Until you make the unconscious conscious,
it will direct your life, and
you will call it fate.” – C.G. Jung
Importance of dreams
Dreams are highly personal and have the most significance to the individual dreaming them. They also have psychological significance and may often be unconscious reflections of our internal anxieties, fears, desires, hopes and fantasies. The importance of dreams should not be underestimated nor should we dismiss reoccurring themes. Our dreams are important for several reasons:
- Dreaming is the communication between our conscious and unconscious minds
- Dreams are the bridge that allow movement back and forth between what we think we know and what we really know
- Dreams let us play out painful or puzzling emotions or experiences in a safe place. They allow us to process information or events that may be painful or confusing in an environment that is at once emotionally real but physically unreal.
- Dreams are a way for your guides, ancestors, loved ones who have passed on and our higher self to communicate with us
- They are a way for our subconscious to process things that we are unable or unwilling to confront in our physical reality. They can serve as a way to highlight things that need to be looked into in our physical reality
In his book “The Interpretation of Dreams,” Sigmund Freud suggested that the content of dreams is related to wish-fulfilment. Freud believed that the manifest content of a dream, or the actual imagery and events of the dream, served to disguise the latent content or the unconscious wishes of the dreamer. While Carl Jung shared some commonalities with Freud, he felt that dreams were more than an expression of repressed wishes. Jung suggested that dreams revealed both the personal and collective unconscious and believed that dreams serve to compensate for parts of the psyche that are underdeveloped in waking life.Dream Interpretation
Dreams can only be understood in the larger context of the individual’s unfolding and self-discovery. The same dream will mean something different to two different people. So stay away from the dream dictionary as there is no one interpretation that fits all. There is no other expert other than yourself when it comes to your own psyche so always trust your own inner guidance when it comes to interpreting your dreams.
Pay attention to your dreams. Immediately write them down as soon as you wake up so you do not forget them. Write down everything you can recall about your dream including objects, symbols, people and locations. A dream journal and a daily journal can help you notice some trends and patterns in your life. You will be able to see whether when specific events are happening in your life you have recurring similar dreams at the same time. The dreams can then be used to help you process what’s going on in your life in a safe space or it can provide assistance on how to deal with the situation in real life.
Also remember that not everything in your dreams is important. Sometimes only one symbol in the whole dream is what’s important. You can put crystals such as amethyst under your pillow to help you remember your dreams.
“The dream shows the inner truth and reality
of the patient as he really is,
not as I conjecture it to be, and
not as he would like it to be,
but as it is” CG Jung
Because many different ideas and concepts are represented within the span of a single dream, information is condensed into a single thought, image or symbol. Symbols in dreams can take the form of people, animals, specific places, numbers or conversations. Symbolism is everything when it comes to your dreams. Dreams are not to be interpreted literally. Dreaming about your car breaking down does not mean that your car will break down. Write down the association each detail in your dream carries for you. For example, if the dream took place in your childhood home, consider what’s significant about your childhood home, how it relates to the rest of the dream and how that translates to you now. The same symbol in my dream can mean something different in your dream. It’s all about what’s going on in your life and what’s hidden in your subconscious.
Pay attention to how you feel during a dream. Are you scared? Angry? Happy? Anxious? Do you still feel those feelings after you wake up from the dream? Feelings are important when interpreting dreams. C.G. Jung referred to dreams as “feeling-toned complex of ideas.” We are always being called by our unconscious self to feel into our ideas, thoughts and actions so as to gain a deeper sense of who we are and where we are going in our lives.
We can meet ourselves, or parts of ourselves, in many elements of a dream, even if there is a clear distinction between us and another character in the dream. One of the most important skills of dream interpretation involves being able to determine who and what the people in our dreams represent, which helps uncover the meaning of dreams. Are the people in our dreams representing aspects of you or other people? In addition, what interactions are happening between the dreamer and the characters in the dream? Ask yourself what else in your life inspires these same emotions and interactions. For example, if your childhood home reminds you of being bullied by your older brother, think about what’s happening in your life now that parallels that experience.
Dreams can give clues to areas of our lives which require attention, our significant relationships or aspects of ourselves which we are concerned about. The importance of dreams should not be underestimated nor should we dismiss reoccurring themes. Lear