Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dreaming of Reality

Many branches of psychology were developed from the idea that a person's dreamscape can give us a little hint to what is truly going on beneath the conscious thoughts of a person's mind. Some early branches of psychology argued that dreams were the only true glimpses of truth a person would ever share. Our conscious thoughts and expressions were shallow-- untruthful even. But our subconscious and our unconscious thoughts and feelings certainly made up how we truly feel. I like to think those psychologists published mostly bold-faced lies to prey on young women who seemed "unsettled" for their time period, but who am I to really know? Sometimes when I find myself dreaming, I am so certain that what is happening in my dreamscape is what I desire to become reality. Other times, I am so terrified by that possibility because of what my dreams are about. A few months ago I was suffering from severe nightmares-- a troublesome habit I suffered as a child too. I googled every dream I had, asked my husband and friends what they thought the dreams could mean, and each of them reassured me that my dreams were not some unfulfilled desire that my unconscious mind was pushing to the surface. Regardless of the origin of these dreams, I was able to push them out of my mind after a trip to the crystal store and some seriously restorative yoga sessions. The past two nights I've had the most haunting, yet uplifting and self-realizing dreams I've had in a while. For those of you who can remember your dreams, and for the fewer of you who try to rationalize them throughout the day, you know what kind of dream I'm talking about. In case you are neither of these two types of people, I will share with you what I mean. Dream #1: Animal Abuse I'm trapped in a mansion that looks oddly familiar to a modernized version of Belle's Castle. I am trying to make sure that my infant child is not stolen from me, so I try to take her up the grand staircase to the second floor. While walking up the stairs I come across a snake with large fangs. It begins to hiss at me, striking at my ankles. I should also probably add that the snake has two arms near its head. I begin stomping the snake and even manage to pick it up and throw it down the stairs. Enraged, it comes at me I snap its arms in half. Wincing and crying out in pain, the snake begins to take on a new form. It grows hair, its teeth multiply, and it grows two more feet. I somehow pull a knife from my back pocket and stab it in the leg, tossing it down the stairs once more. But then I see that the snake is no longer a snake-- but a frail and whimpering puppy...its leg broken in half. I break into tears and rush to its aid. Because of the abuse I had just given it, the puppy turned away from me and tried to run up the stairs, whimpering with every movement. I scooped it up into my hands and cradled it back to life. (Somehow my child ended up safely upstairs...) The only conclusion I was able to make about the origin of this dream is how people view different forms of animal abuse. Some people think that killing animals for food is abusive-- and maybe it is. Others think that abusing domestic animals is a horrific event...and I agree with them. But what about the other animals we mindlessly kill all the time? The ants we squish in the house, the spiders we trap in jars to suffocate for entering our home, the snakes and possums we beat to death in our yards? Just because they have sharper teeth or venom we get to decide they don't deserve to live? I had never really thought about them this deeply before, but clearly I was moved in the dream because I broke out into tears after realizing I cared more for the wounded dog than the wounded snake. It was a closed-eyes eye-opening experience to say the least. Dream #2: Dreamscape City I'm at school with husband, in his classroom. His desks have all been pushed together so that his figurines all fit in the same area. Each type of figurine has been divided into areas, or townships-- the soldiers, the Old-School Action Figures, the Presidents, the Marvel Super-Heroes, the Villains, the Nintendo characters, and the DC Super-Heroes. For one reason or another, husband decides that the town can no longer get along and he motions to a disfigured and somehow plastic version of Stretch-Armstrong that, "It's time." Stretch, with one arm bent in a terrible ninety degree angle, picks up his dismembered leg, and moves into the Marvel region. He smashes the Hulk with his bent arm, engaging him into a fight. Because the two tower over so many other figurines, they naturally begin to involve everyone else. The regions break into war; explosions are seen; fires are started; figurines are screaming. Pretty soon the desks are covered in ashes, and smoke fills the air. I turn away sobbing, and the song "Let It Be" begins playing. I turn to husband with tears in my eyes and ask him how he could let that happen, and with a swift wave of his hand he tells me to, "Wait and see." A familiar yet unfamiliar song begins to play in the background as animated spears of asparagus begin to take the shape of a fence around the perimeter of the desks. New figurines begin to take form-- but this time, with the them of "Through the Ages". There is an area for the dinosaurs, extinct animals, evolving men, the Presidents of the United States, baseball teams, and even female role-models. When the song ends, I realize there are two things missing. Because I now know that there needs to be music for the magic to happen, I begin to sing "All You Need is Love" and a region full of heart-shaped Kirbys begins to grow. Then I see the Dinosaurs are missing one thing, and I break into "Yoshi's song" and soon enough an entire flock of Yoshis has appeared. I could not believe how beautifully the lands were created, and I could not believe how awfully the previous ones had been destroyed. Conclusion drawn? The Universe is an ever-changing and living being. Our world is constantly adapting to kill off the weak and promote the strong. Husband was able to spark an event that destroyed many regions of his figurine world; he was also able to reconstruct those worlds into better functioning environments. Bad things happen in the world everyday; people kill each other, women are raped, children are abandoned, and the list can go on forever. What I have tried to focus on lately is living in the present-- appreciating what I have been given by the Universe, both good and bad. This dream serves as a reminder to accept that circumstances change, and nothing is ever a constant except our will to positively perceive. Dreams can serve as a window to many different types of opportunities. A nightmare can foreshadow a bad day, or warn you of potential danger. A sad dream can remind you of what makes you truly happy. Whatever the dream may bring, it is always a good idea to pay attention and interpret all possible meanings. Do I think that dreams represent my subconscious thoughts? To some degree. Do they reveal hidden secrets about me? I guess I'll find out tonight... Currently Listening to: "Make Me Lose My Mind" by Disclosure ft. London Grammar Current Mood: Insomnia-tic

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