Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Come on Dreamer, Dream Along!

I've always believed that one of the ways we can get our heads together is by paying attention to our dreams. Dreams have meaning - not in the "oooh, I should buy a lottery ticket!" or "Am I going to get eaten by a zombie?" sense, but they are often the subconscious working out "stuff" we may not be paying attention to when we're awake.

Fr'instance, a few nights ago I dreamt of this cute little guy.  (The dark-haired one, not the blond, though he's pretty cute too.)

Backstory:  I used to care for Baby R, back in the day when my day job was family day care. Sweet spirit, happy and easygoing, I had him from the time he was about four months old till about 13-14 months old.

So, last night I came home from my current day job, and actually finished the chapter of my novel I'd been stuck on.  The novel I hadn't done much more than think about since last May.  Went to bed patting my own back for finally getting it done.  Even thinking about the next chapter.

Then in my dreams, it was a day care morning, and the parents were carrying Baby R to me to care for him, after however many days/weeks off.  At first they were even bringing him to the wrong house - I had to go outside and wave, "I'm in here!"  As I held him, he was very angry with me, tried to hit me, and then subsided, said, "I still love you," and snuggled up to me.  When I went to change his diapers, I found he'd been all padded up with a bunch of diapers for much too long, and it took tender time and attention and care to make him fresh and clean again.

We don't need a Joseph and his Technicolor Bathrobe to figure that one out, do we?

In fact, I dream about babies - "historical" babies from earlier in my life, to mystery babies I've never met - quite a lot.  Babies, according to most dream interpretation books, have to do with new beginnings, projects, hopes, dreams.  They all have wonderful potential - and all need plenty of nurturing.

I think I dream about my babies when I need to give them more attention.  When the creative side of me is feeling, "Hey, enough with the chores and 'To-Do'  lists already, come play with me!"

Sometimes the symbology of dreams isn't so obvious.  I have a friend who confessed her erotic dream of wanting to make love with a complete stranger.

I think she was disappointed, when we looked it up, to find out the male stranger is her own "male energies" - drive, power, energy.  That the dream was about her needing to become more connected with her own masculine side, to be more assertive.

Yes, while sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, sex generally isn't sex when you dream about it, but the feeling or need for a more intimate emotional or spiritual connection with the passionate object of your dream.  (Which may mean you're not a closeted lesbian after all, lol!)

The dream interpretation book I like best is Kelly Sullivan Walden's I Had The Strangest Dream... The Dreamer's Guide for the 21st Century.  Every major and modern symbol is in it from roller coasters (also a frequent feature in my dreams) to Botox, whereas some of the older books will interpret for you what it means if you dream of a whaling ship or breaking your butter churn.

From Dimensions Guide
I used to dream of sinking shops a lot, though more Titanic-style (not a surprise as my relationship with OCPD ex-bf slowly headed to the bottom of the ocean.)  Sinking ship dreams have to do with feeling overwhelmed, unable to cope.

Sometimes I would dream of a big, beautiful house, full of large, spacious rooms, then I would go upstairs in it and the attic would have huge, Edward Scissorhands-style gaping holes, broken lathes, etc.  And of course, the roof symbolizes our protection against the stormy forces of the outside world, our boundaries.  And during those years, I definitely felt vulnerable and poorly defended.

With dreams, as with anything else, part of what we take from them is what we bring to them.  If we dream of being chased by a Purple People Eater, and then stopped to play music with him, for example, we are the ones who have to decide whether the most significant thing in the dream was the color purple - or being chased - or the music he played through the hole in his head.

Sometimes I've used dreams to work out problems in relationships.  Once I had friends who I promised to do something for them, and though I tried my best, simply couldn't deliver.  Later, I had a dream where I was able to follow through exactly as planned, and woke up, feeling very complete about it, as if on a karmic level it was now all good.

I've also had the horrible experience of arguing in a dream with someone I love, and woke feeling terrible about what they said and what I said.  It took some time to climb off that emotional ledge, in the morning, and realize it didn't happen.  When I have a nightmare, I wake with all the breathless terror, or heartache and tears, that I felt in the dream.

(This was yet another cause of frustration with ex-bf - he never wanted to allow me the relief of talking out a powerful dream.  He would just cut me off and tell me he wasn't interested.  Once in a while, he would hold me after a bad dream, but sometimes even if I begged, he would tell me just to get over it.  Yep, I realize now, yet another way to be emotionally abusive.)

I've always wanted to be visited by dead loved ones, or guardian angel types, but that's only happened once.  I know there are supposedly things you can do to bring them into your dreams, but I'd rather, if I'm going to have visitors, have them to come on their own.

But, mostly, I simply have some colorful dreams involving babies or houses or roller coasters.  (No roller coaster dreams since I moved out!)

And the musical piece that goes with this is... a happy singing/dancing song, from one of the Best Albums of All Time, IMO.  Enjoy!

What do you dream about?  Do you look up your dreams to find out if your subconscious is trying to tell you something?  What's the scariest dream you've ever had - and why do you think you had it?