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Moment Of Clarity

The Meaning of Your Dreams

I love dreams! So when my family and friends share their dreams with me, I find myself having to control my excitement. My children’s dreams are the BEST and often, are better than television shows with elements of drama, excitement, comedy, suspense, and fear.

After sharing his or her dream, the inevitable question comes up: “What does it mean?”

People have been curious about their dreams from as far back as the Bible. Many believe that dreams are powerful and have the ability to forewarn us about the future, help us sort through dilemmas, heal broken hearts, and increase self-awareness. For these, and other reasons, people actively seek out the meanings of their dreams and use the help of their friends, books, and psychotherapy to get to their interpretations.

But how do you know if your interpretation is accurate? The following is the basic Jungian process to interpreting your dreams.

1) Write down your dream right away. As a general practice it is good to keep a journal or pen and paper next to your bedside so you can write down your dream as soon as you wake up. A lot of people will say they don’t remember their dream and that’s okay. Just write down what comes to mind. For example, if you feel scared or confused when you woke up or in the dream, write that down. Start somewhere and see where it takes you. What often happens is that over time, you begin to remember more of your dreams.

2) Focus on one symbol at a time. Pick the symbol or scene that stands out the most and begin there. Afterwards, move to the next symbol and so on.

3) Make associations. This is important and has to be relevant to the dreamer! Books and the interpretations of others can be misleading because the associations have to come from within the dreamer. Also, avoid making associations based on the association before it. Make associations based on the symbol itself and write down whatever comes to mind. For example, let’s take the symbol of a teddy bear. One might make the following associations: soothing, safe, cuddle, toddler, protection from the dark, loneliness, or childhood toy.

4) Connect it to your inner life. Most dreams describe what is going on inside of you, the dreamer. Our dreams either show us how we are integrating our subconscious into our conscious mind or resisting our own inner world. So, ask yourself, “What part of your inner life does this symbol remind me of?” If one stayed with the teddy bear example, he or she may realize that he feels lonely and unsafe. Of course, there are many other possibilities based on what resonates with you.

5) Identify the theme of the dream. If you haven’t done the personal associations, making an interpretation is simply guesswork. When you begin to tie the associations in your mind, you will begin to gain clarity on the meaning. Staying with the example of the teddy bear, one may realize that whenever he or she is alone, they feel insecure and unsafe due to not knowing how to find pleasure in the things typically done with other people.

6) Do something physical. This is the last part of dream analysis. Do something with the interpretation. Once we have an accurate interpretation of our dream, we have to do something with it. This helps to integrate our subconscious and conscious minds so we can become more whole. For example, we may decide to go to the gym alone for an hour once a week. This small act is powerful because it affirms the message of the dream and brings the meaning home. It’s important to understand that you do not have to do anything major like change your life. Just one small act is enough to affirm the dream.

There you have it, how to easily interpret your own dreams! If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating topic, Robert Johnson’s book, Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth” is an excellent read.

With love and light, I wish you pleasant journeys!

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in clinical and spiritual psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, Yhandi and RoHun.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter, join her on Facebook and Twitter, or view her self-help books!