The Dream I Don’t Need Anymore
A guest post by Ellie Di, for the Dream Dialogues Series.
The dreamscape is such a fascinating mystery, isn’t it? We’ve studied the brain, using millions of dollars and hours of research, and we still have no clue how dreams work. A common perception is that we’re being sent messages from the universe; another is that it’s our brain synthesizing our day; another is that we’re replaying stored memories. Personally, I feel that it’s somewhere in between – we’re working through important emotional issues by activating past experience and our intuition. A bit woo-woo, I know.
I base my theory largely on the existence of reoccurring dreams. When people have the same dream (or type of dream) over and over, you can usually map out life patterns that match them. If you dream about trying to cross a river but never reach the other side, it’s probably coinciding with a time when you’re coping with a clearly-defined emotional issue that’s difficult to overcome. It most likely crops up when this sort of problem is at its height as your brain, heart, and soul desperately try to help you hash it out.
The most common reoccurring dream I’ve had goes like this:
I stand on arid, dusty ground in the midst of a circle of mountains. Everything is red – the dirt, the scrubby bushes, the mountains, the sky. The air is oppressive, and far-away lightning stabs silently behind the peaks.
Without warning, two skeleton warriors in furs and riding skeletal war horses appear on the field and charge. They wave enormous swords as they crash together, the ringing metal making the heavy air split. Their fight is almost too much for me to watch, but I’m rooted to the spot.
And then they’re gone.
A tiny dot of white light appears on the opposite side of the field. I’m released from my paralysis and find myself in front of a door flanked by marble lions. The knob turns, and the door swings open to an endless white hall laid with thick, crimson carpet.
After walking for ages, a second door is visible. It springs open before I reach it. Beyond the frame lies a shockingly green, lush valley filled with cerulean skies and flowing water – the far opposite of the desert I just left. I breathe in the light, crisp air so deeply that I swell to bursting.
And then I wake up.
This dream would only visit me in times of intense personal disruption. It’s kind of amazing how stressed out I could get in high school, much less in college. But my stress was secret, even to me – I had no idea what kind of pressure I was actually feeling. My brain went into emergency mode and had to wave a red flag to get my attention (the red landscape with skeleton fights), then follow it up with total reassurance that it’d get better (the beautiful green valley). That’s how out of touch I was with my own thoughts.
Near the end of my university years, though, I started to become much more self-aware and able to manage my emotional states on a conscious level. The dream appeared less and less. As I grew up and could take care of myself, my brain didn’t need to wave the flag – I could do it on my own, before things got out of control.
I simply don’t need the warnings anymore.
Ellie Di is a headologist, spiritual nomad, compulsive scribbler, compassionate critical thinker, and master of the delicious mess. She spends her days working towards her next level of awesomeness and plotting the next Big Thing. You can stalk her on her site, The Headologist, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Pinterest.
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