who come to us in the dream realm and special moments in waking realm.

What we call projection onto another may be, if seen in another light, a living reminder, someone with skin on, who helps us remember who we are.

Our waking reality infatuations, crushes, desires can be sweet touchstones of a physical love expanding into a deeper eternal love of the soul realm.

The sensual way we are with another…
the touch of skin on skin…the texture of a fabric
the sight of a beloved that becomes a gaze that absorbs them into our heart
the smell of skin…a scent that soothes us
the taste…the sip…that ingests another where we become one…
the sound of our names coming from the lips of one who loves us

Sometimes as we are making our way back across that which separated us from the very essence of who we are…

we need someone with skin on…

Mary Jo Heyen is a certified Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at or