Dreams can be an amazingly effective way to connect with your deeper self and help you along the path of inner growth and positive life change. I began studying my own dreams before I became a therapist and coach. I found dream work to be very supportive and forward leading in my growth process.
The key is this: Dreams speak in a symbolic language and generally should not be taken literally . But their symbolism and the messages from your unconscious that they impart can be quite informative, connecting, and healing. They are particularly helpful if we’re feeling stuck, going through a life transition or a mid life crisis, or just experiencing one of life’s many difficulties. We want to move forward in our lives, but instead we are feeling frustration, confusion, sadness, lonliness, depression, anxiety, loss, or overwhelm. Dreams can help here.
Exploring a dream image is crucial, its context, other related elements within the dream, the timing in your life, etc. Simply accepting the meaning of a specific symbol from a book is not a particularly meaningful, specific, or personal way to learn about yourself from your dreams.
The symbol is more unique to you and your particular situation than any book or text can claim. For example, if a bear appears in your dream, that bear might mean something very different to one dreamer versus another dreamer. Those differences need to be honored for dream work to be meaningful for you.
According to Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist, who traveled the world in the early to mid-20th Century to collect, study and research over 65,000 dreams from a variety of cultures, dreams generally do not tell us what we’re already completely aware of . They help us look at something we’ve overlooked, or help us realize our greater potential ultimately pointing us in a direction for increased satisfaction in life at a deeper level.
One of the most compelling aspects about dream work is that as the dreamer, you play all the roles. You are the writer, director, producer, actor, set designer, casting director, camera person, location scout and the editor of your dreams. When you think about it, isn't what you produce fairly amazing?
Your dream is a personal message, a gift from your unconscious to help you understand what’s going on at a deeper level, remembering, of course, that when we figure out and process what’s going on for us at a deeper level, every day life starts to fall into place. We can tune into our feelings and intuition more easily, go with the flow, and take steps needed to create the life we want to live.
Our dreams, however frightening, obtuse, or unlikeable they may appear, are on our side. They're speaking in symbols and trying to communicate something we haven’t yet fully realized. They are there to remind us of the other side of a difficult situation. They are there to enlighten us or serve as a wake up call or a support. They are there to connect us more deeply to that inner voice that we often ignore, thus moving us further along on the ever-unfolding journey toward wholeness, and a richer life.
Are your dreams calling you?
Are you ready to listen?