I was chatting recently to a couple of kids about their dreams, and more specifically about their dream feelings. They were quite fascinated when I told them I help people work with and understand their dreams for a living, and the 11 year old boy couldn’t wait to tell me about several of his dreams.
His younger sister was somewhat more reserved, but after listening to us work through a couple of his dreams, she shyly offered up a recent dream about the circumstances and adventures of a puppy that she remembered in wonderfully clear detail.
After she had finished retelling her dream story, she sort of giggled in an embarrassed way, as if I would think she was crazy (which, by the way, is sadly a quite common occurrence, proving in itself just how little value people in our society place on their dream life).
I asked her how she felt when she awoke. Without hesitation she answered, “like I wasn’t being looked after”.
(image taken from All Pet News website)
We as adults have great difficulty in answering the question “how did you feel?” with actual FEELINGS. More often than not our default answer is what we thought, not how we felt.
Our FEELINGS are of vital importance, because our feelings are our barometer of whether something is right or wrong in our world. However our feelings are often dismissed or discounted by others, many times because our feelings trigger something in them that they don’t want to look at, or shine a spotlight on some idea that threatens their own self or world in some way.
As soon as my young friend expressed her feelings upon waking from the dream, her older brother leapt in over the top of her and quite aggressively asserted how ridiculous her feelings were, saying “mum looks after you!”, at which she clammed up.
Of course she clammed up. Her brother was implying she was criticising her mum (she wasn’t at all) and the poor kid didn’t want to hurt her mother’s feelings or be seen to be ungrateful.
I gently pulled him back into line and reminded him of the importance of listening without judgement, but for her the moment was lost. This is important stuff though, and I know from experience that leaving something half done or unresolved can be quite detrimental to the dreamer’s state of being, so I bided my time and a while later when she and I had a few minutes to ourselves, I brought up her dream again and affirmed to her that her feelings were, are and always will be completely valid, and that her feeling of not being looked after was in no way criticising or insulting anyone, but it was important to honour herself by working out what that might mean and resolve it.
Now I know this family very well. A year ago they packed up and moved to the other side of the world from all of their friends, family and support systems. This dream came shortly before they were due to return to Australia for the first time since leaving, for a month’s holiday, and this young girl was understandably nervous, as well as being extremely excited.
Based on what emerged from working with her dream feelings and reality check, we talked about what she thought she could do towards resolving and balancing these feelings and their message for her.
She came up with the action plan of spending more time with her mum and dad, and we added in that perhaps she could tell them she was feeling a bit vulnerable and that she needed extra hugs from them. She liked that plan. It gave her something solid she could do and thus helped her to feel empowered and more in control of her situation and her feelings at a time when she did need extra nurturing.
As a lifelong avid dreamer and avid dream sharer, I’ve experienced years of having my dreams dismissed, being told “oh, you and your dreams!” or “oh you’re so weird!” plus insert any other kind of polite or not so polite comments from all and sundry. I can’t begin to tell you how relieved and delighted I was when I discovered my community of dreamers (which it’s my mission to grow and expand!)
We live in a society where dreams are generally not given the time of day, but the truth is, our dreams are precious gifts that are given to us to help us make better choices, re-calibrate or align ourselves if we are out of whack, help us get back into balance, and stay in tune with our inner compass to show us where we need to be (or not be) for our health, our relationships, our wellbeing and often our very survival.
So the first thing you can do if someone trusts you enough to share a dream with you, is to ask them how it made them feel, and honour and respect their answer, no matter how it may trigger your own stuff.
In my experience, one person’s dream often holds a gift for other people as well, so when someone shares a dream with you, stay open to receiving the gift if may have for you, as well as the gift it has for them.
To explore your dreams and learn how to tap into their treasures, click here for more info.