Standing 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.