Do Dreams Have Meaning? How Inner Wisdom Guides Our Sleep
You’re running through the woods. A giant crab swinging an enormous candy cane is chasing you. All you can do is run. You have to get to safety; you have to make sure this monstrous, candy-carrying crustacean doesn’t make you its next meal. You have to find somewhere to hide, you have to…
It was just a dream. You know that now because giant crabs don’t exist and they don’t use candy as a weapon.
But still, it felt so real…
Into the Dream World
Dreams. We encounter them most nights as we sleep and while we’re in the moment, they feel like real life. It isn’t until you wake up the next morning that you realize the events you just lived through didn’t actually happen. A lot of times our dreams seem random but then there are some that leave you wondering, “Didn’t I dream this before?”
It’s a common occurrence. Perhaps it’s a recurring dream or maybe there was something about the dream that just felt familiar, like a person or an animal. The more those dreams happen, the more you start to wonder whythey keep coming. Especially when they feel so life-like.
So, you find yourself going to Google and end up on a dream interpretation website. It gives a list of possible meanings, such as why you may be dreaming about a giant crab. Yet, those meanings don’t resonate with you. You feel just as confused as when you started and you’re back to square one.
Or are you?
Do Dreams Have Meaning?
Dreams have been a long-standing subject of study in the field of psychology and provide a wealth of information to dreamers . Why? Dreams are communications from your unconscious mind.
Don’t worry; this isn’t going to be a lecture about psychology. If you aren’t interested in the field, you probably don’t want the nitty-gritty details. That’s okay, but what we’re covering is still important to you and I’ll tell you why.
Our dreams are provide an expression of our thoughts and many believe they hold the keys to unlocking our inner struggles. A psychotherapist by the name of Carl Jung believed this, too, as he felt that dreams could show us a lot about ourselves. More specifically, he felt if we focused on the symbolism of our dreams we might get an idea of what those dreams are trying to tell us.
He believed that dreams are specific to the individual and this is very true. Dreams show us our inner desires, inner struggles, and so much more that could lead us toward the path to self-healing.
A Dream is a Wish
So, you’ve gone to that dream interpretation site to find those dream meanings but they didn’t mean anything to you. That’s totally okay. Our dreams are so specific to our personal feelings that our answers may not be found by a simple Google search.
Just as Jung believed, dreams truly are unique to each of us and as a result, we all have a different dream language – the way our dreams communicate.
Our intuition speaks to us nightly, to give us the opportunity to listen and investigate our own situations. Just like we watch an entire TV series to learn the plot, we must do the same with our dreams. By listening to the stories our dreams share, we can find the truth of the inner self and use this knowledge to help us heal ourselves.
But how do we do this? If dreams really are that different and special, how can we possibly begin to understand what we’re being told?
A Quick Guide to Dream Journaling
It may feel overwhelming at first, to know that our dreams are so distinct but I want you to take a deep breath. It’s not as difficult as it may seem. I’m going to give you a tool that can help you decipher your own dream’s voice and encounter the truths your intuition is trying to show you.
I want you to try an exercise.
Find a journal or even a blank piece of paper. Next grab a pen or pencil, whatever you feel like writing with, and keep these next to your bed as you sleep.
The next time you dream, write down what you remember and then draw one of the symbols that stood out to you the most. Maybe you remember a butterfly very vividly or perhaps a type of food – draw it. Write down a few sentences about it. Make sure to note the colors that stood out, the shapes, anything that you feel like drawing and incorporating. Pay close attention to what stood out to you and make sure to document it.
Keep doing this every morning and at the end of the week, go through that journal or page. Does anything stand out to you? Sometimes if we create a visual of what we’ve been dreaming, we can start to discover the patterns that make up the language of our unconscious. These patterns are often important and you may be surprised to see they’re sending a message you didn’t notice before. This is your dream’s voice; your own unique language as given by your intuition.
We’ve always held the power to self-healing and our dreams can prove a beneficial tool in understanding our intuitive voice.
We just have to learn how to listen.
image by Pilar Zeta