It seems that dreaming is a topic with many theories as to why we dream and what the dreams mean. This discussion is about my own experiences, and how it works for me, a simplistic overview of my dreaming. Yet I’d be very surprised if dreaming doesn’t work this same way for you.
I have two types of dreams. One is a dream related to something I encountered during the day that upset me, such as a scary scene in a true-life dramatic movie. That upsetting feeling plays out in a later dream. In fact, when watching or experiencing such an event, I sometimes know this will likely come out in a dream of sorts. Those dreams usually aren’t the ones of value. It is the other type of dream I find more valuable.
Let me start with these questions. When waking up from a dream, we usually have some sensation, a feeling of sorts. We might ask ourselves, Is the feeling I have when waking up from a dream the result of the dream? In other words, did the dream create the feeling? Or: Is the feeling the reason why I had the dream? In other words, did the dream portray an underlying feeling I’ve been walking around with for some time: maybe for an hour, a day, a week or even weeks? For me, the latter scenario is where I gain most from my dreams, in that they portray underlying feelings I’ve been walking around with, either aware of or unaware of my feelings. When I don’t clearly see the underlying feelings, my dream will come along and make a “movie” as a visual aid so I can more clearly see what it is I’ve been walking around with.
When I wake up from a dream, I sense the feeling and I recall the dream-movie. I attempt to put words to the feeling, without fighting it, and merely acknowledge and accept the feeling. Once I have the words for the feeling—not elaborate, but short and simple, or even one powerful word to describe the feeling—I then relate that description to the dream-movie: without forcing the words to fit. If the words don’t fit, I revisit the feeling to find accurate words. The combined description of the feeling and the movie depicted by the dream portrays to me what I’m not sensing in my day-to-day life.
Then there are recurring dreams; they are valuable aids. The scripts underlying these dreams are set from a pattern. Some underlying feeling is continuously not being addressed. The dream will likely reoccur until one of two things happens: the underlying feeling is incidentally altered due to changing circumstances, or the underlying feeling is intentionally addressed.
Here is an example of a dream and its related words. From time to time, I have a dream that seemingly reoccurs even though I address the underlying cause each time. It is obvious to me that I have the same dream for different reasons, and it depicts a similar feeling at different times. In the dream, I am looking for something I don’t find, an elusive something. In each dream, I look for something different. But each time, when I get close to finding it, what I’m supposed to be looking for changes, and then I need to find something else. Each time, I awaken feeling lost. Thus, different things at different times while on my life’s journey create a feeling in me that I’m lost. When I awaken from this dream, then find the words and relate them to the dream, I recognize that the thing I’m attending to at the time creates in me a feeling of being lost. I use this as an opportunity to look at what I’m attending to, and acknowledge that I’m lost and don’t know which way to turn or which option to take. Recognizing and acknowledging that I’m feeling lost assists me in finding direction.
Dreaming the feeling is an invaluable self-uncovering aid.