The Call to Change As Seen in Dreams

Dreams alert us to the need for change.

Dreams are like wake-up calls.

Recently, American public life has shown how accepting so many people have become of the low moral standards both in themselves and in the public figures they elect.  One wonders how far it will go before there is a momentous push in the other direction, when a huge number of people finally say “Enough is enough” and wake up and take a stand.  Seeing the need for change in oneself and in society signifies growth in awareness.  Where does this perception first come from?

Dreams Call Us to Change

One of the primary functions of dreams is to call us to our truest and best self—and this is often at odds with what the ego wants.  Our conscience often speaks most clearly in dreams, unfettered by the ego’s desires.  One could say that our guardian angel appears in dreams in various disguises to help us on our way.  When we are going down a path not meant for us, a dream will let us know—assuming we are paying attention.  If we don’t make an effort to remember our dreams or take them seriously, we could miss this message all together.  Sometimes I think so many people ignore or don’t want to remember their dreams because they inherently know that their dreams might be calling them to take a road they are not taking in waking life, such as standing up for what is right.

Examples of Dreams Calling for Change

Many years ago I began a relationship with a man whom I enjoyed being with for his charm, intelligent conversation and good looks.  I knew I was probably getting more involved with him than I should because I really wasn’t in love with him and had no plans for a serious, long-term relationship.  One night I had a dream of Big Bird, the TV character, standing in front of me wagging his finger in disapproval.   While this was in no way threatening, but actually a little comical, it sent me a strong message to change and get out of this relationship.   A bird is often a dream symbol for the soul so to have a big bird, my higher self, communicate something like this to me was a real “wake-up call.”

Another similar dream occurred when I was extremely angry at the breakup of another relationship, almost to the point that I didn’t recognize my feelings but were engulfed in them like a fish is in sea, taking it all for granted.  During this time I had a dream of a funny little man dressed in black who spoke to me in a stern and commanding voice, saying “Don’t be so angry!  You nearly missed coming down with a serious disease!”  That dream really jolted me awake, and made me also realize there must be a relationship between negative emotions and illnesses.  I vowed to let go of my anger, realizing my health was more important than indulging in negative emotions, with the result that my life has continued for many years with great health.

How are your dreams calling you to change?

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Working With Dream Themes: Repetitive Dreams

Repetitive dreams need to be taken seriously.

Dreams Can Reflect the Soul’s Purpose

Perhaps the most frequent question I get asked is, “Why do I have the same dream over and over?”  This is so is probably because everyone at some time or other has had a recurring dream.  A recurring dream presents itself over and over, sometimes as often as nightly but more often, at odd times over a period of months or years.   The dreamer usually feels that if the dream is repeating itself, it must be important and therefore wants to ask about it.  And the dreamer is right!  Repetitive dreams are important and should be taken seriously.

Repetitive Dreams: Like a Visitor Knocking on the Door

A repetitive dream is like a persistent visitor knocking on the door and will come back if no one answers the door.  The visitor has something important to say and wants to say it, and won’t give up so easily.  Therefore, the best way to deal with a repetitive dream is to open the door and listen; that is, pay attention to the dream, ask questions of the dream, and see what it is trying to say.

Possible Types of Repetitive Dreams
  • Warning dreams.  These dreams act as alerts on how the dreamer is not living his or her life appropriately.  For example, if a person is not exercising enough over a long period of time, the dreamer may get a recurring dream about an athlete or a doctor coming into the room.
  • Prophetic dreams. Prophetic dreams provide a glimpse into possible future directions.  Repeated dreams about a person filling a role not currently held may be the call to a new vocation or job that would enhance the quality of the dreamer’s life.  The dream is trying to encourage the dreamer to take steps towards getting into the new work.
  • Commentary dreams. Actions or symbols occurring in a repetitive dream might be trying to make a values statement to the dreamer on how the dreamer is handling an issue in life.  Is the dreamer living according to his or her true inner standards, as opposed to someone else’s standards?  For example, a repetitive dream of losing one’s wallet may indicate that the dreamer is susceptible to losing his or her identity or sense of worth, and should trust more in life and the process that is going on in life.
Ending a Recurring Dream

Whatever your repetitive dream is, take it seriously by reflecting on what it means and by asking what association it might have with something important in your waking life at the moment.  If you get an “Aha” response, act on it.  Chances are if you have heard and acted on the recurring dream, it will stop coming because it has served its purpose.

Working With Dream Themes: Wounded Animals

Reminder to Protect Animals
Image via Petfinder

Dreams of wounded animals are often hard to bear, and perhaps this is good because these kinds of dreams should capture our attention and elicit a response – just as when we see a wounded animal in the street or in the woods. Like all dreams, wounded animal dreams can have different levels of meaning and should be handled accordingly. Here are some suggested questions to ask, if you such a dream.

  1. Is it my animal that I am dreaming about? If the wounded animal is one I own or am responsible for in waking life, I need to ask what am I doing that may cause this animal to be wounded as in the dream. For example, if I dream my dog is lying by the road with a broken leg, I need to ask if I am giving it too much freedom to roam freely on the streets or be endangered by on-coming vehicles. Such a dream may be a warning me that this could happen to my dog if I don’t take better care of it.
  2. If the animal is not one for which I am responsible for in waking life, I need to ask what part of me does this animal represent—going on the dreamwork premise that everything in a dream represents part of me. If it is a bird, I would ask what part of me is like a bird. Let’s say the bird represents my sense of freedom because when I see birds I think of having freedom to fly and soar.
    Then I then need to look at the injury itself and ask how I am or could be wounded like this animal. Am I doing anything that could contribute to such an injury now or in the future? For example, let’s say I dreamed that a bird has a broken wing and is lying on the ground. It has flown into a glass door. I could associate this injury with my sense of freedom being wounded when my progress in a creative endeavor was stopped by some kind of obstacle I couldn’t see. Perhaps this dream is telling me to go slowly, be more cautious or is warning me I could hit an obstacle. It may be referring to this as already happening and is asking me to take care of the wounded part of myself.
  3. Lastly, the dream could be referring to both an animal I own and a part of me. This happened to me when I dreamed of my cat lying on the ground with a leg injury. Sure enough, not too long after having this dream, my cat suffered a leg injury which required surgery. In my own life, soon after the dream, I experienced several setbacks related to trusting my own natural cat-like instincts which greatly impacted my sense of being able to “get around” with my usual ease and grace, forcing me to seek help from others and do more meditation to get back on track. Therefore, the suggestions I give here are based on hindsight wisdom I wish I had practiced better when I had the dream of my injured cat. My dream was clearly warning and trying to help me.

To learn more about dreams, visit my website: http://www.healingdreamgarden.com.