Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Dreams Part 4: Dreams can be literal and metaphorical.

pregers

Dreams can be literal.

 Example 1:   The dryer burst in to flames.

Once I bought a new clothes dryer.  About a week after I bought it, I dreamed that it burst into flames.  I woke up with a start.  I instantly knew what the dream was about.  The filter on the new dryer was in a different place and I had forgotten to clean it.  “Bursting into flames”  was my fear of what I believed could happen.  The dream was simply my mind’s way of reminding me to clean the filter.

In many cases of interpreting dreams you need to consider several factors.

It is possible to detect malfunctions in machines and vehicles through your senses, such as sight, hearing, smell, and touch.  Because we live busy lives we may not be aware consciously that we picked up information, yet our dreams may let us know while we sleep.

 Example 2:  I am driving up a steep hill and at the top of the hill the engine falls out of the car.  Nothing else happens, no accident, no one is hurt.

When I woke up, I remembered sitting in my car the night before, waiting for my son to come out of his karate class.  While waiting, I was off in my mind thinking about lots of things.  The weather was cold and I remember seeing steam rising up from the hood of the car.  So when I next drove my car, I looked at the engine gauge. The engine was getting too hot too fast.  I took it to the garage and learned there was a hole in a hose.

Dreams can be Metaphors:

Example 1: Marlene dreamed that two of her co-workers were in bed together.

During work, Marlene had detected something was going on between two of her co-workers but she did not register it consciously.  Their connection with each other came to her at night in her dream.

Their being in bed together could mean they are sexually involved with each other and keeping it secret, or it could mean they are conspiring with each other about work and it has nothing to do with sex.  Being in bed together can be a metaphor for secretly allying with each other in the work (or other) situation.

Now that this has been brought to Marlene’s attention, she can figure out consciously whether their alliance is sexual or conspiratorial.

 Example 2:  My good friend from university was pregnant.

Many years ago, before I had children, I had this dream.  Curious, I decided to phone her and catch up with her.  It turns out she was, in fact, pregnant.  I could not have known about it, as I had not had any contact with her for several years.  She lived in Eastern Canada and I lived on the West Coast.

When we dream about people from the past what it means depends on whether that person is in our life currently or not.  If they are, the meaning may be about the real person.  When they are not in your current life, it means they represent something to you.

My friend was married in university, had had one child and got pregnant with her second child when I knew her.  While the dream was about her, I believe the dream stemmed more from my own strong desire at the time to have children of my own.  Dreaming that she was pregnant, and it turning out to be true, was probably more a coincidence than intuition.  She represented fertility and family to me, which I longed for myself at the time.

People too often take dreams literally when they are metaphors for what is going on in one’s current life.  While they may be literal, consider the possibility they may be metaphorical or symbolic when interpreting your dreams.

 

With care and concern,

 

Dr. Bea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams Part 3: Learning to Interpret Your Dreams.

perls

Dreams have meaning even if we cannot figure out what the meaning is.  Interpreting our own dreams is difficult because we are so close to ourselves it’s hard to get perspective.  Yet it can be done.

Dreams deal with our current life and what is going on in it.

If you dream of someone from our past, whom you have not seen in years, it means that person represents something for you and relates to your current life.  For example, you dream of the girl in high school who was considered a sexpot (she is not in your current life); it means she symbolizes something about sex for you which somehow does relate to your current life.  If she is also in your current life, it may mean something about the real person and your relationship to her or someone else that relates to sex.

If you dream of something in the future, such as becoming rich, it relates to the present and what is motivating your current behaviors.

Meaning is based in context.

We all have shared meaning of words and expressions.  But we also have idiosyncratic or personal meanings, which are significant when interpreting dreams. For instance, we all have a common meaning for the word ‘bridge’.   However, a person, whose brother attempted suicide by jumping off a bridge, will have an additional high-charged meaning to the word ‘bridge’.

Example:

Roberta and Stan each dream of a woman with a string of pearls.

Roberta had a loving grandmother who always wore a string of pearls.  She adored her grandmother and had a very close relationship to her.  For Roberta, the string of pearls was symbolic of all the good times they had together.  She frequently wore a string of pearls herself.

Stan had a nasty great aunt whom he hated.  She always wore a string of pearls. Every time she visited their home, she made his life miserable.  She disliked boys and seemed to dislike him in particular.  The string of pearls was symbolic of all the times he had to endure her visits.  He tended to be wary of women who wore pearls.

Association can give the meaning.

Since your brain created the dream, in some ways, you are every part of the dream.  You are the producer, director, actors, creatures, setting, furniture, vegetation, sky, ground, colors, sounds, actions, words and storyline.

To find out what meaning the people, objects, creatures, and places, have for you, explore the associations you have with each one.

Example:

Joey dreams of an old man floating in a leaky boat way out at sea. The feeling tone to the dream is dread.

When Joey thought of the ‘old man’, he immediately thought of his grandfather who lived on the West Coast.  His grandfather was not doing well financially. When he thought this, he had the sudden realization that he had a ‘sinking feeling’ about his future.  He did not want to end up poor like his grandfather.

Try it yourself: To get the meaning of elements in your dream take each significant element and  associate to it.  Allow for whatever thoughts to pop into your mind. Write them down as you do it. When you find the meaning it has you will resonate with it.

Become the element.

Example: 

Sara tended to overwork.  Her husband was always worried about how she was going to wear herself out.  Sara too wondered if she was doing too much.

Sara dreamed of a cat sleeping curled up in a wicker basket. Feeling tone to the dream is peaceful.

To try to get the meaning of the dream Sara talked as if she was the cat (another way to associate).  I am a fluffy orange cat.  I’m an older cat.  I’m sleeping peacefully.  I’m getting rest.

As Sara said this she realized she is not getting worn out.  She is just fine.  Like the cat she can rest, get restored and jump up and happily work some more.  She just likes to work.  Her next realization was  – her husband is not getting enough time with her.  She decided to address that issue with him instead of talking about her getting worn out.

Often the meaning of dreams is hidden in the metaphors of the dreams, such as leaky boat and rested cat.  By associating to the significant elements in the dream you can get insight into what the meaning of the dream is for you.

Have fun with this method of exploring your dreams.

With care and concern,

Dr. Bea