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Thursday, May 2, 2013

By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher
Professional Writer, a nature and wildlife enthusiast who has written for many magazines.

The Nature Of Nightmares
The Truth Behind Our Bad Dreams
By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher
Dreams are curious things. And they always seem to be more prominent when we have things going
 on in our lives. Triumphs, tragedies, death, disaster, joy, fear, and pain seem to bring the old
 unconscious mind into the active phase.  And that’s when our dreams come to the forefront.
            We all have a sense of inner knowing. Deep inside we know everything about ourselves, but we don’t always acknowledge it all.  In dealing with events of our everyday lives, the seemingly less important things are ignored...until they become a problem. This is when nightmares can occur. 
            Our unconscious mind is where we store all the stuff we don’t want to deal with or aren’t quite ready to deal with. And all those unconscious thoughts can pile up and overload.  And when that happens, they start pushing their way out into the conscious mind. And, without knowing why, we may be faced with emotional problems that have already become too overwhelming to address. That’s what makes us think we’re going crazy sometimes when we don’t quite understand the reason. But our dreams are trying to tell us the story. They can often seem mundane or even just plain silly, so we often ignore them. But we shouldn’t, because there’s always an important message in them. They happen for a reason, and they’re trying to save us the hassle...if we pay attention. 
                        Nightmares are the dreams that stick in our minds the most because they can sometimes scare the living daylight out of us.  But they’re often not as horrific as they seem.  They’re not usually clear prophecies of something bad that’s going to happen. They don’t usually predict death or tragedy. They usually are only trying to tell us something about our state of mind. Dreams predict and show us our mental disturbances. They can help us deal with our problems before they escalate.
            Nightmares are the nighttime manifestation of our worst daytime fears. But they indicate that we’re ready to address those fears. Often we think we’re feeling fine during the daylight hours. But nightmares indicate that something is going on under the surface that we’re not acknowledging. The symbolism in nightmares offer clues to what’s bothering us the most and needs to be dealt with. So it’s helpful to learn a little bit about those symbols.
            Funerals are a common scene in nightmares. And the association with death can be disturbing to the dreamer. But these death symbols are more likely a symbol of rebirth or great change. You may be making a transition of some kind in your life, and the funeral symbolizes the death of the old you in order to make room for the new. The dream is simply telling you that you’re ready to make the change. The only time you should really be worried about a prophecy of death is if the dream contains very specific details, like names on the headstone, specific dates, numbers, obituaries, funeral details, etc., and this is an extremely rare occurrence.
            Dreams of attacks by wild animals are also common nightmare scenes. But animals in dreams represent different emotional states. And the emotional state takes on the personality of the animal in the dream.  For instance, an attack by a bear in a dream may symbolize an “attack” in your waking life by a situation that’s “overbearing” or “unbearable.” Or being attacked by rats may signify that you’re being “plagued” by a diseased element in your life, or that something is very disturbing or fundamentally wrong inside you.
            Nightmares of violent disturbances like fighting, explosions, vehicle crashes, etc. are all indications of emotional turmoil you’re experiencing that is about to boil over.  Fighting in dreams is about conflict inside your mind. Perhaps two sides of your personality are battling for control of you. Explosions indicate something you’re dealing with in your waking life that’s literally about to “blow up.”  Car crashes mean you feel you’ve lost control of a situation in your daytime life and are about to literally “crash.”
            Falling in nightmares, accompanied by anxious feelings in the dream, indicates an intense fear of failure. While falling in a dream, and feeling good about it, indicates surrender or letting go of something you’ve been holding on to that may have been harmful to you.
            Dreams about monsters are about problems in your life that seem to have “monstrous” proportions. They indicate frightening problems you may have that seem out of your control, like problems in the workplace or family dynamics you can’t change. 
            And nightmares about wounds and excessive bleeding are some of the most disturbing of all. Wounds in dreams indicate that you’re feeling emotionally wounded. The location of the wound can give clues to the nature of the emotional disturbance. If your hand is wounded in the dream, it may mean you feel your ability to accomplish things in your life is being damaged. If your head is wounded, it may mean your ability to think clearly in your waking life has been affected.
            Bleeding profusely in a dream is about emotional exhaustion. Since blood is life, if you’re bleeding excessively in your nightmare, it may mean you feel the life is literally being “drained” out of you in your waking life.
            Nightmares can be very scary, and seem very real. But they are rarely prophecies of terrible disasters in your daylight hours. More often than not they’re just trying to warn you of emotional turmoil to come. But the good news is there is a kind of psychic element to them. They’re trying to warn you BEFORE disaster strikes. They’re actually trying to give you a head’s up to the problems developing inside you. They’re trying to tell you what’s going on in your unconscious mind that you don’t yet consciously know about. So by learning to pay attention to them and interpret them you can learn to manage your emotions.
            They’ll tell you you’re tired before you consciously know it, so you can rest. They’ll tell you a situation in your life is out of control so you can stop and find a way to get control.  They have the answers before you’re fully aware of the question. They’re trying to give you the head’s up and give you more control of your life. And when you understand them better, they’re interesting to think about too.  ******DF

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