Soul Crying: Dreams have your six*

One can hardly miss the craziness of our “leaders” and the number of deaths and shootings, police beatings and shootings, extreme weather damage, and unprovoked wars inundating us from the media. I’ve tried to moderate the amount of craziness by what I read or watch on TV but it’s all so pervasive that it’s almost impossible to screen out.

The craziness, mayhem, and fear also show up in my dreams or when I’m just watching a show.

Sometimes it just gets to be too much, and I find myself having a grieving response, a shoulder shaking response with no tears and no sound coming forth through my wide-open mouth, but real grief, nonetheless. Sometimes I’m bent over in grief unable to stand upright before it. Sometimes it all feels so helpless and hopeless.

But sometimes a witnessed act of love and kindness will trigger the grief response and I’m made to realize how much I long for kindness and love in a world that seems to have so little of it to go around.

However, when any of these grief responses want release from what I normally try to control, my dreams often suggest that I just let go and let the grief flow. I know that my dreams always have my back, my six as they say, my well-being. My dreams often recommend that I let my grief just fall out of me back into the ocean of tears that can be the world sometimes. For some it’s letting those cries for help fall into the open arms of God.

When awake I know that when this soul urging comes that it’s not what I’m reading or watching that is causing the need but that psychically I’m being touched by the event and that this moves me strongly. By letting go of the control and letting the feelings flow and knowing that it’s safe to do so, and that I’ll come back when it’s done, I find it releasing and cathartic, sort of like the old “primal therapy” technique of screaming and punching the pillow type of coping and healing. For some, doing this with a trusted friend or therapist can be very useful.

And that is what happens when I let go, when I let my soul speak for me, it heals or begins the healing of the psychic damage that life through ego-self humanity is causing. It loosens all that scar tissue that has built up over the years.

I’ve always known it; dreams can be about healing and well-being but listening to them now is even more important in order to deal more effectively with the self-serving human chaos spreading across the world.

Opening up to a good cry if that is what the soul is urging and then do your part to heal others through your enhanced listening and help to make room for love to come through is often the meta message of my dreams and perhaps to the dreams of millions more if they were to look more closely.

_______

*This post can also be seen on https://thebookofdreamsblog.wordpress.com

Injury in a dream: A self-talk nightmare that needs healing

The dream:

The dreamer is talking to a woman who is hiding her left foot under a blanket. The dreamer asks to see her foot and she shows it briefly. Her foot is infected, with open bleeding wounds of red and purple with the skin sluffing off. It looks gross and sore and as though it’s disintegrating. It sickens a little to look at it and she covers it back up. She doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it. There’s a thought that her foot needs to be cleansed or disinfected.

An Interpretation:

Though this dream could represent the soreness the dreamer had been feeling lately in both feet It’s more likely that it has deeper meaning. In general, feet in dreams have something to do with one’s stability, one’s foundation, the feeling of groundedness and practicality. The injury may be related to a feeling of a loss of groundedness or stability emotionally or with sense of self.

Perhaps the dreamer needs to heal old emotional wounds or traumas or at least look at them again i.e., to look at them no matter how gross in order to move on. The scarring on the foot could be symbolic of having been scarred. The need to disinfect may reflect the need to rid oneself of the judgments and negative self-talk that is affecting their self-image.

The image of something disintegrating seems to reinforce the idea that some thoughts are destroying the dreamer’s sense of well-being, sense of belonging, and/or sense of emotional balance. The foot being in ruins might be speaking to the need to end something, e.g., some way of being or to regain balance.

There’s also the fact that the person in the dream is female which might suggest that some feminine aspect has been injured, e.g., compassion for self?

The “left” foot in this dream may be referring what is not normal or usual in that something unusual needs to be tried to regain one’s balance.

Bleeding in dreams often refers to a loss of vitality and energy for life or for some task or for one’s self-image.

The sluffing skin may be suggesting the loss of cover that reveals the damage inside.

I read somewhere that in the monastic tradition people are encouraged to look deeper into themselves to see what it is that is getting in there way but that they are also trained to look for and empower the good. Accepting the good in all the morass of what one may have judged as no good may seem fake or disingenuous. Plus, if they start giving themself atta boys that leaves them open to critiques about the foundations of those atta boys which could leave them vulnerable and only prove that the negatives are right (oh what a tangled web our egos weave).

Could the dreamer’s negative self-talk have escalated to the point where they haven’t been able to modify let alone stop it? This dream seems to be an artifact of this. But it may have an answer in that it encourages them to confront the ugliness and to get help to heal instead of just covering it up and keeping it to themself.

A drowning dream brings relief

“By virtue of our ancient roots, we are all instinctively disposed to respond immediately to threatening and fearful stimuli. We do this in both our waking lives and in our dreams, often through the intervention of nightmares. In a very real way, nightmares tell us that all is not well in our outer or inner worlds.” (Cole, RJ, Pg. 543) *

Along with recurring dreams that seem to show up when there is something going on that may be critical to our well-being, nightmares seem to be an evolutionary and instinctive adaptation to peripheral threats and should not be ignored.

Lately, I’ve been experiencing a dream that incorporates both recurrency and nightmarish qualities.

In this dream which showed up across three nights I puncture a large cube-like container that starts gushing water.  I try to stop it and get sucked in feet first but get stuck moving forward as I try to pull myself out. I struggle mightily but eventually give up and let it suck me into the cube in hopes of overcoming it and then swim my way out. As I find myself underwater with little chance of escape, I begin to panic and frantically thrash toward the entry hole letting the water that’s escaping through the hole suck me back out into the air.

Whew!

Water overwhelming and threatening to drown. As a metaphor for strong or overwhelming emotions that were threatening my well-being this cry for help dream definitely caught my attention. So, the question is, what’s going on right now that is overwhelming me emotionally? What I noticed upon reflection and not going into details was that I had for several days been experiencing a general background malaise, anxiety, and despondency that had been spoiling my ability to enjoy the good things that had been going on and making me feel ill and listless, sort of ‘Bah, humbug’ if you will. I had also fallen into the cynical “everything is meaningless” trap that was making every color turn gray. Given the current circumstances in the world and in the country where I live this attitude had become my defense against the fear, violence, and hate i.e., it can’t hurt me if I render everything as meaningless. 

But it robs me of the joy in life, the love, and compassion because if I render it all meaningless then they too are taken away. As in the dream I’ve let the malaise take me over in hopes that by stopping my resistance to it that it will let me go. Dealing with it is not, however a passive act, it requires an active participation.

This post as well as a number of other activities (such as watching corny Hallmark and Netflix movies) is my way of swimming up toward the hole and escaping the overwhelm.

*Morpheus Speaks: The Encyclopedia of Dream Interpreting

Loss of independence and personal power

The Dream: A disturbing nightmare where broken teeth and a crowned molar are falling from their place in the upper jaw. I’m trying to put them back where they belong, but without much success. People are killing other people, stabbing and mayhem. 

Interpretation:*

Clearly, I’m experiencing conflict and violence in the waking dream and it’s registering in the dreams of my sleep.

Teeth in dreams often refer to power and independence with the loss of same suggesting equivalent losses in one’s waking life. Broken teeth can reveal problems with self-image or lack of self-confidence. Trying to put the fallen teeth back can be about the need or the attempt to regain power or independence. As one ages these dreams can occur more often reflecting the weakening and losses of power and independence one experiences as they get older.

The killing in this dream could symbolize the feeling of being undermined in status, self-esteem, or self-confidence. Killing can also reflect restriction of independence or of some aspect of the self. Death can be a metaphor for the need to kill off something such as a way of being or negative aspect or trait that may be affecting self-worth.

*Some of the interpretive elements (incl. picture) came from the book Morpheus Speaks: The Encyclopedia of Dream Interpreting

A Dream Metaphor for Death

The Dream: I’m in a room crushed against many people waiting for my number to be called. Some people with numbers behind me are being called. “That’s not fair!” I complain in my mind.

The Interpretation: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all those family and friends who have died, some were younger than me.

I really hate this whole death thing and usually avoid thinking about it but once in a while a dream will come along and insist that I pay it some attention. It’s as though my soul wants to say something and uses the medium of the dream to express itself. It’s funny what happens when I let go of my resistance to the awful thought of personal death and allow myself to sink down into it and to feel its pull.

the fear,

the grief,

the anger,

the loss,

the sadness,

the unknown,

the not knowing,

the mystery,

the wonder,

the curiosity,

the what’s next?

And down here it doesn’t seem so awful.

Psyche’s Dream: A Dragon’s Tale

  • Psyche’s Dream: A dragon’s Tale (ISBN-10: ‎1663227276; ISBN-13: ‎978-1663227270)

As a Jungian trained psychologist and after working with children in a variety of mental health programs and venues e.g., in schools and day treatment programs I learned a great deal working with their dreams. It was through these dreams that the staff and I often had great insights into their inner life and how that played out in their social environments and families.

The story is of a young man who meets an ancient wizard who teaches him the mysteries of real magic, not the magic of wands, spells, and mystical creatures but the mysteries of the inner self and the great power it can wield when one learns to harness it.

The story tells of the great magic that lies all about and within each of us. Young Adam the protagonist undergoes a number of alchemical transmutations and witnesses a number of strange and frightening visions as he undergoes his own process of transformation. Along the way the young man confronts his own inner demons, heals those places within him where life has injured him, and learns to open himself to the magical alchemical powers of the psyche that for most are beyond our imagining. 

This is my fourth book on the mysteries of dreams.

In the brightest dark of this deepest wood.

“Go to the forest,” said the voice in the dream.

Cross the valley, ford the river, climb the mountain

walk the meadow to the far side

and enter the dark wood.

_

“Go to the forest,” said the voice yet again. 

Standing at the edge of the meadow Layers of forest lie before me. 

One step and each course pulls me deeper and deeper 

Into the darkness of myself.

_

Magical forces hidden amongst the branches,

Otherworldly forces filling the air, thick, and heavy with the smell of decay,

Mystical forces coming up from the earth,

giving way to the darkness that is the only light in this deep, deep place.

_

Enchanted, strange, sorcerous, irrational

Layer upon layer passed as deeper trespasses.

The I Am breaks free the further I push through the copse of my hidden self

yet nothing seems the same in this oddly familiar place. 

_

A crack of twig under foot. Someone waits ahead. Who is this I wonder?

The farther I travel the more I become what I am traveling into. What seemed so scary

before I started feels so much more like me than the person who first entered. 

Who is it who waits ahead?

_

I am more myself than I was before this journey

but have gained nothing more than I’ve been already.

The forest is dark, but here my eyes shine brighter the darker I tread.

Soon, I meet myself in a small clearing, we hug in the brightest dark of this deepest wood.

Death in dreams: not so ominous as you might think

Philosophy and religion on the surface look like opposites where on one side one operates on faith and belief while the other critiques and challenges belief. One espouses the rational while the other embraces the irrational.

However, both are of one mind regarding death in that both welcome the mysteries of death because it speaks to the mysteries of life.

When life and death are seen as opposites separated at birth death becomes real. But when death is seen as the continued transition of the soul’s migration through reality the separation and opposition disappear into a mystical unity.

In Jungian philosophy a goal of life is the reunion of opposites called the coniunctio.

In this vision of life’s purpose death takes on a new meaning shifting from an ending to an element in the soul’s journey toward unity and becomes about change and transition from one way of being to another. This point of view is also reflected in one’s dreams where death can be a symbol for change, an end from one way of being to another. Thus, the image of death becomes an archetype for transition. To embrace it is to partially fulfill the purpose of life i.e., to bring all of life’s opposites (life/death, male/female, the conscious/unconscious) into unity.

After doing a little research on the meaning of death psychologically I put down my laptop and ambled down the hall to bed. During the night I had a dream where I sat before a desk with others standing around me and I placed a small beaker upon the desk and concentrated my focus upon it. When I did it correctly a transition from one place of being would become a new one i.e., we would all sort of “portal jump” from one place to another. I was elated with each successful transition.

Upon awakening the dream seemed significant though a mystery as to how. As I continued my research later that morning the dream’s meaning began to clear. The portal jump from one reality to another was an archetype of death. It’s a focus that I find I often think about these days as life gets closer and closer to this transition period. A shift in focus from an ‘ending’ of life, or place of being, to one of a ‘change’ of place of being seems important to me and gives me a new sense of purpose. As with my earlier life my purpose was to prepare myself through all of life’s transitions to live my life as fully as possible, I now can create another purpose that of preparing myself for this next transition. As a soul it’s all my life.

Self-awareness poem from an upsetting dream

Part of last night’s dream had me talking with a bedridden old woman who had an upright bicycle parked at the foot of her bed. Suddenly she rolled toward me, forcefully trying to fall out of bed but I resisted.

This may have been a dream where my soul (the anima or female in a man’s dream) was declaring the need to get up and out of her psychic slumber and walk forward. The bike was both a symbol of a motivating force, an image of going forward, and a mandala for finding your bigger self-i.e., the wheels.

The following poem came to me as I reflected on the meanings of this dream.

Stuck in victim mode

I see only my lowest self

A loathsome self

Paralyzed and blame ridden

Lashing outside myself

Not knowing who to blame

Who to call for help

Putting others or the gods down for my 

Pain my loss my failure

Stuck as victim to myself

Where is it that I say enough

And roll out of my lethargic self-loathing slumber

And declare that I am ready to ride forward?

Emotional Vampires and Cannibals

We find the fact that there is cannibalism in the world ugly even though rare and recoil when ever it raises its ugly head. Cannibalism is the same species eating of the body for its own sustenance but what about the eating of the soul when we beat someone down, kick the dog, torture an animal, oppress a people, commit war upon them, or suck the energy from a room or a relationship is that not a form of cannibalism?

Some people thrive on the eating of another’s energy for they have little to none of their own having had it eaten earlier in life or the continuous presence of the loss of energy due to how they are treating themselves or are being treated by others.

Some people eat another’s energy such as what many politicians and their followers are currently doing to others. That same energy is also consumed through psychological or physical means and then this type of metaphorical vampire uses it to further its own goals.

How does one spot an energy vampire or cannibal? One way is to note who has just walked into the room when the energy level changes or decreases. In a discussion with someone do you feel lifted or deflated, valued, or devalued. Another way is to notice after someone has talked or made a speech how you are feeling e.g., inflated, empowered, encouraged, or deflated, disempowered, and discouraged. Energy cannibals bring hate, anger, and fear into a room. They thrive on the negativity because they’re trying to shed it from themselves by placing it on or sucking it from others. They are destroyers of cooperation and unity. They also will never take accountability for their actions either by placing it on others or by just lying about it, and will always one-up others who challenge or disagree with them. You can always tell what an emotional vampire is up to by what he or she accuses others of. They will also use your good nature against you and create all kinds of drama around themselves.

Some politicians thrive on sucking
on the energy of their challengers and creating havoc for their own aggrandizement.

Energy vampires/cannibals will always seek to place blame for their failures on something or someone else. After being around them do you feel better or worse about yourself, better or worse about life?

Watch your dreams are they depicting bleeding or vampires or dark figures menacing? If so, perhaps you are experiencing an emotional energy drainer in your life. But remember the quote from the comic character Pogo, “we have met the enemy and he is us” for we may be playing the role of our own vampire/cannibal by how we judge and treat ourselves or in how we are judging and treating others. Dreams of shooting or being shot, threatened, and chased might also be indicators of some kind of conflict both inner and outer in your life. Feelings of being trapped, restrained, or trying to escape in your dreams might also be indicators of a vampire/cannibal in your life.