Understanding Your Dreams

By Sydney Metrick
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Understanding Your Dreams

 

Have you ever wondered what your “weird” dreams might mean? Dreams are generated from your unconscious mind which speaks in the language of symbols. Dreams, daydreams, myths, fairytales, art…all come from the unconscious. By getting familiar with symbolic language you can look behind the symbols to discover the layers of meanings in the stories your dreams tell.

The messages of night dreams and daydreams are expressed in personal, cultural and universal symbols. Working with symbols is process work. The value is in the journey rather than the destination. What is a symbol? “Basically, a symbol is something that represents something else.” You may be wearing a wedding ring or a religious symbol, or have a tattoo. These things are symbols that mean something more to you than the item or the image itself. Some symbols have only a personal meaning, others also have universal significance. The ring, a circle, universally symbolizes wholeness and perfection.

There are a number of ways to explore what a symbol might mean to you. The most superficial way is to go with your first impression. You dream of a wolf and you assume it means something dangerous or possibly evil is lurking or chasing you. To delve more deeply into the meaning, you can imagine the wolf speaking to you and telling you who it is and what it wants to give or to get from you.

Another option involves writing. Make up a story about the symbol’s childhood/future; e.g. Once upon a time –or—Long ago and far away. Then for those of you who are more adventurous you can try the two-chair technique. Set up two chairs facing each other. Sit in one chair and imagine the wolf (or whatever symbol you wish to explore) in the other. Initiate a conversation and ask a question such as, “what is your role in my dream?” Move to the other chair and answer as the wolf. Continue the conversation using the role play until you’ve gained helpful insight into the meaning of the symbol.

If you keep a dream journal you may notice themes or motifs as well as recurring symbols. Years ago, I kept having dreams in which I’d accept a stick of gum and as I began to chew, the gum grew larger and adhered to my teeth and gums. I’d have to pull ropes of gum from my mouth and discretely dispose of it. This was especially difficult and embarrassing if I was in public. Finally, I realized it was a relationship I kept allowing into my life that was hard to end. When I finally did create a boundary, the dreams stopped.

Once you have a relationship with the dream symbols you can use that for increasing meaning and growing in waking life. In the words of Emily Bronte: “I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.”

Bio: When I was a child my two favorite activities were reading and daydreaming. My love of learning led me to pursue non-traditional education. I earned an MA in Counseling Psychology and a PhD in Expressive Arts Therapy. Using rituals and symbolic systems have been a large part of my work. I’ve authored two books, Crossing the Bridge, and I Do, and the soon to be released From There to Here. I’m the co-author of The Art of Ritual, and Rituals for Life, Love and Loss. SM

 

Pin It
Joyful Musings By Joy Birnbach Dunstan, MA, LPC, MAC Understanding Depression   Yesterday I received an email from a professional organization
MY KID COULD HAVE PAINTED THAT!(Or Understanding Abstract Art) By Mary Roam   Acolorful and outspoken artist has come back, and more of her startlingly
THE STUFF OF DREAMS A Novel by Alejandro Grattan-DominguezWeeb Publishers  241 pages  $15.95 USReviewed by Jim Tuck(Review first published in
Hearts at Work —A Column by Jim Tipton “The years thunder by, the dreams of our youth grow dim….”   I have talked with many people in
Focus on Art By Rob Mohr Magic Realism: A Visual Poetry of Fantasy and Dreams   Salvador Dalí wrote, “There is only one difference between
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: kdavis987@gmail.com November
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style By Jim Rambologna   Enzio Grattani was the Editor-in-Chief of a local rivista (or magazine) in Ajiermo, Italy. Locals
 Find us on Facebook