Our dreams show us things we may prefer not to think about -- which is a major reason why many of us slam that door shut on our dreams and try to keep it closed. Those things may include future life problems, or parts of ourselves we tend to ignore or repress, or the larger values and issues involved in a situation we are approaching from a limited point of view. We may prefer not to think about these matters, but if they are in our dreams, it is because our wiser Self is telling us we need to think about them.
When our dreams show us future problems, they are also offering tools to avoid or contain those problems -- if we will only heed the messages and take appropriate action.
When our dreams reveal aspects of ourselves we
tend to deny, they invite us to reclaim the energy we waste in denial and to
integrate and work with all the aspects of our energy. When dreams reflect the
bigger issues involved in a current situation, they offer us an inner compass
and a corrective to decisions driven by ego or other people's expectations.
When we see things in night dreams we don't like, we need to pay careful
attention, because we are being shown elements in our life situation that
require understanding and action. The scarier the dream, the more urgent the
need to receive its message and figure out what needs to be done.
Here's one of my personal mantras:
Dreams are not on our case, they are on our side.
We need to stop running away from what our dreams are showing us and learn to stand our ground and confront the issue or the monster in the space where it first presents itself. If we fail to resolve a challenge in our dreams then - as Jung discovered - it is likely to come after us in the waking world, perhaps with even more scary consequences.
A nightmare, in my lexicon, isn't just a scary dream; it is and interrupted or aborted dream. We tried to escape from the dream, leaving it broken and unresolved, because we were too frightened to deal with what confronted us.
We want to learn to go back inside an interrupted dream of this kind, when we can muster the strength and resources to do that, and dream it onward to healing and resolution. We can do this through the Dream Reentry technique explained in several of my books, including The Three "Only" Things and Active Dreaming.
We can ask a friend to go along with us as family support in conscious shared dreaming. We can write a satisfactory ending for the broken dream, which can be a fabulous exercise in creativity.
We may find we've been running away from an advisory than can help save our job or our relationship, or can enable us to avoid a road accident or an illness. Sometimes we find that what we've been running away from is our own power.
When we manage to brave up and face the beast or the alien, we may discover that what was most alien to us was our own larger Self, or that the wild animal we feared is an invitation to move beyond self-limitation into a life of wild freedom.
Part of text adapted from The Three "Only" Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library.
"Fear Not" Art in RM collection