Dreams connect your halves
Dreams can guide you
Start turning your dreams into a friend today
“Dreams don’t come true; they are true.”
– Tim Robbins
Nobody’s 100% sure what the purpose of dreaming is, but it seems connected to our present lives and what challenges, dilemmas, and desires we are currently interacting with. We dream three to six times each night, and they occur after we enter REM sleep, which is the deepest phase of sleep.
Even if we don’t fully understand dreams, that doesn’t mean we cannot draw meaning from them. While we forget most of them, we can all relate to waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, facing recurring dreams, or living out fantasies in our sleep and waking up disappointed to return to reality. If that’s the case, why do so many of us ignore our dreams or think of them as just hocus-pocus(1) that we don’t need to concern ourselves with? Let’s learn why you should pay attention to your dreams.
Connecting Our Two Halves
Dreams are a part of us. They might represent our unconscious(2) half, which is trying to speak with our conscious half. Analyzing our dreams might be one of the keys to truly understanding ourselves. They represent our desires, our pains, and the direction we should be going to feel more complete.
Many scientists say dreams are critical to the maintenance and functioning of our psychology. The mind is trying to solve problems we can’t unravel in our waking life, and our emotional and mental health could be directly tied to what we are dreaming about.
Since dreams are connected to real life, it’s worth taking the time to record and analyze them. After all, they are a reflection of our present reality.
A Hint at One’s Life Callings
A calling is just life trying to speak with you, an invisible guide nudging(3) you into a path that will bring you fulfillment and meaning. Callings come in many different forms, not just dreams, but author Gregg Levoy claims that analyzing and understanding your dreams is a great way to hear callings.
Callings reveal what you really should be doing. Everyone works, but how many people have a job they love? Ever dream of having a lot of money, a better job, a new life, or true happiness? It may not be that black and white, but if sitting behind a desk for 8 hours a day doesn’t make you feel like you are living a full life, then you aren’t living a full life. Try to hear the callings. Dreams are a good place to start since they can show you callings you might be “too busy” to listen to throughout the day.
Recurring Dreams and Symbolism
Unfortunately, dream messages don’t usually come in the form of language. They show us their meaning through symbols and metaphors(4). If you are being chased by an octopus, that might mean something totally different than me having that same dream.
Dreams that keep recurring are crucial to self-understanding. They deliver strong messages that we are either ignoring or that relate to significant parts of our present lives. Some themes might keep invading your dreams, such as not having enough money, being in a bad relationship, or hating your job. However, these topics might also be disguised and keep coming back again in the form of a recurring dream.
I have read articles that advise against consulting dream dictionaries. Dreams are far too idiosyncratic(5) and personal to have just one universal meaning. Something like money could represent stress to me, while to you it represents opportunity. You will have to discover your own meaning.
Ignoring and Understanding Dreams
While dreams often reveal a truth that might set you free, this truth might also be hard to handle. People might not want to admit that their relationship is bad or that they are foolishly spending all their money on pleasure, and that is why they are miserable, for example.
Dreams don’t just go away though. If you ignore them, they will keep recurring, or worse yet, appear as neuroses(6), anxiety, or depression. This doesn’t mean you need to worry about every dream you have, but most people are constantly distracted in today’s world. They ignore their problems and assume that looking at a phone, drinking, or consuming entertainment will make any problem go away. Your dreams will let you know when you need a change though; they can be immensely helpful and free you from bad decisions and wrong directions.
I hope you share some of my enthusiasm(7) for thinking of dreams as a tool to help us better understand ourselves. We should try to reflect on our dreams and even try to analyze them. At this point, however, I imagine you are asking: how do I do that? If you want to learn more about how we can record and analyze our dreams, leave a comment and I will try to return to this topic in a future blog. Until then, sweet dreams!
1. hocus-pocus (n.)
Def. a meaningless chant or expression used in conjuring or incantation
Ex. Her words are just hocus-pocus. They make no sense at all.
2. unconscious (adj.)
Def. not conscious; without awareness, sensation, or cognition
Ex. She’s still unconscious after being hit in the head by the ball.
3. nudge (v.)
Def. to push slightly or gently to get someone’s attention
Ex. The man on the train nudged me after I fell asleep on his shoulder.
4. metaphor (n.)
Def. a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something where it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God”
Ex. My favorite metaphor is, “all the world’s a stage.”
5. idiosyncratic (adj.)
Def. a tendency, type of behavior, mannerism, etc., of a specific person; quirk
Ex. Her idiosyncratic walking style makes her stand out no matter where she is.
6. neurosis (n.)
Def. a functional disorder where the personality is dominated in varying degrees and patterns by feelings of anxiety, obsessive thoughts, compulsive acts, and physical complaints without objective evidence of disease
Ex. The doctor said my fear of riding the subway, which arises from it being so crowded, is a neurosis that I can overcome by spending more time in busy areas.
7. enthusiasm (n.)
Def. an occupation, activity, or pursuit in which such interest is shown
Ex. My teacher’s enthusiasm for teaching history made me love history as well.