In Dreams We Can Fly

In Dreams We Can Fly

An interesting thought occurred to me this morning as I awoke from a really crazy dream. Apparently as we grow older the only thing about us that doesn’t change is the ability to dream.

People interpret dreams in hopes of understanding their meaning. But does knowing what they mean change our lives, influence our choices or improve our ability to achieve our goals? Some believe it might. As far as I’m concerned the jury’s still out.

Of course there are the usuals and recurring episodes I and many others view nightly.

Ones like I’m late for my finals and can’t find the classroom. Or I haven’t read any of the assignments all year. These stress dreams as they’re called still awaken me in a state of “wow, that was scary” even after all these years.

Then of course we all have the powerful dreams where we are with those who’ve left us and awaken with a certain sadness at facing reality once more.

One of the things I find most puzzling about dreams is ones when I find myself in a place I’ve never been in my waking life. The setting is familiar, and I return to that place on a consistent basis. These are very inviting places I remember when I dream of being there again. These are dissimilar to other dreams I soon forget, but these places remain in my memories always.

For me it is a department in a store I’ve never seen. It recurs occasionally as though I’ve just been shopping there. But I haven’t because it only exists in my dreams.

A lake house where I enjoy spending time appears as well.  I also see a modern cityscape where the view is futuristic like a movie about life on planet earth fifty years from now.

The only similarity about these locations is they all sport beautiful views to which I am partial. But the familiarity I feel when they appear in my dreams is palpable.

It’s almost as if these locations are movie sets I choose to use as a backdrop to whatever script I’ve written for that night’s episode.

Of course it begs the question…are they? Movie sets I mean. Are our dreams merely the motion pictures we write and produce each night based on real life stories we live each day. Are they the nightly wrap up our conscious mind memorializes in our subconscious to use at a later time?

It’s rather surprising how dreams can elicit so much emotion. We can awake sad, frightened, puzzled and any number of emotions from a night’s sleep. We even awaken from the creepy ones with hearts pounding. So it’s obvious dreams have a physical effect.

Many of our dreams we forget, but the ones that seem to stick in our minds bring a need to analyze them and determine what they were trying to tell us. Like a secret message from our subconscious we are compelled to decipher. If we fail to decrypt the secret could it have implications in our waking lives?

Is someone or our own mind trying to help us in some way to avoid a mistake we are about to make?

I think that’s a possibility. In my own life I have been faced with choices and dreamed about the decisions. Failing to understand who or what was warning me, they’ve turned out badly.

So how do we learn the language of our dreams? Shouldn’t we be able to understand our own minds?

Can they warn us if we don’t dismiss them so quickly?

Experts spend their lives studying the human brain. It’s truly a remarkable computer that stores, creates and functions as the clearing house and control center for our entire body.

Quite a little workhorse taking on so many tasks.

Yet I find myself feeling that dreams may be something very different. Are they merely movies we create each night out of the multiple choices in our catalog combined with experiences from our day?

Or are they a vehicle to allow messages inside our brain from parts unknown? Is our imagination busily at work each night writing and editing what we see?

Or is there something much more?

Because most people share the types of dreams they have, like the stress dreams they select when they are under duress, does our brain provide the elements from which to choose?

Why do so many people have the school dream, the falling dream and of course the flying dream?

I especially love the flying one because it is such a freeing sensation. Some meanings are obvious as in our desire to escape our earthly bounds and soar above.

Yet some experts suggest “dreams help us deal with emotions, solve problems or manage hidden desires. Others postulate that they clean up brain waste, make memories stronger or deduce the meaning of random brain activity.”

A new theory claims “nighttime dreams protect visual areas of the brain from being co-opted during sleep by other sensory functions, such as hearing or touch.” Experts also suggest that dreams help us process emotions and memories and can also inspire creativity and provide self-knowledge.”

One experts notes that “Even though the exact mechanisms and functions of dreams are still not fully understood, understanding their importance and interpreting them can enhance our quality of life.”

Perhaps all these things are true, but I can’t help finding dreams an interesting way to spend a night. I’ll continue create new blockbusters if my subconscious allows and add more flying to the mix. Perhaps I always secretly wanted to be Tinkerbell and all I really crave are some wings and a magic wand to be happy.

Now that wasn’t that hard to interpret, was it?   


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1 Comment

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