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Understanding Dreams

Dreams come to us in our most private moments: wrapped up in sheets, our public faces stored away for the night. The visions we see in sleep are supposed to be expressions of our individual psyches and imaginations. As much as we want to control our daily life, we cannot control our dreams and we totally surrender at night to our Dream Maker who carefully and precisely crafts our unique dreams. Our nightly dreams awaken us to higher levels of knowledge within ourselves, giving us information on what is happening in our daily lives and how to meet and move through the problems that face us.

“Dreams are like letters from home”

3 Rules to Remember Dreams

Why are our dreams so crazy and hard to understand? Dreams seem so off-the-wall because we try to understand them with our conscious waking mind when, in fact, dreams are created in our subconscious mind, which speaks in a language of symbols, pictures, and emotions instead of words. The key is not to look AT your dream but rather INTO your dream. As random or bizarre as dreams often seem, they do play by certain rules. Below are 3 of the more important rules to remember when decoding your dreams. When you apply these rules to your dreams, you’ll be surprised how easily the message in your dream reveals itself to you.

1. Dreams Speak in Metaphors Make it a habit of asking yourself how the characters, the objects, the actions, and the settings in your dreams are comparable to yourself and the events in your waking life. How is your latest dream a metaphor for your life right now? Sometimes the metaphor, the figure of speech, or the pun in your dream will be as plain as day. Like a metaphor, your dreams illustrate what’s going on in your life and how you truly feel about it. When you find the metaphor, you have found the message.

2. Your Dreams Are Always Connected to the Previous Day Whatever happens in your life today, whatever thoughts run through your mind, whatever accomplishment you make, whatever conversations you have, whatever frustrates you today is likely to show up in your dreams tonight in some form or fashion. Ask yourself how your dream reminds you of yesterday. Keeping a daily journal in tandem with a dream journal will help you connect the dots between the imagery in your dream and the events, thoughts, and conversations of the previous day. Write down all TV shows, books, etc. that you read, saw, or talked about that day. You never know when the imagery will speak to you in a dream.

3. Your Dreams Are All About You! When we dream, we go inward and focus on the self. Think about it, your eyes are closed, your room is dark, and the outside world is shut off, so YOU go into yourself and focus on YOU and all the things that YOU are dealing with right now. Our dreams show us ourselves in the guise of different people, animals or even objects so that we can gain a better understanding of ourselves and our current behavior. Everything in your dream is you. The exception to this rule is when you dream of someone you deal with closely on a daily basis, such as your roommate, your spouse, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your children, or a co-worker. Start with you first – how is this creature, person, or object like me? If the dots don’t connect, then work outward. How is this creature, this person, this object like my spouse or my best friend or my child? When you can identify yourself – or those directly around you – within the characters, objects, and creatures in your dream, your dreams will really start making sense. Remember, dreams are a symbolic language. Once you are able to understand your dream language, you will begin to understand yourself and the world around you like never before!

This sort of clarity will help you make better decisions, improve your relationships, and avoid obstacles and setbacks. Most importantly, understanding your dream language will keep you on the path you are meant to be on and will reveal to you your life’s purpose. All the answers you will ever need are already inside of you. Your truest and wisest part of yourself is speaking to you while you dream. Make your dreams your best friend and keep up the conversation.

General meanings of common dreams:

1. Being chased A “being chased dream” (the most common) is an indication of a perceived threat in your waking life. This threat can take the form of a menacing person or a strong emotion with which you are having difficulty coping. Try to determine who or what is chasing you, where the dream takes place, and what your feelings are during the chase in order to understand what this dream means to you.

2. Missing an important event because you are late This can indicate regret over a missed opportunity, an inability to make a connection, or a desire to pull oneself together. You can ask questions of dreams in order to understand what this common symbol means to you. For example: What are you missing? Who is disappointed by the missed event? Is it only you or are there others involved?

3. Finding yourself naked at work or school You can interpret dreams about being naked as repressed sexual wishes. But the most important part of this dream is the feelings that are involved. You suddenly find yourself exposed, vulnerable, and awkward. What area of your life corresponds to that feeling? Figure this out by noting where you are, who notices you, what part of you is exposed, how people react to you, and how you yourself react to the situation.

4. Falling Falling indicates feelings of insecurity and lack of support. What situation have you “fallen into?” Who has “let you down?” Not surprisingly, this particular dream is most common among professional men and women, as there is a close relationship between “falling” and “failing.” Dreams of falling can also relate to feelings of isolation, the sense of being without the support and affection that success cannot provide. However, they can also be a part of “astral travel”.

5. Flying

The important part of the flying dream is how you are flying; since the flying itself represents your ambitions, are you flying successfully, or trying and failing to fly as high as possible? Flying dreams usually concern escaping, rising above difficulties, or having feelings of empowerment.

6. Losing your teeth Grinding up or tearing something into little pieces in order to digest it signals the beginning of an understanding process. The process calls forward strength and intention; put some teeth into your position. It suggests discussion and the need to verbalize. If teeth are falling out, you are unable to understand a problem or situation; something is too tough to swallow.

7. Snakes Like most symbols, this dream has many meanings that depend on context. Snakes are a symbol of power. They shed their skin, so a snake dream may signify renewal and transformation. But this could also be a frightening experience, as most people are uncomfortable with change.

8. Nightmares

Nightmares are the most valuable type of dream. Nightmares can teach us much because they reveal to us a fear that has been blown out of proportion or something we have suppressed that is affecting us negatively. Often, we do not remember the happy dreams, but we always remember the frightening ones; and these will make us more aware.

In all our dreams, the true meanings emerge when we decide what they really mean to us. Though these dream symbols are shared among many, and we can determine general explanations for them, it is the context in which we place them that is significant. Read all you can about dream meanings to find information that may be relevant to you, but also ask questions about your dreams and how these symbols make you feel. Once you dig a little deeper, you may find answers and clarity.

Keep on dreaming….

Love & Light,

Lenka Schulze Ph.D.


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