Dear Dr. C,
I am a 19 year old woman and have been noticing I have been having a very different turn in my dreams lately. Some are good, some are entertaining but there is also some really disturbing, bad stuff in there and I was wondering if you could help me figure out why.
A different turn in your dreams could indicate that your inner world is shifting and that something new is on the horizon for you. Bad stuff in dreams isn’t necessarily “bad” if you know what I mean.
Without knowing exactly what the dreams are and their context in your life, it is pretty difficult for me to give you any specific advice. I do encourage you to begin to develp a communication with your dreams. It will open a wonderful, new aspect to your life!
If you would like to begin to work with your dreams, keep a notebook and pen by your bed and write down your dream as soon as you can after you wake up. Some people prefer to record their dreams (our handy dandy iPhones are great for this!) and write them down later.
Even if you don’t know exactly how to interpret the dreams, just writing them down and paying attention to them will help you to have a more vital relationship with your inner world.
Notice the images that make you curious. Perhaps you can draw or paint them. Notice the feelings you have when you awaken from the dream. How do they relate to the situations you are dealing with in your life?
Many people ignore their dreams, dismissing them as meaningless fantasy. Because dreams do not follow the “rules” of our physical reality, the rules of time and space, they are often seen simply as nighttime meanderings of the mind; nothing really to get excited about.
For others, particularly those interested in personal growth and transformational experiences, dreams are considered to be valuable and powerful tools. When we listen to our dreams, and actively participate in trying to understand their messages, dreams can be a magical and even mystical experience.
Our innermost being communicates with us through the symbology and metaphor of the dreamworld. And we ought to pay attention, for the dreams can give us new insights into our basic identity, values and personal needs. They can help us better understand ourselves and provide road maps to take us in new directions. Dreams can also clarify our relationship issues, our professional conflicts and guide us to transpersonal insights of ourselves as part of the larger world.
I encourage you, Dreamer, to begin this inner exploration with your dreams as your guide. I wish I had started at your age. You have a wonderful opportunity.