What good are dreams? Are they just random, meaningless mumbo jumbo that we get to ponder over in the morning and ask ourselves, "What the heck was that supposed to mean? Oh, well, it was just a dream."
Are dreams just dreams, or can they help us in our daily lives? Before I understood the real and spiritual value of dreams, I innately knew to pay attention. Some big decisions in my life were made because of dreams that I had.
One dream in particular was when I was deciding whether or not to move to Europe after I completed Chiropractic school. I was in a relationship with someone from Switzerland at the time and the thought of going to an unknown country, with an unknown language, with the unknown of the relationship working in the longterm, was…well…a whole lot of unknown’s.
One night I had a dream. I was standing on a beach watching some pretty huge waves crash onto the shore. There was someone waiting off to the left. He was a surf instructor waiting to give me a lesson. I was scared. I’m not that great of a swimmer and this was something I had never tried before. I kept looking at my surf instructor. He was waiting patiently. I kept thinking to myself, "This is the opportunity of a lifetime. I can pack it in and not take the chance, but I know I would regret it." And it was real, that feeling of impending regret if I didn’t take the chance and dive in. So I nodded to the instructor, yes.
When I woke up and recalled the dream, it was clear to me that I was going to take the leap and move to Europe. I didn’t know how I would fit in, if I could learn the language, if the relationship would last, but I did know that I would regret it if I didn’t go for it. That was the beginning of almost 8 years in Switzerland. I certainly am grateful for every bit of it.
I have had other very significant dreams in my life, too numerous to share here. What I have learned in the last 4 or 5 years is how I can work with my dreams to gain insight into my life now. I started a dream journal around that time and became amazed that with this exercise of always writing something down (even if it was only, "I dreamt") how much I was able to remember of my dreams. Sometimes the meaning is clear to me immediately. More often, though, I find I get the meaning, or insight later when I’m reading through them at the end of the month.
There are several books out there about dream symbols and such. I used to try to find meaning through those symbols until I realized that I am a unique soul, we all are. What is significant for me in my dreams, may vary a great deal from everyone else. As I started keeping track of my dreams I also noticed a pattern with different symbols that were meaningful for me and I have started my own personal dream symbol book. This wouldn’t be appropriate for anyone else but me.
If it feels good to you, get a notebook to have by your bedside and in the morning jot down anything that you can remember. Dreams do have a habit of being fleeting so write them in the notebook as soon as you can. If you don’t remember your dreams, simply write something like, "I dreamt". This cues your system into creating the habit and the remembering of dreams will soon follow. Occasionally flip back through and read the dreams again. You might find deeper insights into your daily life.
Before you go to sleep at night, you can also try asking for insight or assistance with something in particular that you might be dealing with. Perhaps the guidance will come in the dream state. One never knows. : )
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.