When we look forward to a peaceful night of rest, our sleep may be invaded by thoughts, feelings and experiences that appear in dreams. Is there meaning here for us? Based on my experience, I believe that to a certain extent, there is.
Several years ago I studied a little about dreams and even kept a dream diary. I also remember attending a seminar about dream interpretation. The most important point I learned at the seminar was that the way a dream makes you feel is the most important factor in interpretation. Also, dreams can have universal symbols or themes but the way something like a bird, or snow, makes you feel determines its specific significance for you. For example, a dog can be a symbol of unconditional love to one person or fear to another who was bitten as a child.
I stopped keeping the dream diary after I had noticed two patterns – nonsense and themes. I also decided that if a dream was important enough I would still remember it the next day and not need to write it down in the middle of the night or even as soon as I woke. Many of my dreams made absolutely no sense and seemed to contain vague references to a person, place or thing I saw or thought about during the previous day. Basically these dreams were filled with meaningless activity. Other dreams had themes such as being lost or repeatedly looking for a person that I was unsuccessfully trying to contact in reality. I did find some relevance in them as they related to my life, and began to focus on any related emotional issues.
Repeated dreams with the same theme are a different matter; they send us a strong message although it may be difficult to decipher. The theme dream continues until we figure it out. Even today I occasionally dream I’m in school and have forgotten to attend classes or do the homework. This is unsettling to me as a former conscientious student. I am very relieved when I wake and remember that my school days are behind me. In this case, I believe that these dreams may be reflective of my fear of not doing well or not pushing myself to learn enough. Either way, they send a message of fear and insecurity. Perhaps that’s something I still need to work on.
Another theme for me involves tidal waves. For a number of years I dreamt that I would look behind me and see a high wall of water approaching or that I was swept away in a tidal wave. I am happy to say that I rarely have these dreams now. I believe that the feeling there was one of being overwhelmed; at that time in my life I no doubt was.
There also seem to be “direct message” dreams where we are being told by someone that we have cancer or another condition. This happened to me several years ago. The first couple of times I disregarded it as just a fear-based dream as it’s not uncommon to fear getting cancer although it wasn’t a thought I had dwelt upon. After a third or fourth dream, I actually was diagnosed with cancer. These dreams had occurred over the previous two-year period. If you receive a message like this at least three times, I would check it out just to be safe. I believe that message such as this can be sent from our higher self, spirit guide or angel when we are meant to act upon it.
I rarely have terrifying dreams although I have experienced a few that I have been happy to wake up from. I think that in this case it is unresolved emotion from experiences in the past or present that need our attention. I believe that dreams can bring a certain degree of healing through emotional release. Repeated dreams of terror, however, need some additional healing techniques such as by journaling or seeing a therapist.
Some people may experience precognitive dreams which reveal a future event. I did have a repeated dream that described an event in a very general sense that did finally occur. Other dreams that I had hoped were precognitive, never materialized, at least not yet!
My favorite type of dream is what I call a “love” dream. This is where someone either alive or dead comes to you and embraces you in a way that makes you feel more love in your heart than you normally experience in your everyday life. My own thought is that it is communication on the soul level either with one who has passed on or with someone who is alive, but physically separated from you. It’s their way of letting us know they are thinking about us in a very loving way. I had this experience with my mother a couple of months after she passed. I have also experienced it with people who I care about and from whom I’m physically separated, either by distance or circumstances.
To a certain extent, it seems as though dreams will always be somewhat of a mystery. Good or bad, though, they can send us clues to make our reality a better, happier place to live. We have only to respect and listen.
What messages do you receive in your dreams? I’d love for you to share.
Photo credit : Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo