I am a dream skeptic. I don’t believe that dreams are the window to my soul or they’re important messages from my subconscious, let alone the spirit world. I subscribe to the belief (whether or not true) that dreams are the brain’s way of processing and discarding most of the junk that doesn’t need to be stored in our long-term memory.
Nevertheless, as with most people, my dreams have recurring motifs.
When I was at university and throughout my twenties, I had dreams about being late for an exam and not being able to find the exam room, being locked out of my locker and having an important assignment inside, and other student nightmares. I would wake up with the same real body response as if the event happened, and have to calm myself down. But I could laugh because the dreams were such literal enactments of my fears. In retrospect, it’s funny that I had deep fears related to academic areas, in which I had so few troubles, and no dreams about relationship woes, which were rife at that age!
I had frequent dreams about entering a house, walking through the corridors and into the rooms, and sometimes being unable to find my way through or back. Yet they weren’t “caught-in-a-maze” terrifying. They were empty houses with no scary people or hazards. I trusted the way-finding wouldn’t be impossible! I would wake up feeling it was just an empty house. In dream symbolism, I am sure that opening doors, walking down paths and exploring rooms all refer to impending life choices.
Another startling dream I had often was being swept off a rocky cliff by a giant wave into the ocean! Far from being a nightmare, I would always quickly surface, swim to shore, and feel victorious! Living near the ocean and being a very strong swimmer, this is the least of my actual fears. In dream lore, I like to think this is about resilience.
On the other hand, I had a one-time dream in which I was driving my car at full speed, the road ended, the car continued onto a dock, and over a lake. I woke with my heart pounding. The dream literally had a cliff-hanger ending! I was really scared – but not scared enough to buy one of these in real life 🙂 Wait – I need that!
At the same time, the “me” in my dreams didn’t go so far as to imagine or experience the feeling of being submerged and trapped in the car – my mind just didn’t go there – thankfully!
In recent times, I have two frequent, similar dreams. One is being in charge of a group of children or teens at an event for a school or library. There is a lot of chaos with the noise and commotion of the kids’ behaviour, but also the feeling that this is my role and I can do it – I just have to get organized and do the tasks I’m supposed to do. The other one is being the organizer of a conference in which I am responsible for the logistics. People are pulling me in all directions, drawing my attention to whatever is urgent to them in the moment.
Both of those situations are so close to my real experiences at work that they don’t bother me at all. I wake up and think, yep, all in a day’s work.
I am more interested in the parts of my real life that are never in my dreams. I almost never dream about Rom. I think he is so rock-solid in my life that there is no conflict to explore. At times, I worry a lot about Link, but they also rarely show up in my dreams. Perhaps I process my worries so thoroughly during the day time that there’s nothing left over for my sleeping brain!
I will conclude that since I am an introvert and have lots of time for thinking, planning, problem-solving and restoring my energy, I have less need of dream-space to bring things to my attention. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
What do you dream about? What do you think it means?