What do you think about dreams?
I used to think dreams were just craziness and that nothing useful could come out of them. I was surprised when I went to graduate school and learned that dreams really do have significance.
Dreams are telling us what’s important, but typically we dream about things we are trying to repress — or avoid thinking about — while we are awake.
That’s why I think it is important to figure out what our dreams mean, and to find the common themes.
Most of the time when you dream about someone else, it’s really an aspect of yourself. So let’s say you have a dream about an old woman rocking a baby. Both of those are likely aspects of you.
Dreams about houses convey your life. The colors and textures of rooms are especially significant. Are they rich in color? Are the walls covered in velvet. Or is the house falling down in shambles?
I meet people all the time who say they don’t dream. That’s not true – everyone has about 5 – 7 dreams per night. People who say they don’t dream, just don’t remember their dreams.
You can teach yourself how to remember your dreams: Set a notepad beside your bed and just before falling asleep, tell yourself you’re going to remember and wake up. Chances are you will. If you have to reach over for your pad and write your down your dream in the dark, do it, because it usually slips away within seconds. Sometimes it helps if you try to remember your dream in reverse; from end to beginning.
Dream books and web sites can be helpful for helping you decipher your dreams, but only you can know for sure what your dreams mean. So for instance, a snake doesn’t mean the same to everyone. You have to figure out what it means to you: Is the snake scary? Sexual? Slippery? Sneaky?
Now, let’s say you dream about a forest. Ask yourself, what is it about a forest? Forests are dark, dense, and it’s easy to lose your way. If you’re struggling to determine your mission in life, it’s easy to see that the forest dreams are connected to the idea of finding your way in life.
Pay extra attention to words in dreams. Play around with them. For instance, one time I had a dream about an old west town and one of the buildings was called “The Karen.” I realized later it symbolized a place of great healing and my mind was trying to convey, “The Care Inn.”
For a week, I challenge you to keep a journal of your dreams. Notice themes and recurring ideas. I guarantee you will have some new insights about your life!
For another interesting article about dreams, click here.