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"..Five common dreams explained..." This is the title of an article appearing in The Mark News. While no one can claim to tell you exactly what any of your dreams mean, Christina Becker, Jungian Analyst offers some good general jumping off points if you wish to analyze a dream for its deeper significance. Take the broad interpretation and apply it to your life. Play with the fit. It may not be exact, but a word or two may trigger your own inner knowing.
Remember dreams do a vital work of releasing energy whether we remember them, understand them - or not. If you do not remember your dreams - don't worry about it. It is interesting to know that once you begin to demonstrate interest in your dreams by writing down, thinking about, or talking about them, your psyche sees that interest as an invitation to remember - and you just may begin to recall more of your dreams.
Interpreting and understanding a dream can serve as an impetus for change. While we can all use help, on occasion, understanding the psychological symbolism of our dreams, in the end WE ALONE should make the final interpretation of our dreams. The way you have classified symbols and meanings in your mind may be very different from someone else. Even when working with a therapist, YOU are the one who should be making the connections to your life situation, world views, current issues. The therapist is there to provide the environment, support, prompts - but ultimately it should be YOU making the final determination.
People who have studied dreams have noticed many common themes, symbols and meanings that we can use to better understand our own dreams ... if we are so inclined. See if any of the information in the following article helps you to understand a past or present dream. (Yellow text is the article, green text is added by me.)
The Mark News – Tue, 7 Dec 11:16 AM
“The dream shows the inner truth and reality of the patient as it really is . . . not as he would like it to be, but as it is.” wrote Carl Jung in 1933. Since then, the meanings of our nocturnal adventures have remained a puzzle for psychologists and laymen alike.
"The Mark News has chosen five common dreams and, with help from Jungian analyst Christina Becker, unearthed their meanings:
5) Missing First Day of School
You've got an important appointment, but due to circumstances beyond your control you're not going to make it. Panic and confusion set in. This dream suggests you’re feeling disconnected from yourself, says Becker. You're distracted, not in the here and now. That's why you can't seem to find what you're looking for, including that pesky chemistry lab.
(If I had such a dream, I would ask myself what appointment with myself, what developmental task have I missed that is pressing on me or causing anxiety? Also, pay precise attention to the words in a dream AND the words used to describe the dream. The psyche often slips important information in the words, or double meanings of the words of a dream, or description of the dream.)
4) Teeth Falling Out
Ever had the dream where your teeth feel loose or rotten? Despite appearances, it has nothing to do with your dental hygiene. The subconscious often communicates through metaphors and idioms, explains Becker. Losing your teeth in a dream may indicate that your life has become too complex or harried – that you've bitten off more than you can chew.
(If I had a dream about teeth falling out, I would also be inclined to ask what core or imbedded beliefs, assumptions, values have fallen away OR need to fall away? Again, pay attention to the exact words used in the dream and then to describe the dream when you recall it and you may find a clue to its meaning there.)
3) Being Chased
Being chased by an angry mob in a dream is enough to wake you up in a cold sweat. Chase dreams could suggest you're feeling trapped in some facet of your daily life. Whether you're stuck in a dull job or a problematic relationship, in your dreams you are being chased because you've chosen flight instead of fight. By failing to confront your problems, you will have that pitchfork-wielding mob returning night after night.
(In dreams where I am being chased, I would ask what key psychological, emotional, spiritual insights might I be running from? As well, if I can manage to re-enter the dream, as in lucid dreaming, I would encourage myself to turn around and speak to whatever is chasing me. Surprisingly, the thing/person in pursuit is often not nearly as scary as we imagine, and is actually there to bring important growth-related information. Sometimes when we have not come to conscious terms with the harsh realities of existence, they (the realities) can stalk/chase us (in some menacing form) at night in our dreams - just trying to get our attention.)
2) Naked in Public
If clothes really do make the man, then being naked in public is an emasculating experience. Dreams of nudity could indicate vulnerability, says Becker. While the function of clothes is to cover us up and keep us warm, they also help to determine our role in society. Feelings of social anxiety, rather than that late-night ham sandwich, may be triggering this one.
(In dreams where I am missing apparel or naked, besides wondering about vulnerability, I would look at where I have dropped protective boundaries, where in my life I am feeling exposed? I might also ask myself if there is value in dropping or letting go of outmoded coverings or personas. Am I naked in the dream because I've been trying to walk around in 'apparel' that no longer fits?)
Among the most common nightmares, dreams of falling could mean anxiousness or a loss of self-esteem, says Becker. They can also come about when someone has placed too-high expectations on themselves.
(Where does the ground not feel solid any longer? Where have I lost my footing? Where and how am I feeling unsupported? If I let go into the fall ... could I fly?)
To overcome your nightmares, try lucid dreaming, a practice in which you become aware that you are in a dream and then take control of it. In time, you can turn your freefall into a flight to the moon."
I once had a dream that I was planning a trip with my husband to the United States. At first I thought it was a very banal little dream about planning a summer vacation. When I gave myself a little more time to think about the dream - and once I recalled that the unconscious can provide very literal symbols (PAY ATTENTION TO THE DOUBLE MEANINGS OF WORDS IN YOUR DREAMS) - I realized that the effort we had been devoting to revitalizing our marriage was working - as my dream had so wisely informed me - we were going to the 'united states'! Get it? A more 'united state' in our marriage! How basic and how literal - and how easy to miss if we don't devote a little thought to the message being sent by our unconscious. It was fun to share the message from my unconscious with my husband!
Okay, now it's your turn. Any interesting dreams and/or interpretations you are willing to share with us in your comments?