Dreams Are Communication

Really important dreams announce themselves. Upon waking, you know they are important. They often require you to engage them, interpret them. Some dreams are messages that seem alive and will not let you forget.

Many dreams of this sort seem almost to interpret themselves. Sometimes, the symbolism is so clear that, with a little work, you can scarcely miss the point. (Certainly, your best friends can interpret them for you!)

However, there are others that are more subtle. Still others have more than one meaning: the obvious one and a 'hidden' one.

How, though, do you work with dreams? How do you wrest the meaning from behind the symbols? The goal of this section is to provide you with a technique you can easily use (with some practice!) to begin to understand the meaning of such dreams.

Your practice with Internal Dialogue will be extremely helpful. Dreamwork and inner communication techniques are naturally compatible. You will find that they build upon and support each other in very dynamic ways.

Gauguin PaintingEach part of your Dream is You.

Understand that each person, object, setting and emotion in your dream is an aspect of you, and you are well on your way to understanding the dream itself.

With rare exception, dreams are communication intended for you alone. Most often, dreams about natural disasters and events appearing to happen to others are really intended for you. The issue is: how do you determine what these symbols mean to you?

What does it mean, for example, when you dream about a friend being involved in an automobile accident?

Internal Dialog and Dreamwork

Each item within a dream is a symbol; and as such, it carries you a message. In the example, the friend, the automobile, its doors, windows and wheels – and even the accident itself – is a symbol. This can make any dream an almost limitless supply of potent learning material.

Also, your Journal work is developing a powerful tool for dealing with internal messages. Use your dreams, not only for personal insights, but to develop your inner dialog as well. This section suggests a structured way you can work with dreams to achieve both greater self-knowledge and increased Journal experience.

You will find that having your Inner Voice as an unbiased observer 'looking over your shoulder' to be helpful in providing a creative perspective. Using the 'accuracy checking' technique also will be useful in keeping you on track.

Write down the dream as fully and completely as you can. Pay attention, even to the smallest rememberable detail.

Identify the separate symbols, taking special note of those that seem particularly important to you.

Focus on each symbol independently, one at a time. Begin with those that seemed most important, but follow the logical connections between various symbols. (While a person's gloves might be seemingly relatively unimportant, the fact that the person was wearing them implies a connection.)

See if you can identify or 'guess' the symbol's message. You might also ask the symbol its meaning. But also listen to your 'intuition' about the symbol. Remember that symbols may have double or hidden meanings.

Consult your Inner Voice. Ask for and heed the response of your inner voice, whether you are a beginner, using 'Yes/No” techniques, or more experienced with internal dialog.

Restate and confirm your understanding. When you believe you understand the symbol's meaning, restate your understanding as clearly as you can, and ask for confirmation. Check your accuracy.

Seek the Big Picture. When you have completed discussing each symbol's meaning with it, covering as many as you wish, mentally 'step back' and take a look at the whole of everything you have discovered. In general, it is this Big Picture you want to understand, rather than the details.

Picture: TornadoDealing with the Unknowable

If you find that you still do not understand the dream, there are several options:

  • Mentally address the symbol that seemed to you to be the 'key' symbol in the dream and ask for its suggestion.
  • Take a long break and  work with the dream later using the Internal Dialog process in your Journal.
  • Set aside all consideration of the dream for the time being. Sometimes the message cannot be understood within your current life context.

While the last option might seem like 'failure,' it actually is not! Often such dreams are communication with very deep sources, and by their nature, communication from these sources may accumulate over weeks, months, or even years before they begin to make sense.

I have shared my Tornado Dreams later in the session as an example that illustrates this phenomenon. While the dreams were clearly meaningful, I have only recently begun to penetrate their meaning. This is an ongoing process.

Content © copyright 1996-2009
By Gerry Starnes • All rights reserved.