As a teenager, the meanings of dreams fascinated me. I had a book at some point, and a journal where I would track my dreams, working to decipher their meaning. To find the hidden lessons and messages. But I soon lost interest.
In university I took a psych class in which we discussed dream theory. Science says dreams are the brain’s way of filtering through all the stored information, delegating some to long term, some to short term, and the rest, well, those come out all mixed up in the form of dreams. Which is why you’ll dream about something you’ve just been thinking on, or just experienced, or saw that day.*
Sometimes, I have dreams that are so vivid, that it seems they must be important. As if it’s the dream’s way of saying “notice me!” The latest dream I’ve been having (yes, it’s reoccurring) leaves me with a lingering feeling that is so apt for this time in my life, I can’t ignore it. As I delved a bit further, I found others had experienced the same feelings, similar imagery.
a room cast in watery blue light, like early dawn (I often dream in monochromatic tones).
I’m in my studio apartment from my days of uni.
I had to go back to clear out some old stuff, boxes I’d left behind, belongings I’d never collected.
I open a door I hadn’t noticed before, and walk through from the single-room apartment into a large living room and two more bedrooms beyond, ensuites included. The space is expansive, rooms freshly painted, unused, ready, waiting.
- excited by the possibility (of…?)
- jaw dropped by the immensity of the space
- also WTF!? this was here the whole time and I lived in that tiny room!!?
- nervous, should I even be here?
- a sense of relief – I need this extra space
(Therefore, it may have to do with discovering myself or preparing for new things in my life, and being excited about those possibilities.)
It is a common dream theme, to dream of finding secret rooms. They say it symbolizes potential, entering into a new phase in life, and a new level of self awareness. The feelings of possibility, expansive space and a sense of relief have not faded as dream states often do. For me, this dream takes me back to the place where I made a choice to put art on the back burner and choose the academic path instead. At that time, I didn’t feel like I was talented enough, my ideas “good” enough. I still struggle with these thoughts of self doubt everyday. But the excitement of possibility is stronger, it keeps me going. I have life experience to back up what I learned in school. I don’t scare so easily anymore.
There are so many theories on dream state – from the scientific to the metaphysical.
I’m curious, do you find lessons in your dream? Do they line up with whats going on in your life? Do you find clarity in hindsight? Do you dream in colour, or black and white? Do you think that our dreams are simple our brains processing all the daily info and converting the short term to the long term? I’d love to hear your thoughts… discuss below:
(*if you are a psych major, please excuse my feeble attempt to sum up the workings of the human brain into 2 merger sentences. It was a first year class, and this is what I remember of the discussion.)