A Dream is a Wish?

dreamStanding before a group of suit-clad professionals, I begin my presentation.  I refer often to the notes in my hand and on the whiteboard at the front of the room as I walk through the crowd, making eye contact, holding interest, and answering questions that pop up here and there.  One man raises his hand.

“Do we really want to do this?  I mean, really, none of us are happy doing this work.  Life is too short!  Let’s go have FUN!”

The class looks at me expectantly, and I reply, “Well, ok, it’s your life.” And I lead them out the door, and right into a recycling center that has been turned into an amusement park.  We ride the roller coaster, and finish our fun by taking a dip in the swimming pool.

That’s a very shortened version of the dream that I had recently.  And that was one of the more ‘normal’ dreams that I’ve had.  A few years ago, while going through a very difficult time, I was visited in my dreams by the Grim Reaper ( complete with glowing neon-green eyes) and by dark, shadowy, spirit-like beings who were trying to drag my body down into the ground, presumably to Hell, while I was playing a game of “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” with my cousins.  I awoke yelling, “God, help me!”

Yeah, there have been a few weird ones.

They prompted me to start doing some amateur Dream Interpretation.  I started recording my more vivid dreams, the ones I could remember.  And I discovered that it didn’t matter what the storyline was, it was the images that mattered.  The Grim Reaper, me as teacher, the swimming pool.  And in other dreams, a cabin, a bear, a lake, to name a few.

Rooting around on the web revealed a site that I use regularly, Dream Moods.  They have a Dream Dictionary there, which I use to look up those images.  And those images coalesce to paint a picture of my life.  They help me muddle through, they give me insight to how to handle things.  More often than not, they confirm a suspicion, although there have been times when I looked at what I had just researched and said, “WHAT?????”

So what did some of those images tell me?  Well…

The Grim Reaper: signifies the negative, rejected aspects of your personality. It represents aspects of yourself that you have repressed

Cabin: indicates that you will succeed via your own means.  It suggests that you are self-reliant and independent, yet still remain humble. You prefer the simpler things in life.

Lake: signifies your emotional state of mind. You feel restricted or that you are unable to express your emotions freely. Alternatively, the lake may provide you with solace, security, and peace of mind. If the lake is clear and calm, then it symbolize your inner peace. If the lake is disturbed, then you may be going through some emotional turmoil.

Amusement Park: indicates that you need to set some time for leisure and more enjoyment in your life.

Roller Coaster: signifies that you are experiencing erratic behavior brought on by yourself or a situation. You are experiencing frequent ups and downs in your waking life.

Swimming: suggests that you are exploring aspects of your unconscious mind and emotions. The dream may be a sign that you are seeking some sort of emotional support

All of these things make total sense to me.  The Grim Reaper showing himself in my dreams two years ago launched me on an intense spiritual quest that I continue today.  As scary as it was, and BELIEVE me….    Anyway, as scary as it was, it served as an impetus.  The dreams since then have followed along the course of my quest, as well as occurrences in my life.  They have served as entertainment, therapy, and guidance.

Try it sometime (don’t worry if you ‘can’t remember your dreams’… the more you do this, the easier it becomes).  Keep a pad of paper and a pen near your bed.  When you wake from a dream, don’t try writing down the exact story – that doesn’t matter.  It’s the images that are important.  List them.  Even if they don’t seem important, write them down.  And surprisingly, as you remember some images, more will come to you.   You never know what image is going to be significant and what image won’t matter a whit.  But more often than not, it will provide insight, especially if you are experiencing upheaval in your life.  At the very least, it’s entertaining – it’s fun to see the little trips your brain takes when you’re not awake to rein it in.

This entry was posted in activities, behavior, depression, dreams, emotions, fears, feelings, learning, life lessons, nightmares, thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to A Dream is a Wish?

  1. One of the more enjoyable periods I had in Psychology 101 was the section about dreams. I wish I could remember the name of the book I read, but it was fascinating. One of the strongest parts of it was it spoke of dream partners–entities that enter your dreams whom you can enlist to aid you in discovery. You have to practice lucid dreaming first, but just as with documenting them, practice makes it much easier later.

  2. SKL says:

    I love dreams! When I’m not stressed out, I’m a great dreamer (when I’m awake too!). After a particularly vivid dream, I like to think about what it might mean. I’ve had various versions of me using superhuman abilities or surprising talents to save the planet or some part of it. I don’t know how “dream interpreters” would explain these dreams, but I am pretty happy with the theory that I’m here on Earth to do something important, that I am a stronger/braver person than I appear, and that I am an undiscovered genius!

  3. I ‘ve been trying to remember my dreams by writing them down. I always think that dreams carry a significant meaning and I’m curious to find out more about them. Thank you for the links, they are helpful!

  4. Marcia says:

    The Grim Reaper dream – with the feeling of spirits dragging you down and your friends playing a game where they’re trying to levitate you – sounds very much like your brain’s way of interpreting the physical paralysis that naturally occurs when you are in REM sleep.

    You feel like spirits are dragging you down because you can’t move. At the same time, you feel like people are trying to levitate you because your external senses aren’t working fully, so you don’t sense gravity on your body. (This is where some out of body experiences come from.)

    You sense the Grim Reaper because when you dream, the primitive part of your brain that deals with emotions (the amygdala) is activated, and when you realise you are paralysed, it makes you panic and imagine that a horrifying creature is trying to kill you (which you interpret as the Grim Reaper.)

    People who suffer from sleep paralysis – when your mind is awake but your body is still paralysed because it hasn’t yet “woke up” from dreaming, have similar hallucinations.

    • Laura says:

      That’s pretty cool….

      but actually, those two images appeared in separate dreams, days apart. It was while I was going through a particularly stressful part of my life (before The Wreck), where I just kept plastering a smile on my face and saying, “Oh, everything is wonderful! Everything is great! I’m thrilled! Happy! DELIRIOUSLY! HAPPY!!!” And all the while I was slipping deeper and deeper into depression.

      Those two dreams together prompted me to seek help, both spiritual and chemical.

      I’m happy to report that the chemicals did their job, and I’m still working on the spiritual. And the Grim Reaper and his Nasty Spirits have retreated to their slimy little caves.

  5. Just a Mom says:

    I forgot all about the game Light as a Feather, Stiff as a board! We used to play that all the time.
    I have never tried to figure out my dreams before. I figure if my minds wants me to know some deep inner message it better tell me while I’m awake!

  6. Joy says:

    When my mother in law died I really wanted to learn more about my dreams because I was dreaming she was cold and I wanted to know what that meant. I never did find out but that dream faded in time. Then when my grandma died I started having dreams that she was sitting on the edge of my bed. I was convinced she wanted to tell me something. I still do have that dream every now and then and sometimes I can feel the bed move just in the slightest bit. It never scares me.

    I will definitely check these out. I have never had the vivid Grim Reaper type dreams. My bad dreams mostly consist that I’m running from someone or I’m lost where I know I shouldn’t be or I’m falling which I know are very common. Sue really has recall of her dreams down to what people are wearing. I can’t really remember mine that way. I only remember the gist of them and sometimes they don’t come to me until the middle of the next day.

    Great subject.

  7. Dreams are absolutely fascinating. I’ve taken a course on lucid dreaming in particular, and boy, do our minds have the ability to do weird things.
    Anyhow, I know that many therapists interpret dreams as your subconscious mind trying to tell you things – memories of the past that you need to think about, problems you should be solving, things that are happening around you but that you don’t want to notice or admit to yourself – and I think that listening to your dreams is a good thing, not to mention interesting.

  8. starlaschat says:

    Dreams are an interesting topic. I have found if you write the dreams down as soon as you wake up you do remember more and more. At one time when I was doing this I was remember so much it became too much to write, so I just stopped recording them. I also have heard the idea to break it down, like say the word cup. When I hear the word cup I may think of a particular cup maybe my cup with a snowman someone else could hear the same word and think of something different. So the symbols can be according to what they are to you. Did that make sense at all? LOL

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