Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mom, I Dreamed of You

I decided to look up what my recurring dreams mean and I found some interesting ideas. Now, to set aside some time to determine what applies and what doesn't. I'm always thinking but it seems I'm thinking about the less important things (i.e. things I can't control) instead of the things that matter most to me. 


The mother appearing in a dream signifies how you were taught to express your feelings and sensitivity. While dreaming of the mother can portray how you are adopting or rejecting various aspects that are associated with her, she can also symbolize your ability to mother yourself.


A person who can process anger easily will feel anxiety in a dream, but not anger. If you are clearly angry in your dream, then look for how you might be repressing anger in daily life. This is an emotion, which we learn early to repress, and each of us processes anger in different ways. Therefore, you may dream about other characters acting with anger against you. This is the only way the person ‘who is never angry’ will have of processing and integrating this ‘unpleasant’ emotion. A ferocious animal attacking you is a clear example of how anger is portrayed in a dream. Since you cannot own the emotion during the day, you experience it as something ‘wild and uncontrollable’ attacking you in the dream.


One of the most important aspects of dreaming is how they make you feel. Often dream imagery gets more frightening in proportion to your inability to face something. The message is not so much about danger, but that some aspect of the mind seeks expression. The more you are unwilling to allow it - the 'louder' it speaks. Dreams affect us in the same unspoken way as going to the movies. Their purpose is to dislodge the status quo so that we can be more responsive to how life is shaping us. Dreaming of an inability to feel brings this issue forward because you may not realize how cut off you are from your feelings.


All of the characters appearing in your dream represent evolving or transforming aspects of you. What can make dream interpretation confusing is the inability to understand how dreaming of others allows you to explore the traits you associate with them. Your ideas, beliefs and areas undergoing transformation will be mirrored by the characters you dream about. When you look at the dream as a plot where all of the characters are representing you, look beyond the character and ask: what word would I use to describe this person? How might this person be representing a side of myself that I might be failing to understand or express?

People from the past can represent you at that point in life, and family members usually appear in a dream that is helping you to understand how a current crisis was created through personal dynamics of childhood.


Dreams of family members are very common, although they are still generally a reflection of how you explore the qualities of others to learn more about your potential.. Dreams of this type often take place after an experience that has left you wondering about your personal dynamics.

Dreams are often portrayed in cycles of three, where one dreamscape morphs into two other settings. The first part of the dream suggests the crisis at hand, while the second part of the dream often includes family members as a way of exploring early dynamics that were inherited, and may need to be released. The third part is usually the most bizarre, offering clues to your transformational process. You wake up and dismiss the peculiar when this is the most relevant part of the dream. The psyche seeks to break through in any way it can. The things you find most difficult to face will appear in symbolism that leaves you puzzled. Family dynamics that you have inherited offer an enormous pallet of symbols for transformation as you move forward to discover your real identity.

Natural selection drives divergence in character because the more diversified we are, the better will be our chance for survival. Even family members within a particular species are endowed with variations. This ensures that competition for short supply in a shared environment is minimized. The family can be a source of support, even while their dynamics shape you like water shapes a stone. In the contrast of your differences, they often reveal your deeper color. You simply stand in the present as life’s best example of one variation of the line you carry forward.

The characters that appear in dreams are always portraying aspects of you. Siblings can personify your competitiveness or aspects that you associate with them, while parents suggest motherly and fatherly traits within you.

Dream Processing

You spend one third of your life, the same amount of time dedicated toward your career, exploring existence in a topsy-turvy world of dreams and symbols. As if you have entered a world of mirrors, all that you encounter becomes a reflection of you. Taking the time to understand your dreams allows you to take ownership of your life. When you are facing crisis, dreams reveal the way ahead, activating self-knowledge and direction in life.

Since the time of Freud and Jung, enormous data and research has validated the patterns they wrote about that reveal how dreams demonstrate an organizing force within the psyche. Recurring dreams are a message that you are not 'getting' some type of message. Once the dream is understood and the message applied toward making changes in your life, the dream does not recur and the dreamlife moves on to the next step in your development. The more this input is ignored, the more aggressive and conflicted dreams become. Dreaming allows you to test your development while avoiding the real life crisis that can ensue from being off track to whatever destiny has in store for you.

The subconscious mind breaks through all barriers to provide this profound direction to the dreamer. As if some aspect of the brain has an understanding that transcends a sense of time and self-awareness, dreams function like another sensory organ that allows for the exploration of potential.
Since you rehash daily events in your dreams, you probably fail to see the special nuances that make the dream different from what you experienced. However, research shows that the mind is processing this information specifically because it may have impacted you in ways that you failed to recognize. When the opportunity to transform comes up against the walls of your beliefs, self-awareness still finds productive ways of breaking through. This process of self-enlightenment can be heightened when you take an active approach in understanding your dreams.

Freud called dreaming ‘a peculiar form of thinking.’ He suggested that dreams only appeared cryptic as a way to allow transformative information beyond the walls of defense mechanisms active while we are awake. Dreams allow us to understand existence from a broader perspective and Jung understood dreams as the compensation mechanism that balances the one-sided awareness of the ego. Dreaming takes place in a part of the brain that developed before language and therefore, communicates in images. Acting as the Mind’s Mirror, they offer an objective view of who you are, and hold the clues to your unacknowledged desires and potential.

The challenge you may face in understanding the language of dreams is in recognizing that everything that appears in the dream is a reflection of you. Characters portray unacknowledged aspects that you associate with them. Even the landscape, mood and objects will conjure up personal meaning designed to affect you in the same unspoken way that art and cinematic drama can move you.

Dreams provide a point of view that is unique and strange, but more importantly, can move you emotionally and inexplicably toward a change in perspective. Therefore, while you may not remember your dreams, they are changing you in profound ways. Since they usually reveal the exact opposite of what you believe to be true about yourself, understanding the language of the dreams will offer you an indispensable tool in harnessing the power of self-awareness.

Dream Processing
  • Prior to sleep, make a conscious decision to remember your dreams and ask for guidance. This actually improves your ability to remember a dream.
  • A healthy and balanced diet in addition to a regular sleep routine will improve dream recall.
  • Have a notebook or tape recorder next to your bed to immediately record the dream.
  • Since dream imagery takes place in a different part of the brain, you will notice how allowing your thoughts of the day to intrude will make accessing dream content more difficult. Train yourself to stay with the dream, prior to thinking about what you need to do that day. If nothing else, capture the sense of emotion that the dream invoked, and use that as a thread to allow the dream imagery to return.
  • Write down as many details as you can remember. It is not important to catch every aspect because many portions of the dreamscape will reveal the same message in several different ways. Start slowly, capturing the mood, landscape, and as many details as you can recall. The dreamscape lends itself well to association so even if you are not sure of the accuracy of the symbolism, in the beginning you can use whatever words or images come to mind. This will allow you to start recognizing the profound input that always emerges from within.
  • Once you are able to easily recall your dreams, start looking for the less obvious symbols, like time of day, lighting, colors and numbers.
  • You dream of the type of things that consciousness would rather keep ‘below the surface.’ Do not become frustrated when you are unable to recall the content. If accessing this information were easy, it wouldn't be the subject of your dream. Sometimes finding the appropriate words appears difficult, so try drawing images. Explore the ‘flavor’ of your dream and the feelings it created.
  • The most important part of dream processing is the practice of recording information before your mind moves to analyze it. Approaching the content as objectively as possible to record the details will allow you to analyze it later. Even while it may appear nonsensical to you, discussing the content with a friend or partner can sometimes help you to understand it.
  • Remember that the subconscious speaks ‘cryptically,’ specifically to allow repressed information to come forward so record everything.
  • Assume that the dream knows more than you do. Gather the imagery and symbols and let the dream become your guide. The dream is trying to offer a fresh perspective about what you are failing to acknowledge in your daily experiences. Once the dream’s message begins to unfold, try to apply it toward the situations that you face.
  • Those aspects of the dream that appear the most bizarre will in time, provide the most profound clues about your identity and destiny.

Analyzing the Dream
Approach the symbolism objectively and identify the setting, characters, symbols and theme of the activity. It will usually take a series of dreams before you begin to see how conflict and its resolution are being described by your unique associations. Since the story is unique to you, the symbolism will also be personal, although the Dream Dictionary can lead you in the general direction.

Trust that the information is relevant and is being revealed to you in the only way it can be expressed. The dream may appear just beyond the grasp of your memory. You can begin to observe how concrete belief structures ward off this emerging information. You dream from a more fluid awareness, and must use a similar free flowing consciousness when retrieving the content.

Explore the dream in pieces: a) I was in a car that drove off a bridge; b) I was at a train station with a strange man and forgot my baggage; c) There were several children playing in a garden where I walked through a door into strange house. All of these symbols describe essential elements of where you stand in relation to your growth. The car describes your ‘drive to move forward’ or motivation. The train station is a place of growth that shows your desire to go somewhere new or transform. The unknown characters represent unrecognized aspects of you. The strange man can be the idea of unrecognized 'masculine' traits, like being assertive or moving toward independence. The children can portray young or emerging sides of you, which are also represented by the unknown house. Forgetting baggage or 'the things' you carry with you is a common theme from the aspect of growth. The other symbolism will reveal how you are approaching change and what is necessary to move forward.

Without pre-judging the content, write it down immediately. Look at the words individually and objectively. You will see that in most cases, they are saying the exact opposite of what you believe to be true about yourself.

In dreams, all symbols have relevance, no matter how ridiculous they may appear. Besides things, look for colors, time of day and numbers.

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