Whether your dreams are pleasant, scary, magical, or mundane, they all come from within you. You are the artist, author, and director. These are your creations.
Just as you are the only one who dreams your dreams, you are also the only one who can truly interpret your dreams. Reading books on dreams or surfing the Internet for common dream symbols and themes may be fun and interesting, but that’s much like reading your horoscope – hit and miss. Ultimately, the answers won’t come from outside. You must decide on the final interpretation, a decision that will come from within, from that wise place inside you called your intuition.
How do you know when you’ve hit upon the true meaning of a dream? You’ll get a felt sense, which can best be described this way…
You’re in the kitchen and you think of something you need in your bedroom. You head to your bedroom and when you get there, you forget what it was you were going to get! So you do what we all know to do — retrace your steps — and… Wa-la! You remember what it was you were initially heading for. How do you know that was it? It’s that Wa-la! feeling, that felt sense of certainty in your whole being. That’s what you can rely on to determine when you’ve found a true meaning of a dream or dream symbol.
This website provides an abundance of tools to learn how to recall, record and interpret your dreams. One thing you’ll need that’s not provided here is a place to record your dreams – a personal dream journal. This dream journal may be a special bound book of decorative pages, or it could be a simple notepad. Whatever you choose, make it something special and make it a constant companion at your bedside.
The more interest you take in your dreams, the greater the possibility of remembering them. And the more open and honest you are with yourself, the greater the likelihood of reaching satisfying interpretations.
Research on dreams has been able to show how we dream and what happens to our brains and bodies when we dream, but has yet to arrive at definitive answers as to what dreams are or where they come from. Some scientists still claim that dreams are nothing more than electrical discharges of the brain with no interpretive value. These researchers have evidently neither experienced nor witnessed the kinds of dreams that many of us have had that carry quite obvious personal significance. As psychologist Henry Reed said, “It is as difficult to prove scientifically that dreams can be meaningful as it is to prove that life itself has any meaning or value.”
Although it’s not known empirically what dreams are or where they come from, it is known that everybody has them. Not everyone remembers his or her dreams, but everyone does dream. Sometimes our dreams are mere reenactments of the day’s events. But more often, they are creative reflections of our mind and heart working together to deliver information to us about ourselves, others, work, family, and so on.
Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?
– Leonardo da Vinci
Where dreams originate from is a mystery. Most seem to come from our innermost selves, drawn from personal experiences. Others appear to come from beyond ourselves, unexplainable by any standards yet proven in this world. Certain psychic dreams are of this nature, predicting events about which the dreamer could not possibly have had prior information. Another example is dreams in which we are “visited” by friends or relatives who have passed on. People who have experienced these “visitations” will attest that these dreams have a different quality to them than other dreams in which the same individuals may be present. Disembodied souls speaking to us in our sleep? Who knows? And so be it. May there always be mystery in life, challenges for our human potentiality to comprehend.
Why Interpret Dreams?
Dreams can be used to clarify personal and professional goals, identify obstacles to these goals, and gain solutions to overcome these obstacles. They bring to our attention attitudes that are out of balance and prejudices that shape our reactions to specific people and situations. They can even be a valuable diagnostic tool in the identification and treatment of health issues.
Dreams may disclose problems to us that we have been ignoring or avoiding (often in the form of nightmares in order to get our attention), or they may present possible solutions to these problems. Scientists, inventors, artists, and others have used their dreams as a source of inspiration and problem-solving. Elias Howe dreamed the solution to a design problem that allowed him to invent the sewing machine. Jack Nicklaus overcame a slump when he had a dream suggesting a different way to hold his golf club. And the plot for the novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde came to Robert Louis Stevenson during the dream state.
There is an abundance of wisdom available to us in our dreams. The responsibility remains ours to decode our own unique dream language and then translate the dream messages into action.
Why Keep a Dream Journal?
A dream journal is an autobiography, a collection of statements about our lives received as gifts from our innermost selves. Yet without maintaining a log of our dream experiences, most of them will soon fade away, for our dreams tend not to be stored in memory the same as waking events.
There are a variety of reasons for keeping a dream journal. At a very basic level, paying attention to our dreams and writing them down regularly can help increase recall and interpretation skills. Just like anything else, dream recall and interpretation get better with practice.
Sometimes it’s best to let a dream sit for a while, and then go back to it at a later time. This can help add a bit of objectivity, and subsequent dreams may shed further light on it in the meantime. By keeping a journal and noting significant events and feelings occurring the day and night before, you will be able to go back to any dream you want and work on it whenever you have the opportunity to do so.
A log of our dreams over time becomes a treasure map of our personal development, and along the way the meaning of repetitive dreams and dream themes often unfolds. A dream journal can be a simple record of your dreams, or it can be a lot more. Take an active, creative role in uncovering the secrets of these inner visions.
I want to write. But more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried in my heart.
– Anne Frank