Using a bad dream to your advantage.

28 Jan

Last night I had a nightmare that was so awful; I woke up whispering, “No! No! No!”  That’s how my day started.  The philosophy I live by affirms my belief that there are no coincidences in life; rather, opportunities coming in unique forms.  Everything I experience is a ‘sign’ or ‘message’ that, if recognized and acted on, will help me understand myself a little better.  By learning who I am, I learn about the world and everything beyond, because if one deeply knows himself, he recognizes and understands he is responsible for creating and coping with his own reality.

 You can’t go through a process like this without noticing you’re not alone.  One thing always leads to another, and before you know it, you’ve identified and developed a reservoir of philosophies on which to anchor your moral compass.  Understanding your dreams is a valuable tool; so I listen to myself, even when I sleep, concluding that when the hustle and bustle of daily life recedes, and sleep finds its way into the unconscious chambers of my brain, any message it’s selling can pretty much be taken to the bank; even bad dreams, perhaps I should have said, especially bad dreams.  Nightmares are very important; they’re messages marked URGENT!  DO NOT IGNORE!

The point of my BLOG is to encourage others to approach life from a philosophical perspective, rather than joining a herd of zombies just going through the motions.  If you’ve ever wondered what the meaning of life is, maybe you should try to find out for yourself.  Dreams help us do exactly that.  I’m not going into details about the circumstances that led me to see life as I do, nor the specifics of dream interpretation; but for the sake of demonstrating how one goes about using a bad dream to his advantage, I will share my dream and the conclusion I drew in response to its frightening contents.

My husband and I were in the front-side yard of neat, beige, brick house.  I was quite unnerved because the only thing I was wearing was one of his over-sized tee shirts.  I could see people coming out of other houses or driving by in cars, so I worried about my scantily clad appearance.  But I was really annoyed by a “wild animal” that kept running past me, biting at my legs as he did.  The animal wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen before; he was all spiky fur and teeth.  My cat, Loki, was also by my side, but didn’t seem annoyed by the animal’s presence.

Suddenly, my husband had had enough, so he wrapped a large folded sheet over the creature the last time it ran past me, still biting as it ran.  About that time, Santa Clause got out of an old car and started walking toward the house.  He was a real mess, tattered, filthy and unkempt.  As he passed me, he said, “We’ve gotten old.”  As he walked away I noticed the seat of his pants was missing; Santa’s butt was in clear view!  Rick, my husband, saw it the same time I did.  We tried very hard not to laugh.

The animal was fighting to get out of the sheet; so Santa walked over carrying a bottle of lighter fluid.  Rick squirted it on the sheet and lit a match.  Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe.  I was in a complete panic, screaming as I beat down the flames with my bare hands.  Rick and Santa walked away.  When the fire was out, I opened the sheet to pick up and comfort the animal, but when I did, I found my precious, dear cat, Kemah, who died 3 years ago, inside instead.  Kemah was nearly dead.  I cried and rocked him in my arms, but within minutes he was gone.

That’s when I woke up.  It took me about 20 minutes to pull myself together enough to decipher the message.  Everyone in the dream was an extension of me, Rick, Santa, the wild animal, Kemah and Loki.  Each represents an energy I’ve experienced.  Everything we’ve ever done or survived is still inside us, building characteristics of our personalities.  There were two masculine energies represented in this dream, Rick and Santa. Then there is me, nearly naked, afraid of what people are going to think.  Knowing, most likely, I will be judged harshly.  The clothes, or lack of them, represent the roles I play; in this case I’m pretty much down to basic levels of myself.  The presence of a tee shirt represents my modesty and unpretentious desire to protect my body.  The shirt is white because while protecting myself, I want to be honest.

I’m writing a book of poems that is taking me back to the past that formed me into the woman I am today.  Santa was part of that.  He was the innocence that was stolen from me by molestation.  That energy-experience is still inside me, although, as Santa reminded me, it was a long time ago: “We’ve gotten old.”

Philosophically, this dream is about fear and vulnerability.  It is telling me my heart wants to gloss over the ugly parts of the past as I write.  I know the tendency might be to burn them up, make them go away, but if I do, I lose the most cherished part of myself.  That was represented by my cat, Kemah.  In the dream I am outside of the house in which I live, inching further into a world shared with countless others who will judge me according to their own rules.  The dream tells me I cannot let their beliefs alter my own.

It was a very bad dream, but if I chose to ignore it, I would be a fool.  Because, after all, why would I choose not to believe what I deeply know?

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11 Responses to “Using a bad dream to your advantage.”

  1. Gypsy January 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Hello. I agree with your assessment. I don’t know that much about your life, so you are the best judge and interpreter of your won dreams. I do have a slight gift in this area. I am assuming that the molestation happened when you were young, by a person you trusted-Santa Claus with his pants down. “We (the memory) are getting old,” he said. This wild crazy animal running around, your past trauma, has been snuffed out and ignored, sheet thrown over, in an attempt to protect you, and in this area you are vulnerable-near naked. But your higher self-knows that the yo that was harmed must be loved and cared for, until it is ready to die on its own, like a beloved pet. All of our involvements and memories must be embraced and loved like achild, comforted, and the way that you are showing yorself how to do this, is comparing that love to a sad but treasured memory, of a pet loved and lost, like an innocence loved and lost. That’s my first take. Hello friend. I also have come through rough undeserved times. I think those with the light inside them attract the creatures full of darkness, in an effort to heal themselves, while only being able at the time to cause harm. Through our suffering, we heal them. Perhaps that is our purpose.

    • ittymac January 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

      Yes, you do have a good insight. In my dream the wild animal isn’t trauma though, it is fear. If I ignore it, I lose a beautiful part of myself because I am inspired to use what frightens me or intrigues me to write creatively. I have endured bad things, like everyone else, faced them, and defeated them by doing so. Thanks, Gypsy; you know I appreciate your insight.

  2. Gypsy January 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    I have twice had this dream, and although I laugh, I think it is meaningful. I come from a Celtic background, so I relate to those images. The white cat, the white wolf. On two separate occasion I have awoken to hear the singing of the song, “Danny Boy,” with an emphasis on the words “The pipes are calling.” I don’t know if I fear that the US will go to war, and that it should not, or that someone is going to die, or that I will have to perform some important, trying service in the future. “But come ye back!” is also in my ears.. as well as “It’s I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow.” I expect that I will have the dream one more time before I am introduced to it’s meaning.

  3. Gypsy January 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    And I saw a large white dog on the way home last night…

    • ittymac January 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Does that hold significance to you. If not, I believe it should.

  4. Gypsy January 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    The last time I saw the white wolf it was a mysterious stray dog on my porch. The next day I found that a friend and ex-lover had committed suicide. This time the white german shepherd white dog was at the bus stop on Skillman St on my way home. I tried to see who was petting/it or feeding it/ holding its attention, but my view was blocked by the glass cover, which should be transparent, and of course, I was driving so I had to watch where I was going. As for white cats, I have always had one , but my last one died while I was dating my husband, and I haven’t had one since. I still have 4 cats, 2 mine, 2 my husbands, but I feel lost without a white cat, as I have always had one. In Celtic folklore the kind I had, strays that just came to me, white with odd-eyes, one blue, one green, are considered good fortune, and also the cat of a white witch. But I have my sweet toritoise beside me now, and she is getting quite old. I was with her when she was born, and I expect to be with her when she passes!

    • Gypsy January 31, 2013 at 10:23 am #

      I also have had a recurring dream since College, and it is about buying an old house, many tories high, and fixing it up. Sometimes I put a gymnastics gym on one floor, etc. Often can’t find the bathroom dream interupts, but sometimes it’s scary, ie ghosts in the basement, suicide girl hanging from noose of the 1st floor balcony. I finally realized that the house is my life, and the floors are different stages of my life, and it reminds me that my life is a work in progress. The upper floor is always the best, and the one I am working on at the time, as it is the present. Nice how my dream life likes to give me occasional check-ups.

  5. marie February 11, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    all experiences including fear, teaches and guides us though our journey. all of the things we get through, ultimately are helpful to us.

    • ittymac February 11, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      I agree 100%; it’s really not the destination, it is the journey.

  6. theempathyqueen June 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I wish I could see, and recall, the signs as clearly as you have. I keep looking, but maybe that is the problem, I am trying too hard. Impressively eloquent as always.

    • ittymac June 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

      It’s a habit we form. Like connecting dots. I watch nature the way I used to watch the clock on Fridays… Very, very closely.

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