How Our Dreams Reflect Our Emotions
A woman was concerned about a disturbing recurring dream. In it, she was sitting in her living room when her dog came trotting in, wagged its tail, and bounded over to her. Suddenly, the animal transformed from a loveable mutt into a terrifying beast, with glowing red eyes and a threatening, fang-baring snarl. The woman always woke up terrified and emotionally exhausted. It was a particularly horrible experience, she explained, because the dog, which she loved deeply for nearly a decade, had recently died.
As the coach in the dream interpretation class gently asked her a few questions, the meaning of the nightmare became clear. The dog had truly been her best friend, the woman said, and there had been no previous indication that the pet was ill. When the coach suggested she might be repressing anger at the dog for leaving her during a very challenging time in her life, the woman became still. She hadn’t realized she DID feel betrayed and abandoned by this canine friend. It was only through her dreams she was able to connect with how much anger was entwined with her grief. After she was able to get in touch with her emotions, she never had that dream again.
Throughout recorded history, dreams have been considered divine windows into our hearts and souls. The Bible even mentions how we receive important information through our dreams:
“When deep sleep falls upon men and they sleep in their beds, then God opens the ears of men and gives them instructions.” Job 33: 15-16
Falling into a deep sleep lets us turn off mental chatter that can distract us during waking hours, and come face-to-face with emotions we might be repressing. If we’re feeling stress at work or in a relationship, there’s a good change our dreams will have us running an obstacle course, or maybe floundering on a choppy sea. Through a restorative sleep, we can tap into our emotions, destress, and understand things from a perspective of higher consciousness.
Frequently, dreams will give us answers to questions we’ve been thinking about, or gift us with creative inspiration. Paul McCartney heard the song “Yesterday” in a dream, immediately wrote it down when he woke up, and the rest is music industry history. Movie Director James Cameron dreamt about a planet with tall blue people who were so interconnected with each other, and their beautiful world. Inspired by the visions, he created “Avatar,” which has earned $2.7 billion to date.
Our dreams can even alert us to health issues of which we might not have been aware. Repetitive dreams of a fire could signal inflammation in the body, for instance. Keep a notebook on your nightstand to jot down what you remember about your dreams, and pay attention to how you react emotionally to the messages. There is a wealth of information in those nightly adventures.
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