Dreams as self-help – hitting the snooze button

I love dreams and have kept track of them for years. As I don’t remember every dream, every night, I tend to only write when I remember something in particular. Sometimes it’s just a snippet. Other times, I recall the entire dream and certain moments stand out as being important to remember. I have a special dream journal where I write them down as soon as I can after waking. In fact, I now have two, as I filled the first one! Sometimes, I jot a dream on the first thing I can find, or dictate it into my phone, so I don’t lose anything that might float away with the ticking minutes. I take this dream thing pretty seriously, as you can tell.

I rarely have what others might call nightmares. As a child, I did. We lived in a house with a huge picture window in the living room. We were in the inside-elbow of a street, almost like a cul-de-sac, and could see down the street one way and up the street, the other. I both loved and hated that window, with its view to the foothills beyond the homes. The problem was – at least in my child’s mind, which, as it turns out, was no dummy – that not only could we see out, but others could see in. There was not a curtain made that would block out our silhouettes at night.

I’d dream that I’d be standing at the window, waiting for someone… not sure who… when a bad man would use the butt of a rifle to break through the glass. I’d run to hide but it was impossible. This was the heart of the house… and from here, there was no hiding.

Understand, my parents had no guns. I have no idea where I even would have seen a rifle to dream about. But there you have it.

Since then, my dreams have become more like learning tools, which is why I’m sharing. I actually touched on this topic (briefly) here but wanted to swing back by…

I believe dreams are a gateway to the psyche. Yes, okay, sometimes we dig for meaning when there is none… like, dreaming about a hamburger could mean you’re hungry. Maybe you love burgers. Duh. But if you’re dreaming about a key… and you’re trying to open a door that is locked to you… I’d say it deserves a deeper look. Wouldn’t you?

A few dreams I remember off the top of my head:

My grandmother told me she would be going soon; and indeed, she was dying. In the dream, she was in her night-clothes and the hospital bed was in the room but she wasn’t in it. She walked up to me and was smiling, reminding me that I would be okay and that, most importantly (she said) she loved me.

My grandfather brought me cautionary messages in my dreams. We stood on the stairs of an unfinished house… fire below… heaven above… and he said, “Don’t go downstairs… keep looking up”… at a time when I was considering a difficult life choice. Another time, he had a suitcase in a subway terminal… he told me he had to go and it wasn’t time for me. He said he loved me.

My (former) mother-in-law sat on the end of my bed and told me she would be gone soon. She said she’d missed me throughout the years since divorce and that she loved me.

My ex-husband visited me in a train station, where he said he had to go but not to worry, our children would be fine. He smiled and looked strong and healthy.

Some might say I’m creating these dreams in my own head and they’re saying what I want them to say. Fair enough. I just don’t agree. These kinds of dreams are rich with a kind of symbolism I rarely think of in my waking life. But… to each his own.

I’m not finished with this subject yet… and will revisit it later. I’m going to get out my journals and read through my dreams over the years. There might be some worth sharing. Let me know if this is something that interests you, too!

Good night… and sweet dreams.

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