In part one I talked about dream symbolism and how it’s more relative to the dreamer and not universal to everyone. To touch a bit more on this subject I thought I’d follow through on the subject of symbols in our dreams with part 2 and add in a few exercises on how you can start remembering your dreams.
The characters and places you come across in your dreams are more of a personally coded message than a universal, open book that can be read by anyone. You have to take the place or person you see in your dreams and ask yourself what that place or person represents to you. What do YOU think about it, or them? Then, how does that place or character trait of the person you encountered apply to you? If you can figure these out, as objectively as you can, you can come to some interesting, thought provoking conclusions. It’s an amazing world on the other side and you don’t have to die to get there.
Sometimes these apparitions or beings we see in our dreams can interrupt the flow and become the “fly in the ointment” of our dreams. Like I say, it’s not that simple to interpret a dream. Just as in anything we do in life, there are unrelated interruptions that have nothing to do with the path of the dream, but come in, unexpectedly and disrupt it. Sort of like a car accident when you’re on your way to the grocery or if a bear were to chase you while hiking. You didn’t go on the hike to jog with the bear or drive to the grocery to get t-boned but, there you are; destinations interrupted. So goes the dreamer. Dream interruptions are a subject for another blog.
So you might be asking yourself, why on earth would you want to interpret the dream? You’ve never interpreted a dream in your life and you’re doing fine so what’s the big attraction here? You’re right; you don’t have to interpret your dreams or look for the message if you don’t want to. That’s the amazing thing. Your mind will sort it out and get the message to you in the form of character development and problems solved. You become what you strive to be. If you want a bit more direction over the outcome and see what’s happening to you, it’s nice to meet it head on. Sometimes we don’t understand the message our sub-conscious it throwing at us.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Let’s say you’re having constant nightmares and they don’t seem to stop. You dream of your own demise and “it’s not pretty”. You start to become paranoid because you keep having the dream of getting hit by a bus and you soon become unable to use public transportation. The dream keeps reappearing until now you can’t even drive for fear of being hit while you’re driving your car. The depression sets in because you’re tired of being afraid and start to feel unable to deal with life. This, of course, is a fictitious story and just to illustrate a possible scenario. That story may be extreme to some but it’s mild for what some people have experienced. So how can dream interpretation help?
I’m going to give some examples of what this dream might represent. The first thing to know is that if you’re getting the same dream, over and over, it’s because you haven’t figured it out yet. Your mind will keep pounding away at you trying to solve this inner conflict until you get it. So knowing that alone can help you to not see this as unsolvable, nor yourself as unable to deal with life.
Your death, illustrated to you in a dream, could simply mean that your life is going to take a brand new direction, completely different from what you’re used to. Maybe it’s a career change, a divorce, or even an inheritance. It could mean that it will be the “death” of your old life. The fact that you’re getting hit by a bus could be that it’s a big change, or no chance of your old life surviving the change. If you had a career change, then you’re not going back. An interpretation this simple could prevent the anxiety and stop the reoccurring dream. Now maybe the dream would progress into more information now that the fear and anxiety is not clouding your sight. Whatever followed in the dream would now be clearer because it’s not polluted with conscious emotions.
I’m not a psychiatrist nor a dream analyst by trade but I’m basing this on the 15 years I studied dreaming with the thousand-plus dreams I recorded and paralleled to my life at the time. I’m also basing this on my lucid dreaming experiences, some of which were life changing.
Now you might be saying, “Hey dream boy, I don’t even remember my dreams so how am I supposed to analyze them if I don’t know what they were?” Good question bud.
I think what the perplexed reader is trying to say is, “how do you remember your dreams if you don’t even think you’re dreaming at all?” Is there a way to actually get better at remembering your dreams or is it a talent for only the elite? The simple answer, no, it’s not for just a few. Anyone can remember their dreams if they train themselves to remember. Anyone.
If you’ve always been a disciplined individual or developed discipline through sports, the military or dealing with pain everyday, you’re going to do better than most right out of the gate. It’s not hopeless for non-disciplined individuals but if you can’t sit in a chair with a candy bar on your nose for more than 15 seconds without sweating and grabbing the prize, or if every time you feel the slightest pain you stop whatever it is you’re doing, then you’ll have some work ahead of you. If you’ve dealt with forcing yourself to do things you don’t want to do, or better yet, force yourself to do things you don’t want to do while you’re in pain and, or, under stress of getting hurt, then you’re miles ahead to start with. It will come easier to you.
One amazing bi-product of training yourself to remember your dreams is that eventually it will evolve into lucid dreaming. Everyone claims they’ve woken up in a dream or “knew they were dreaming”. There’s a big difference between realizing you’re dreaming and becoming fully lucid in the dream. But I’m not going to pursue lucid dreaming in this blog because that’s another subject and very long one at that. If you’re interested in lucid dreaming let me know and I can recommend some books. If you’re interested in what I have to say about it, again, let me know and I’ll write an entire blog dedicated to the lucid dreamer. I love the subject. So I can finish this blog up, let’s simply focus on remembering your dreams.
Something to remember is that every time you wake up at night, you’ve woken up from a dream. Yes, it’s true. Every time. Unless your dog is licking your face or some drunk drove over your trash cans, then you just woke up. So when you wake up at night, before you get up or go back to sleep, lay there and relax and see what comes to you. If you don’t remember anything, roll onto your back, then your left or right side, give it 30 seconds or so with a clear, relaxed mind, or until images or memories come to you. You’ll always remember a dream from the position you were in when you were dreaming it. It’s true, stop it.
When you start to remember something, write it down on the pen and paper you have by your bedside. You will always, yes, always, remember a dream in reverse so don’t try to make sense of it, just write it down. You’ll see when you’re done that you’ve backed out of the dream. Don’t try to interpret it as you write it down, just write whatever it is you saw and felt. The emotions concerning the dream are important, write them down.
It’s also important to understand what you’re doing in writing these dreams down. Your conscious mind is asking your sub-conscious mind what it saw. So you’re tapping into the creative side of yourself while you’re conscious. You’re asking the side of yourself that solves problems and has unlimited access to everything you’ve ever seen or experienced in your life, what it saw or what it was doing. Sometimes you’ll think you woke up, you’ll think that you wrote down your dream and you’ll see handwriting that’s unusually perfect. You may even think you turned the light on. When you get up in the morning you’ll look at your note pad and it will just be scribbles everywhere. Non-legible scribbling. That’s what’s referred to as a “false awakening”. You actually dreamt about all the things you’re trying to do to remember what you dreamt. It’s just another thing that will shock you when you learn what your mind is capable of.
If you’re diligent and keep this up you will see some fantastic changes in yourself. You’ll be able to solve problems easier and become more confident.
I’m only touching on this subject but what I’ve outlined above is a good start. Once you have the players in the dream, along with the connected emotions, you’ll be in a better position to interpret your dreams and solve problems that you never thought possible. It’s an entirely different world that you’ve been sleeping through. You’ll start to see how much more vivid the dream world is and how much more colorful. You may even realize that the physical world and all your senses are subdued in comparison.
Lucid dreaming, interruptions within the dream and false awakenings are for another blog. So don’t worry if you see a cemetery in your dreams . . . or a bus.
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