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How many times have you woken from a dream scratching your head while you said to yourself, “What the holy heck was that all about?” You may have even run it by your family during breakfast or your co-workers during break hoping someone might be able to give you some insight as to why you were playing mini-golf with a bikini clad John Stewart!
As confusing as, and humorous, as dreams can be, they do have meaning. What’s more, they provide powerful insight into your deepest and most honest thoughts and feelings and even offer advice to guide you around your most difficult issues. So your instincts to seek out the meaning of your jacked up dreams are right on and well worth the effort.
In order to help make this task a bit easier for you, I am going to share with you three very important rules to remember when figuring out your dreams. As random or bizarre as dreams often seem, they do play by certain rules and if you apply them to your dreams, you’ll be surprised how easily the message in your dream reveals itself to you.
1. 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, the outside world is shut off, so YOU go in to yourself and focus on YOU and all the things that YOU are dealing with right now.
Our dreams will show us ourselves in the guise of different people or 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, your co-worker. The best way to determine if someone in your dream is playing his or herself, rather than representing some aspect of you, is to ask yourself if there is a current concern or issue you have with the person or are they involved in the same situation with you. If the answer is no, then odds are, the person is indeed a representation of some part of you.
So start with yourself first – how is this creature, this person, this object like me? What three words first come to mind when you think of that person, creature, etc.? Can you connect any of the words you chose to yourself and your life and behavior right now? If the dots don’t connect, then work outward. How is this creature, this person, this object like my spouse? My best friend? My child? Etc. Do this and those dots are sure to connect. There is always a link. Nothing and no one in your dream is random.
2. Your dreams are always connected to the previous day.
Whatever happens in your life today, whatever thought runs through your mind, whatever accomplishment you make, whatever conversations you have, whatever frustrates you today is likely show up in your dreams tonight in some form or fashion.
Be sure to ask yourself how your dream last night reminds you of yesterday. Keeping a day journal in tandem with a dream journal will help you to connect the dots between the imagery in your dream to the events and 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 your dream will borrow something you saw or read in order to help it make its message.=
3. Dreams speak in metaphors
“She’s the apple of my eye.” “Dad was boiling mad.” “He’s the black sheep of the family.” Metaphors compare two seemingly unlike things in order to make a point. Our dreams work the same way, which is one of the reasons they are often so bizarre. 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 dream last night a metaphor for your life right now or for how your day went yesterday? Does the raging storm in last night’s dream seem like the current state of your marriage? Does winning the lottery in your dream remind you of how you felt when you recently got that promotion? Like a metaphor, your dreams illustrate what’s going on in your life and how you truly feel about it. When you can find the metaphor, you have found the message.
Remember, your dreams can be your best friend once you know how to communicate with them. You may not always like what they have to say but, like a best friend who only wants the best for you, they will be brutally honest when they have to yet consistent in their wisdom and guidance.
After all, your dreams are your deepest, most focused thoughts. They are the most intelligent and powerful part of who you are.