Dream Interpretation: A Window into our Minds

man and woman sleeping in a white bed

Dream interpretation always fascinated me. Historically speaking, it’s fascinated a lot of other people, too. Dreams were long thought to tell the future or at least give a glimpse into it. Good and bad omens appeared in many prestigious sleeping minds down through the years, and these figures often wanted help interpreting their dream’s meaning. The Bible is famously filled with many examples of messages and prophecies being seen in dreams. It’s clear these fantastical nighttime dramas have always been important to us, confusing though they may be.

Dream Interpretation: Prophecies or Nonsense?

While I do not personally believe that my dreams foretell the future, I do think they can indicate issues I need to deal with. Luckily, I am a very vivid dreamer, and I recall my dreams with great clarity most of the time. As such, I am usually able to piece together a particularly powerful dream with what is going on in my life.
For instance, I used to have a recurring dream in which I was trying to get to school but couldn’t actually get there for some bizarre reason. I got lost or forgot about the time; once I dreamed that I got into my car to go but suddenly it had no tires! This dream plagued me for years.

As a bit of background, I had originally attended college right after high school, but I quit after one semester. Quitting was a huge regret of mine for the next decade, and I feared I would never be able to go back to college. Finally, exactly ten years later, I did go back, and ended up getting a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology and a master’s degree in sociology. More to the point, after I re-enrolled in school, I never had that dream again.

So. That taught me dreams really can have a deeper meaning, and are often indicators of a real-life issue we ought to pay attention to. And as I learned while getting that aforementioned psychology degree, there are some themes so common in dreams that almost all people have them. These common themes get a lot of attention in the dream interpretation world, so I thought it would be fun to list a few, with their supposed possible meanings. See if you can remember having any of these common dreams:

Falling

Almost everyone reports having this dream at one time or another. Of course, the dream myth goes that once the dreamer hits the ground in the dream, they wake up. Usually this dream is interpreted as a loss of control in your real life and a fear of what will happen next. However, if you dream you are falling in a floating, gentle type of way, this could indicate peace and serenity in your real life.

Being Chased

This is probably the most commonly reported dream. It is rather obvious that this dream indicates a fear of someone or something harming us. The most important thing here is who is doing the chasing? This varies from person to person, but provides the insight we need to interpret the source of the fear. If it is your boss, for example, you may be feeling overburdened at work, or even that they ‘are out to get’ you. If it is a scary monster, this may make interpretation more difficult, but try to look for other clues in your dream as to what is making you afraid.

Teeth Falling Out

This dream can be particularly unsettling. I have this dream fairly often, myself, and it always sticks with me the next morning. This one can be interpreted in a few different ways. It can indicate a loss of control over your life, much like the falling dream. It can also indicate a feeling that you haven’t taken care of your responsibilities the way you should have. However, some people say it can mean a feeling of rebirth or growing up (like when we lose our baby teeth). Again, try to figure out the overall tone of your dream to see which one may be true in your case.

Flying

This dream is usually interpreted as a positive one. Finally! Flying high in your dream usually indicates a feeling of success and triumph in your personal life. It can be interpreted as feeling free, also. So, if you have recently quit a stressful job or left an unhealthy relationship, you may dream you are soaring across the sky like an eagle. Most people enjoy this dream, and lucid dreamers reportedly try to conjure up this dream quite often.

Death

This one is popular with dream urban legends, as it is said that one cannot dream their own death. I’m not sure how that got started, but I can assure you, it isn’t true. I have personally dreamed my own death many times. Again, the tone of your dream is important for this. If you dream you are killed in a scary or violent way, this would indicate strong fear in your real life. Not necessarily fear of actual death, but it could be. It could also just be a fear of the future. But if you die peacefully in your dream, it could indicate some chapter of your life ending. A new chapter is on the horizon. In that case the dream would likely feel calm and peaceful rather than scary.

Dream Interpretation is Not Always Straightforward

There are many more common themes, including being naked in public, being underwater, and being trapped in a house. If you do any further research into dream interpretation, you will see that fear is a very common theme. Often, we don’t focus on our fears in real life because they are hard to face. So we will dream about them instead. Our mind is occupied with our fear even if we aren’t actively thinking about it.

Dream interpretation can help us see what issues we need to seriously deal with in real life, so try to pay attention to your dreams if you can remember them. Look for all the clues you can! Think about how you felt during the dream and after you woke. This can help you figure out how you feel about the underlying issue. And if all you can remember is nonsense and a jumble of images, that’s okay! A lot of dreams are just nonsense thoughts. The ones that are really important will probably stick with you. Pay attention to those and just enjoy the others.

Sweet dreams!

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