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Sunday, November 13, 2011

WHAT DO YOUR DREAMS MEAN?

My nights are filled with dreams, at least it seems that way. Almost every morning of my life, I wake up and remember a dream from that night. Vivid dreams, long dreams, complicated dreams.

Some of my friends claim they "never dream." The fact is, everyone does, but not everyone remembers them.

Experts say if you want to remember your dreams, set your alarm clock 15-20 minutes earlier, and you will be more likely to recall the dream. If you awaken in the middle of a dream, you can recall it more often. That seems a little drastic to wake up earlier than you'd like, but be my guest and try it. Let me know the results.

Dream analysts have a list of common dreams:
Falling, Flying, Naked, Chase, Test/Exam, and Teeth.
None of these cover my common dream.

In most of my dreams, I seem to be searching for something. The list includes money, a person, a child, a group of people, a certain bus, a particular house, tiny bits of paper with important notes, my purse, a road, or a pet. I'll bet many people dream "searching" topics, just as I do, but it's not listed as one of the major dreams.
Some experts claim certain objects, animals, or symbols contain a specific message for the dreamer. However, this is disputed by other experts who say dreaming about a snake in your shoe may have a particular meaning for one person, but an entirely different meaning for another.

One explanation that makes sense to me is that our dreams are "messages" or "lessons" for us, and perhaps "our conscience speaking to us," or maybe "prophetic." All through history, the belief that dreams are prophetic is common.
I remember one recurring dream. The same scenario, the same colors, everything. This dream began sometime in my thirties, and it continued maybe two decades. The dream would appear often for a while, then stop. Sometime later, I'd have the same dream.


In this recurring dream, I am in a darkened theater--not a movie theater, but a stage theater. The curtain is a deep red, maybe a velvet because it was heavy and slow to open. It did open, but I couldn't see what or whom was on the stage. I always sat in the balcony, leaning forward, waiting for something to happen. Nothing ever occurred, the dream just ended.

I clearly remember one dream from my childhood. When we visited Granny and Papa in the country, I got to sleep with Granny on her big feather bed. The bed was pushed into a corner, and I slept on the corner side. When I was maybe six, I dreamed a huge ball of mice fell down on me. I don't remember if I woke up or cried, but I do remember rolling toward Granny, staying close to her the remainer of the night.

What is your most common type of dream?
Do you have recurring dreams?
Have you ever had a dream come true--a prophetic dream?
Why DO we dream?
I'll be interested in your replies.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas  
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com
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http://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.com
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35 comments:

Paty Jager said...

This topic interested me because I'm working on a new series where the heroine dreams about people who are murdered.

I'm one of those that rarely remembers my dreams. But back when the kids were all home and I was stressed, I had dreams of demons chasing me. Now that my life isn't so stressed my recurring dream is of a house that has so many rooms I can never find my way out. So kind of like you- searching.

Fun post.

Sharon Donovan said...

Celia dear, you picked a fascinating subject, one that holds much interest to me. I am a very vivid dreamer and my dreams are quite dramatic. I share your dream of looking for a purse, only mine is always stolen. I dream of the dead quite often, never a relative or anyone close to me but a virtual stranger, someone I knew in passing. Some say this means they need prayers, others say you will soon join them, especially if they extend a hand. My most common dream is when I fall asleep during a LIFE TIME movie. WITHOUT FAIL I BECOME THE WOMAN IN CRISIS IN THE MOVIE!

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Celia,
You always have the best blog topics. I don't always comment, but I do read them even if weeks later.
As to dreaming, this is an interesting topic and I have to put in my two cents worth.
I empathize with your dreams of always searching for something. My search dreams usually focus on paperwork (I guess since it seems to rule my life at times and I am terrified of misplacing an important document LOL). I also tend to have very vivid stress dreams -- such as having to fry unknown quantities of chicken on a deadline while sorting and folding piles and piles of laundry by some unreasonable time. The consequences are always dire if I don't complete the tasks, but I always wake up before I find out what it is and I never get done.
I have helpful dreams too -- there are times when I edit a story or book and think it's finished. Then I will dream of an error or a weak spot in the plot. When I look at it the next day, sure enough I will find it just where I dreamed it was. I've also found objects I've misplaced this way.
Our subconscious, or wherever dreams come from is an amazing thing.

Caroline Clemmons said...

I have dreams of searching for places and some parts of it are recurring. My daughter said it's because I have too many tasks for the time alloted and I can't finish them. Well, that part is true. I have had prophetic dreams, and they appear in a different way than ordinary dreams.

Adelle Laudan said...

I'm one of the unlucky who never remembers her dreams. I find it fascinating, dream analysis. My best friend lives with her dream book. She looks up the meaning of her dream every morning pretty much.
Very interesting discussion.

Celia Yeary said...

Paty--Best wishes for you new series. I've never written anything about dreams in a novel, but it is an interesting topid.
I think your dream of demons chasing you would be a good sign of some serious stress. And, don't we know that our children could do that. Thanks for you input.

Celia Yeary said...

Sharon--I think creative people dream more vividly and remember our dreams, too.
I don't remember ever dreaming of the dead..at least not much. After my daddy died in 1985, I do remember dreaming about him getting on a train. I suppose I was enacting his leaving us.

Now, you have me with the Lifetime movie story. No matter what I fall asleep watchiing or reading, I don't think I've even placed myself in that story. You really do have a vivid imagination!
Thanks for taking the time for your comment.

Celia Yeary said...

Rebecca--thank you so much. That's music to my ears.
Your dreams just scream STRESS! You must slow down and take a rest.
But I do understand the fear of losing valuable manuscripts of papers.
The chicken and laundry--I think I understand that, too. Too many tasks and not enough time.
The last part of your comment is interesting--that of dreaming of an error in a ms and the next day you do find the error. That's very intriguing.

Celia Yeary said...

CAROLINE--from everyone's comments, I see that all dream of searching. I wonder why that's not listed as one of the common dreams? I wonder if it's more common to women?

Celia Yeary said...

ADELLE--some people just don't remember. My husband doesn't remember much, but he goes in streaks of telling me every morning what he dreamed.
Yes, I know some people really do see more into dreams than is probably there.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I do have a dream or two that come back every now and then, but my dreams seem to be busy ones and sometimes I wake exhausted. Lately they've included people I know in bizarre situations. Cannot explain why they happen, maybe it has something to do with which story I am writing. Maybe I am just wierd!

Morgan Mandel said...

When I was younger, I had tons of dreams with air raid sirens. That was in the Cold War days!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com
http://www.morganmandel.com

Virginia C said...

All through my childhood, and even up into my twenties, I used to have vivid, full-color dreams. I can still remember quite a few of them--some were good, and some not so good. After some life-changing events that happened close together in my late twenties, I just stopped having dreams. It was really an extreme change. Some type of psychosomatic response--or maybe just plain psycho ; )

Maggie Toussaint said...

Celia,
I have dreams and I remember some of them. when I was a kid, my recurring dream would be that I was flying. I seriously thought I could run so fast I could fly. Sometimes I wake up with a sense that I need to call the person from my dream - so I do. I don't offer a reason for calling, just say I was thinking of them. I don't know why I feel so compelled, but that's the way it is.

Great topic, as usual, Celia. I always enjoy visiting your blog.

Maggie
http://mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com/

Celia Yeary said...

PAISLEY--I do understand, to a small degree, dreams that leave you exhausted. I think sometimes in our lives, all of us have had traumatic or unsettling events we cannot overcome. So...it all comes out in a dream. You know our dreams are theraputic, don't you? We need our dreams.

Celia Yeary said...

MORGAN--Cold War days? I thought you were too young for those. I, too, remember those days, and I begged my daddy to build a bomb shelter in our backyard. Of course, he didn't, and I stayed mad at him a long time. I don'y remember having dreams about the Soviets...but maybe I did. Very frightening, wasn't it?

Celia Yeary said...

VIGINIA--not psycho, my dear. Many things in our live can make us change in some way. I don't know what happened to you, but I'm sure it was just awful if you stopped dreaming. It sounds like you were tto afraid to dream.
I do hope your feelings are on more of an even keel these days. I know...it's so hard to forget horrific things in our life.

Celia Yeary said...

MAGGIE--I never dreamed I was flying. Maybe it was because I did not run. I was not a child who ran...premature, weak heart, blah, blah....still can't run to save my life. Well, maybe to save my life I could...but I doubt it.
To fly, you must run first, I guess. I can imagine you as a child, long-legged, thin, strong, running.
I sometimes dream about a person I know, some insignificant silly thing, and I always feel compelled to tell the person.But I never do. I'm afraid it might scare them.

Linda Swift said...

Celia, what a great topic. I do dream always, rich, complicated dreams, sometimes whole stories about strangers. Many times I dream in color. But for a few years I havd dreamed of going to conventions or group events where I am staying at least overnight and these are filled with many people also involved in whatever I am there for. I never do this any more so it must be a throwback to former RWA and RT conventions or educational conventions earlier than that. I usually can't find my room or I've lost my luggage or I'm not connecting with the people I'm supposed to meet. Okay, dream interpreter, what is the purpose in this? I'm eager to know.

Fiona McGier said...

I've read that our dreams are our brain's way of processing the day's events, which is why when you are deprived of REM sleep, you get so disconnected and unable to accomplish much in the daytime. You need to review and file away the events of each day.

I've always had dreams that contain whole story arcs...some of my novels are based on dreams, and I have some scribblings from waking up excited, thinking what a great book that story-line would make! Now I just need to find the time to write!

I have dreamed about each of my parents who are now gone...separately. There is a website that says that dreams that contain contact with a loved one who is departed, are special and deserve to be dissected. Are they the dearly-departed's way of trying to contact us? Could be...

Mona Risk said...

Unfortunately, I dreamed about relatives who died. I mean I saw them dying in my dreams, or heard that they were dead. Every time, I woke up with a horrible feeling knowing it would happen. It never missed. The members of my family are terrified of my dreams. When I was in high school, and later in college, I would dream of the exam questions, the night before the exam. All my friends used to come and insist I should tell them!

Sandy said...

Interesting topic, Celia. I never remember my dreams. My hubby remembers his though.

Paula Martin said...

My dreams seem to be a complete mish-mash of unrelated events and sometimes people I may not have seen for years. Although I've read that dreams are a way of processing the day's events, I've never been able to find any links between the day and what then happens in my dreams!
My recurring one is having to get somewhere like an airport or train station at a specific time, but either I haven't packed or I'm stuck in traffic so I'm totally panic-stricken. I'm sure an analyst could have a field-day with that dream!

Danielle Thorne said...

I dream nightly and remember them, too. I think it's odd my husband doesn't. Many of my books have been inspired by dreams--and I have many others simmering in my subconscious. I think dreams speak to us in ways some of us need to hear--inspired us, evaluate us, and warn us, and more.

Celia Yeary said...

Dear Linda--oh, you are such a transparent person. Everyone knows how generous and lady-like you are. Your dreams are very simply explained--you like where you are now in your writing life, but you honestly miss the hustle and bustle of the old days, when you were physically in touch to people. This points to your aversion to on-line, cyber-space promotion. It seems too impersonal to you, and so...you long for the days gone by. This is because you are a social creature, even though you say you are a recluse...not so. You love to be around and involved with people.
The searching for something you lost at the convention...just that. You've lost something you're remembering.
Celia, your constant advisor.

Celia Yeary said...

Fiona--my scientific mind understands your explanation that dreams are the mind's way or processing and organizing. Yes, I have heard that, and do believe it. Don't we often awake tired when we've had such vivid busy dreams?
Many people believe in contact with the departed, and while I'll not completely discount that, I don't feel it's quite true. Although, I've heard too many stories about people seeing and talking to their lost spouse or child.
Everything is possible. I loved your comment!

Celia Yeary said...

MONA--I truly believe you. It's not happened to me, but this is another fact of dreams I've heard about too many times. Yes, I'd be afraid of your dreams, too!

Celia Yeary said...

Sandy--I hope you're feeling better.
If you don't remember your dreams, it means you don't wake up in the middle of them. You must be a good sleeper!

Celia Yeary said...

PAULA--that dream happens to my husband--he's always late for class, or a plane, or something, and unprepared. That's odd. I don't recall dreams like that. I think you and he are meticulous persons who like to have everything in order at all times. I'm a little like that, but not as much as he is.

Celia Yeary said...

Danielle--I like to hear how a person dreams a story and writes it. That's not something I have done--so I think it's very interesting.
I, too, believe our dreams speak to us. Often, I feel the need to change something or rethink something after some particular dream.

StephB said...

Celia, forgive me for being late. I generally do not dream. I work very hard and I only get 4-5 hours so if I dream and remember it, it's amazing.

LOL
Steph

Diane Craver said...

Great topic! Sorry I'm late. I wasn't having dreams for some time because I had insomnia and slept little. Now that I take sleep aid and actually go back to sleep when I wake up during the night, I do dream a lot again. I dream in color and dreams vary. Many times my children are in my dreams and other times people I don't recognize are. I have noticed if I eat ice cream before bedtime, I have crazy dreams. LOL I don't eat ice cream often at night.

LK Hunsaker said...

I love dream analysis, also, and Carl Jung would agree that symbols mean different things to different people. I dream vividly. I go through a long period of time when I don't remember one, and then all of a sudden, I remember them every night. The remembered dreams always leave me more tired during the day. And I do have a repetitive dream, but it changes slightly each time.

Your theater dream reminds me of the phrase: All dressed up with nowhere to go. Not sure why, it just came to mind. ;-)

weedbychoice said...

Celia, enjoying your site, very interesting subjects.I am an out of the box thinker/doer,and this might sound weird...BUT..
I believe our dreams are really our alter-ego from two different worlds.We can be or achieve whatever in our dream state,anything is possible, and we almost always have complete control of situations.Perhaps this is what makes good writers..we are not afraid to step outside the box...
Maybe this is why I am so tired upon waking ?Just a thought... weedbychoice..kjforce

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