Dreams Heal Us
Dreams Tell Us What is Really Going On
Some things really push our buttons. Conflict can stem from childhood issues that continuously bring charge to what we experience. We often get wrapped up in the crisis of the moment without realizing how it might be rooted in something else entirely.
Dreams heal us, but they also provide clues about what is really going on inside of us. Everything in a dream is a reflection of our inner world.
Dreams present themes that describe the type of inner turmoil you are seeking to overcome. They can appear disjointed or bizarre because they are coaching you to change your habitual way of looking at life. This is why dreams bring two unlike symbols together. The dream isn't bizarre. It is the psyche's ingenious way of coaxing a breakthrough in your thought processes.
If I were to ask you what is blocking your success, you might offer something based on current challenges. Dreams show us how the present is tied to the past and similarly, what is blocking you is probably tied to a misunderstanding from childhood. I write about the three parts of every dream, apparent as the landscape suddenly morphs. This allows us to understand the conflict, it's cause and the path to success.
In meeting challenges on the path, a similar process unfolds. Often, we give situations a type of charge that goes beyond what it warranted. An issue has been brewing for a long time, and suddenly, you are presented with an opportunity to transform it once and for all. This is the purpose of the conflict we meet. Unless we get at the root cause, it will continue to appear on the path.
Exploring dream symbols and what they reveal about 'circumstance based challenges' the deeper issue can be examined. If you are struggling with any of the following, it is important to look deeper at its root. When you understand the deeper issue, you can make peace with it, and find that life suddenly becomes less conflicted.
When we tend our inner world like a garden, we observe how dreams are a type of pruning and fertilizing process that ensures we grow on a path toward wellness.
The Issue: Fear
You dream of being in the backseat of a car that is about to crash, or traveling on a boat that is about to sink because of choppy waters. Something or someone else is always driving the situation and you feel helpless.
You may struggle with your diet, whether through obesity, anorexia/bulimia or just perfectionism, where no amount of dieting gives you the sense that you look good. What is really going on is that you are wrestling with the illusion of control.
Perhaps you grew up in an environment where affection and approval was conditional or non-existent. You may feel that you have no control over the outer world and turn to the body as a reassuring way of proving you have control. There may have been a caregiver who made everything chaotic. In order to survive, you learned to see the world as place about control or the lack of it. You live in a constant state of worry, and stalk the very situation you fear.
A strong sense of perfectionism can drive you to never feel good enough. An obsession with control can present the illusion that you are controlling the body when in reality, your misunderstanding is controlling you.
Nature does not seek perfection - it grows from a foundation of abundance that simply seeks more abundance. It tears down anything that would block it's forward progress, but nature is not focused on control - it is eliminating anything that would impede its growth. Nature is powerful in each and every moment because it is activating growth within each creature. Perfection measures the moment to be anything other than what it is. This creates its own type of blockage. Your mind is somewhere else and you block life's flow of abundance.
A caregiver's lack of self worth may have undermined your sense of self worth. There may have been some type of deception at play. Children often adopt the 'unexpressed' life of the parent. Dream symbols that explore this lack of control can appear as boats and cars that are out of control. Whether someone else is driving you, or you are on a boat in a choppy sea, this type of dream is allowing you to see how the inner world has become chaotic and choppy. Because the inner world is in this condition - it is what you see around you. The dream is actually helping you to let go.
By understanding the root cause of your lack of calm, you can relinquish the power fear has over you. Rather than attempting to control circumstances in the outer world, you need only take back control of your inner world. By developing a stronger sense of self love, you can move away from making the body your way of seeking approval. By using your breathing to return you to the moment - you can overcome a sense of fear, and recognize how life seeks to open you. It always unfolds perfectly to bring you back into abundance and growth.
Once the body is no longer your center of focus, the diet always improves. Nourish your emotions in a way that is more tangible than food. Don't just eat to make your feelings go away. Explore why you are burying your feelings in what you eat. Explore the feeling and understand it's roots. What is the feeling? When did you first feel it? What was happening that gave birth to this feeling? Give it expression - let it out. Allow your feelings to teach you. Re-plant your inner garden with love, and allow life to nourish it.
The Issue: Feeling Left Out
You dream of trying to find a way through a maze. Your dreamscapes are carefully manicured and geometrical. Perhaps you dream of something frightening beneath the water. Ferocious animals can come out of nowhere and attempt to bite you.
You feel like you are always waiting for something, while everyone else appears to be living happily ever after. A series of relationships that ended in rejection may have caused you to retreat and so, you feel isolated.
In the early life, you may not have been given the sense of security that most children experience. You may have been given the message that emotional expression is bad, or one of the caregivers went away. You learned to cut yourself off from your feelings and now you have misplaced them. Life has become the experience of seeking love that eludes you. No matter what you accomplish, it is never enough and so you retreat, work and wait for a sense of security that never comes.
A child who was not allowed to feel can wear a type of armor that leads to difficultly finding the appropriate partner. This type of projection in relationships destroys the possibility for partnership. To overturn the merry-go-round, you have to see life differently. It is not a place that requires defense, but an opportunity to interact and grow with other human beings. Nobody ever leaves a relationship that is open and loving. They leave because something does not ring true in the partner, something is hidden away. They leave because you are projecting your own fear on them, and it perpetuates a story of abandonment.
At the root of rejection and failed relationships is usually a fear of intimacy. A fear of intimacy can often be traced to an early experience of abandonment. Expressing your feelings led to punishment or they were not reciprocated, and this early sense of abandonment causes you to seek partners least likely to commit. If you are afraid to share your feelings, you actually seek the opportunity to ensure it will never happen.
Animals with teeth and claws in dreams embody our emotional expression. They only attack us as a way of 'drawing blood' to make us feel again. Since dreams embody our inner world, the animal is a part of us that is disowned, grows in power and turns back on us as a way to make us open. If we have an emotional outburst during the day that surprises us - we will dream of a ferocious animal attacking us.
The dream symbols that explore how we protect ourselves from feeling will often involve mazes, metals, geometric patterns and rooms without windows. As a snapshot of the way you hide from intimacy and protect yourself, the dream is attempting to help you work through the mental gymnastics of hiding. When you dream of something frightening beneath the water, it can suggest that while your emotions (water) may be frightening, there is always a gift to be retrieved by exploring the mysterious depths of the unconscious.
It is impossible to discover intimacy if you refuse to become vulnerable. You can only let others in if you are open. Strong defenses can make you intimidating. A sense of feeling safe may elude you, but like any muscle, you may need to learn to rely on others and share your fears. This levels the playing field and makes you real when interacting with others.
Life has always provided, and you probably have had many opportunities that have proved this to you, although you may have let them go - in search of something else. You are always looking for the one thing that will make you feel secure and safe. The one thing that will allow this to happen is to become vulnerable. Only then, can you discover that there is nothing to be defended or protected. It actually leads to something beautiful: deeper intimacy with others.
Lay down your armor and be willing to share who you are. No matter what your early life was like, you have the capacity to trust in the goodness of life and become optimistic and open. Nourish your inner garden with faith that everything unfolds purposefully to allow you to feel more deeply.
The Issue: Worry and Anxiety
You dream of a stalker attempting to break in your house. A tornado or earthquake suddenly tears down your house. You move through architecture that that is disjointed or crumbling. Many of your dreams involve going into basements, attics, riding elevators or escalators.
Perhaps you have difficulty interacting with others in close proximity. Maybe a neighbor has moved in next door and is encroaching on your space. You've tried yoga and meditation, but no matter what you do, crisis is always looming out there - somewhere.
Your early life may have involved being a caregiver to a caregiver. The relationship with this caregiver has always been challenging. You were a blacksheep because you rebelled. You may have left home at a young age to build a successful career. You have accomplished enormous things - but lack any sense of accomplishment and life always seems like a struggle.
If life has become a battleground and lacks any sense of reward, you may be stalking the crisis you experience. Worry and anxiety are the sense that something 'out there' that will come to challenge you. Something is challenging you, but it is hidden away inside of you. You sense it 'out there' but it is hiding 'in here.'
Children who were caregivers to caregivers are often labeled black sheep. Your care giving skills are pronounced, but the mutual resentment was palpable. You have achieved amazing things with your career, but somewhere within, there is still a sense that some part of you is bad. Of course, you would never admit it - that is why the 'bad guy' stalks you.
When a caregiver has given you a black sheep label, even if you hide it away, this misidentified part of you will seek to be understood. This is the purpose of stalker dreams. Everything in a dream is you. Regardless of the circumstances that shaped your childhood, you are not the reflection of what others said you were.
Dreams attempt to move us out of a state of worry and allow us to process our anxiety and fears. Nightmares are actually a positive sign that a misunderstanding is being transformed within the psyche. Repressed power is being awakened and can be applied more productively.
Earthquakes and tornados can rip through the inner landscape as dreams that will clear the way for a fresh perspective. Shadow dreams and stalker dreams, or those attempting to break in are just a representation of the side of you that wants to be understood, let back in, and allowed to sleep in its own bed.
Since the inner foundation is faulty - the dream of faulty architecture or searching basements (subconscious) or attics (ideals) helps you to look through all areas of the psyche in order to create a better foundation of self acceptance. A hidden part of you still identifies with being bad and the dream is seeking a restructuring based on being whole.
You may need to find forgiveness for the parent who may not have been up for the challenge and didn't support your essential value. Your sense of self love should be measured by what you do today, and not the past. Nourish your inner garden with forgiveness and love and let the past go. Remember that what you carry in your heart and mind is what you will experience. If you are stalking difficulty - turn within. Nourish the inner garden with complete self-acceptance. Hold nothing of the past, forgive and open to the future.
A healthy inner garden requires only 3 things:
Pruning: Let go of what no longer serves you.
Watering: Allow your feelings to have expression - be vulnerable - open to intimacy.
Ability to Flourish: There is no need to protect anything. Life wants you to be free and happy. All that matters is this moment of sunshine where you open your arms and allow life to release you from your fears.