What are your dreams telling you? How can you understand their meaning?
In my years of teaching people about dreams, I have found three keys to help unlock their wisdom and counsel.
1. Remember that Dreams Are Drafted in Symbols
Understanding dreams is understanding symbols. When you dream of your mother, your father, your spouse, or your best friend, these figures should not be confused with the actual people. Even if you dream of Jesus, Buddha, or your spiritual teacher, don’t only think of these teachers as “them”; instead, think of them as qualities or ways of being that are aspects of you—aspects that you are unconscious of. And if you think of a monster, bad person, or abuser in your dream, this does not necessarily indicate something that is actually happening in your real life.
How might you interpret these symbols in your dream? Let’s say you dream that your partner is being unfaithful. This may indicate that part of you is not interested in your normal way of living, interacting, or valuing things. Some part of you wants to leave “you” (the normal/habitual you) and explore another way. Or, let’s say you dream of a monster chasing you. This could mean that you are scared of some part of yourself and are trying to get away from it. For example, some people fear their own vulnerability because they have been hurt in the past; these people might dream of their vulnerability as something scary (a monster) that they are trying to escape. Or, say that you dream of a person who is sick and throwing up. That doesn’t necessarily mean you are sick or that the other person is sick (maybe they/you are, maybe not). However, it might mean that you need to “throw up,” stop holding it in, speak truths that are not so pleasant, or stop swallowing things that you don’t want to internalize.