Nightmares: Everybody’s Nocturnal Dragon

Nightmares are the dragons of the soul.

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You are not alone if you have or have had nightmares. Everyone has them from time to time, and many people are literally jolted awake by their power and intensity. Quite often, nightmares are the vehicles that bring people into dreamwork, and that is a good thing. Working with nightmares is the best way to mine the gifts hidden within them. Ignoring nightmares often makes them worse, especially if they turn into unwelcome repetitive visitors.

What to do if you have a nightmare:
  • Remember that nightmares are most often blessings in disguise. They are trying to tell you something that is very important to you. Often, the content of nightmares represents emerging consciousness of something or someone we didn’t know about before. This presentation of new information is in itself an indication for the possibility of growth or even transformation. The fact that the dream is a nightmare may mean you are just having a hard time accepting this new awareness.
    Dream Example:
    I am in a house that has caught fire. Flames are shooting up behind and alongside me, but to the front of me I see an open door leading to escape.
  • Before you begin to think that you will actually be caught in a burning house, look at all the symbols, the theme and process of the nightmare. Often nightmares contain clues which will provide insight that will help support our acceptance of, or even ease, the new awareness.
  • Make associations with the energy in the dream. What in your waking life is full of fire, or burning you? Could there be an untenable work situation that makes you “burn” to the point it is hurting you? In relation to that, can you see an exit to get you out of that harmful or uncomfortable situation? If it is work, look around. There may be an avenue of escape such as a new opportunity. In that case, in waking life open your eyes to look for the exit.
  • Reflect on the meanings in light of the associated context in your waking life. Ask what insight you dream is trying to give you. In this case the dream is trying to tell you how to resolve this “burning issue” in waking life: you can escape, and get out.

In my experience with dreams, I have found that it is the nightmares that provide the greatest opportunities for healing, blessing and resolution of major issues in life. They are the dragons that contain the hidden treasure. And it is your job as the warrior dreamer to tackle the dragon!

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