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The Meaning of Your Dreams, Are You Getting the Messages? Part 1
Why Did I Dream THAT?
You've scratched your head in bewilderment at one time or another trying to figure out what made you dream a screwball (and maybe, embarrassing) dream. Most of the time you’re left dumbfounded, sometimes worried, and occasionally frightened. Maybe you’ve wrote your dream off as nighttime-brain-activity-nonsense without realizing that there’s so much more to dreams than meets the eye.
The Common Thread
People have known the importance of dreams for over 5,000 years and because they engraved clay tablets with scenes from their dreams, they've probably been trying to interpret them for just as long. In fact, one of the first documented Biblical dream interpretations was the famous ’Jacob’s Ladder’ dream, to which Jacob interpreted as soon as he woke. People have been trying to uncover the mystery of dreams regardless of place in time, nationality, culture or religion.
The Real Reason You Dream
“All visions and dreams are given for the benefit of the individual, would we but interpret them correctly,” Edgar Cayce affirmed. The father of holistic medicine and one of the best documented psychics in the world believed that paying attention to your dreams and their messages would profit you by giving guidance, direction and other important information. Carl Jung, the renowned Swiss psychiatrist, explained that dreams are messages and that you should pay attention to them. Dreams are as important for your soul as food is nourishment to your body. As you read the cooking instructions for the food you‘re going to eat, you should understand the ’instructions’ for interpreting your dreams to correctly receive the message that’s being sent to help you.
There’s an unchanging, unbreakable law that defines your dreams: all communication takes the form of symbols, signs, metaphors and puns. Dream interpretation is very much like playing a game of Reverse Charades; you have to put the ‘this-means-that’ together to understand the meaning of the symbol and then the message. Much like reading and interpreting parts of the Bible where many symbolic and metaphorical references are made throughout the book (especially the book of Revelation), dream interpretation takes a different way of thinking to understand the language.
With all the different ways that the Divine is trying to get the message to you, you’d think that He’d tell you what to do in any given situation. You’d be wrong. That would break another important rule, the rule of ‘free will.’ Dreams will inform you, guide you and warn you, but they will never tell you what to do; it’s always your choice. Even prophetic dreams will only tell you what is about to happen but they won’t break the God-given rule of free will, which leads to the next rule for dream interpretation.
Have you ever had a dream repeat itself? Chances are like everyone else, you have. Jung explained, “…recurring dreams show up repeatedly to demand attention, suggesting that the dreamer is neglecting an issue related to the dream.“ A repetitive dream is an urgent warning that calls for you to take notice and do something to resolve the topic at hand. It isn’t a violation of the free will rule; you won’t be told what to do; but it’s a firm push from your higher power to get your attention so that you’ll do something.
Extremely vivid and life-like dreams are rare and particularly important. You’re shocked after waking from this type of dream because you're convinced you were already awake during it, but you have a feeling of realism much stronger than your usual dreams. These dreams consist of premonitions (always an urgent warning of something to come,) or actual contact with loved ones who have passed on. If you were stunned upon waking and felt compelled to tell someone about your ‘so real’ dream, then it was a dream of unquestionable significance. If you can’t relate to the strange feeling that accompanies this kind of dream, then you haven’t had one (yet).
Those are the guidelines to help you with understanding what kind of dream you‘re having, now we’ll take a closer look at the different ways symbols will present themselves to you.
1. Universal Symbols
There are universal symbols, symbols that almost everyone associates with the same thing. If someone were to draw a red octagon on a sheet of paper, you might guess that the interpretation would be ’stop.’ Similarly, a ringing alarm clock would mean, ‘time to wake up!’ A rainbow would mean hope, a dove; peace, the number 13 would mean bad luck, and so on.
2. Symbols that have a Personal Meaning to You
For the most part, all dream symbol meanings have a highly personal relationship to the person that’s dreaming. For instance, if you hate coconut cake and chocolate milk but dream that you’re eating coconut cake and drinking chocolate milk, that would be a very negative dream for you. Maybe if your best friend dreamed the same situation, it might be a very positive dream; it all depends on your personal likes, dislikes and feelings. If you dream that you’re listening to Lady Gaga on your earbuds and you don’t like Lady Gaga, then the dream would be telling you that you’re hearing something in waking life that you prefer not to hear. Everyone has their own set of symbols and ideas that mean something very personal to them and because of that, you are the best interpreter of your own dreams.
Dreams will often give you puns or a play on words to get the message to you. A dream that you put your finger in a light socket could mean a ’shocking ’ experience. A dream of a conversation with your boss and you’re handing him several bars of lye soap? You may be getting a warning about ‘lye-ing!’ The dream world is very inventive and sometimes comical when it’s trying to get a point across.
But Who were the People in Your Dream, Really?
There's usually only one person on stage in your dreams, even if there seem to be many.. and it’s you. Because the dream is for your self-improvement, your life-enrichment and your progression, you play all the parts. Every character in your dream represents a different aspect of yourself, negative and positive. A woman will dream that her mother is desperate to have a son because of the woman’s own anxiety about having a son. A man will dream about his brother’s wonderful sense of humor because the dreamer has a great sense of humor, too.
Seeing the Future
Have you ever had a dream premonition?
© 2016 Shirley Urso-Farmer