I think our sleep time is supposed to mean more to us than it does. Not just because it is how we spend one-third of our lives, which is important in itself, but also because of what happens while we are sleeping. It is a whole different world in dreamland, where we are fluid beings made of energy, who can fly, and disappear from one place and reappear in another. I would’ve loved to have studied dreams at some point in my life, to see how much we all share the same experiences, and to learn about the archetypes Carl Jung described.
I feel bad about this subject because I use medications to sleep now and know I miss out on a lot, because of what occurred in my dream-life before the torment of my non-sleeping days dug in so deeply. The dreams I remember now are often about what’s happening around me. Recently, I heard the garage door go up and my daughter pull the car in. This was as she was pulling into the apartments we now live in and walking down the hallway. (Obviously some part of me is still at our old home.) Or I dream of people and then they call, or I run into them somewhere. There are other kinds, too, but I mostly remember the ones about people I am connected to.
On August 18th, I had a dream I had long been waiting for, though I did not know it. In a June, 2009 post, I wrote about guilt I carried from another lifetime (related to leaving the Church in shame) in an introduction to a guest post by Sharie, at Sending Joy, about releasing guilt. Sharie is a master at gently guiding us confused humans to release guilt, and her kindness and gentle soul helped me to continue healing. I believe this is why I was finally able to have this dream, which took place in another setting, like in the 1600s:
“I was to be married to a powerful, older man who was unkind. I talked back to him many times, and he refused to marry me, which was a bad position for me to be in. A kind priest came and took me to join a religious order. He was the overseer of the order and rose to become a higher-up, but over the years, we fell deeply in love and left the Church together, in disgrace. I realize now how much I loved him and how much he loved me–and the guilt is gone. “
Dreams serve so many purposes. For me, this one helped me to let go of this past-guilt.
What I finally figured out is that the dream world is much more emotional than the physical world. After I understood that, I didn’t feel like I was so crazy after all. When I first started logging my dreams, I did not understand them very much, and I was embarrassed or disappointed by some. But, I wrote them down and over time, got better at understanding them. I learned that we might use other people in dreamland as symbols for ourselves. I learned to ask, ‘What does this symbol, person or happening represent to me?’ I drummed up enough courage to turn around and look at the dark figure chasing me. It was me–my shadow self! I was running from myself.
All dreams happen to help us know ourselves better and we should not be afraid of them. Dreams are the language of our souls, a call to pay attention, because they reflect both who we are and what we believe about ourselves, which might be different things.