by KERRI LUKASAVITZ
“I had the weirdest dream last night,” a friend recalled, of images of new, purple feet transplanted below her ankles. “I also dreamed of being prepared for a journey across a desert while three wise men discussed the perils of sand snakes…” Are these just random images your brain plays or are dreams trying to tell you something more?
Dreams have been studied throughout history from the Egyptians to Plato and from Sigmund Freud to Carl Jung. In ancient times, they were used to seek out reasons for illness, seeing what demons needed to be purged, or how to prevent a kingdom from falling into the hands of an enemy. It was not until Freud and Jung started utilizing dreams in their psychological work that the study of dreams became a modern pathway to self-discovery.
“When I was 5 years old,” said Cori Maki, a Mount Mary graduate student, “my grandfather suddenly passed away. For years, I missed him dearly. I wanted to see him one more time, yet knew he saw me all the time, looking out for me whenever a small miracle kept me from being hurt. At 23, I had a dream of my older brother and I sitting on my grandparent’s back porch … It was a beautiful day outside, we had a wonderful time catching up.” Maki continued, “I remember talking and laughing with him, yet if I touched him he would disappear. Finally, he looked at my brother and me and told us he wasn’t going to be able to watch over us anymore. I remember feeling sad, but as he gave me a final hug I realized that he was not leaving me, he was ready to come back to the earth plain again. Sometimes I wonder who he is now and whether I know him again already.”
It is common for people to dream about loved ones. Dreams often foretell the passing of them and give us the opportunity to understand this beforehand. Dreams help to sort out current relationships, work through past issues and warn of things to come.
“Several years ago, I had a dream about a new job I was considering,” said Jeff Seefeldt, an assistant plant manager at Associate Engineering located in Hustisford, Wis. “In the dream, I was ice fishing with the man who offered me the opportunity. Suddenly, the red flags of the tip-ups started popping up all over the ice. I thought it was weird that they would all go up at once. I woke from the dream and didn’t give it a second thought. Shortly after that, I accepted the job with the man. The job sucked and I had a falling out with him. I quit a few weeks later and went back to a position at my former place of employment.”
Seefeldt said the dream had been an unheeded warning. After reflecting on the dream’s images, he was sure the raised red flags indicated there could be possible problems with the man and the position. It eventually proved to be true.
Dr. Gillian Holloway, a psychologist, 30-year dream interpreter and author of several dream books including “The Complete Dream Book, Discover What Your Dreams Reveal About You and Your Life” said, “Dreams often reveal aspects of life situations that we have failed to notice or have misunderstood. They also present us with an emotional charge that readies us for change, growth and transition. They are more than psychological information; they are a kind of psychic digestion process which we sort through and harvest the most nourishing aspects of our experiences. Their value may be immeasurable in this regard.”
Holloway, relaying a story from a client said, “One man told me that while he was dating a girlfriend, he had a dream that the two of them were elderly people, long married and sitting on their front porch looking back on their lives. They had been married for decades in the dream. He awoke from this little vignette of a lifetime of happiness, looked at his girlfriend and realized she was ‘the one.’ He proposed shortly thereafter, and they have been married for several years. So far his dream is coming true.”
There are several ways to discover more about dreams. Books like Holloway’s, Dr. Gayle Delaney’s “All About Dreams, Everything You Need to Know About Why We Have Them, What They Mean, and How to Put Them To Work,” Kathleen Sullivan’s “Recurring Dreams, A Journey to Wholeness,” or Karen A. Signell’s “Wisdom of the Heart, Working With Women’s Dreams” can offer a start into dream investigation.
Dream clubs, like book clubs, gather weekly or monthly to discuss dreams. Members help each other uncover possible relationships between dreams and daily life.
The Internet offers sites for dream discoveries. Holloway’s site www.lifetreks.com has different tab selections that will inform a viewer about dream symbols, possible reasons for recurring dream elements and even a list from 1995 of monthly dream interpretations by Holloway for individuals.
Dreams are more than random events and people that parade across the landscape of our minds at night. The next time a dream with unusual circumstances shows up, pay attention, write it down and spend some time with it. It might have something important to say.
Photo: (dream image) No caption Photo by RENNIE COOK