Dreams are, as defined by Webster’s, “…a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep…”
Since time began we have tried to understand our dreams. We have studied them ad nauseam to explain their purpose and meaning. What does it mean when we fly? What does it mean when I’m being chased by dogs and cannot get away? The simple truth is, the answers to those questions are within us all. We simply have to take the time to stop and think about our lives, examine what’s going on, and admit some difficult truths to correctly interpret the images and symbols.
There are a few things that frequently occur in my dreams. Things that I have absolutely hated because it tends to cause me to awaken in a panic. For as long as I can remember, I have not been able to fly in my dreams. I cannot get more than a few feet off the ground, and if by chance I find myself able to soar, I cannot sustain my altitude. Another nuisance is my frequent inability to fire weapons, fight, or kill in my dreams. Even in self defense I typically end up on the short end of the stick. I have been shot, stabbed, and beaten more times than I care to count. And typically, it happens when I am defending someone else. A dream interpretation with this is pretty simple. I’m a passive man who chooses to lay down his life if necessary to protect others. I am a person who constantly gives of himself and takes little, or nothing for himself. This is why I cannot fly. I am subconsciously grounding myself to make sure I am here for others.
So imagine my surprise when I had my first violent dream. Years ago I dreamed that I tracked a child molester after he had taken my child and the child of my girlfriend. I beat that man to death when I found him. A few months ago, I flew. I soared high and stayed aloft until I woke up. In recent weeks, I have had multiple dreams in which I have been able to fight, defend myself, and even kill. Not just to protect others…but to protect myself as well. Strangely though, it no longer disturbs me. The initial violent dreams brought me so much discomfort that I could no longer go back to sleep. My entire day was ruined.
But not today.
No, today, I am celebrating. I am celebrating because of my interpretation of my dreams. You see, my joy does not rest in some perverse desire for violence and destruction. It is still in my nature to care for and protect others, even if it means I must lay down my own life. But my ability to now protect myself in my dreams means that I am finally ready to protect myself in reality. It means that I am no longer willing to be passive and just let others roll over on me. It means that I am finally accepting the fact that my thoughts and feelings matter just as much as the thoughts and feelings of others. I’ve spent far too much time giving in and compromising my own principles and feelings in my efforts to show unconditional love and support for those around me. In the long run it has resulted in me being angry, frustrated, heart broken, and feeling alone.
But now…now I feel reborn. I feel strengthened by the realization and acceptance that I am important and that my feelings can and DO matter. I shouldn’t have to sit on the sidelines and constantly make things easier for others while I, and they, completely ignore how things are affecting me. My dreams are telling me that after 39 years my mind is open to the fact that I too am important and it is imperative that I do what I can to take care of myself as well as others.
I say all this to ask you, what are your dreams telling you? Are you listening? Are you ready to open yourself up to some truths and accept certain things about yourself to fully understand and acknowledge what your dreams already know to be true? Some people…a lot of people…simply don’t remember their dreams. When they do, it means that they were powerful and trying desperately to speak to you. But it’s still up to you to turn up the volume and pay attention. Dreams are not just the goals we have and strive toward. They are also our minds way of helping us understand and navigate the business of life and our place in it. Take heed to they say!
If nothing else…it’ll save you a few thousand in therapy costs.