Dreams and the Process of Personal Change
There are basically three steps to any personal change in your life.
1. Remembering the strengths that you already have.
Growth is building a process that relies on the foundation of positives that you already have. It is helpful to make an inventory of positive strengths because these are the foundation for your current success.
2. Having a vision of the next positive quality that is calling your in your life.
You can consider that your being is always desiring to get to a higher place, to be more capable so it wants to push you to develop new things like patience or courage or firmness or compassion. When you have the vision of the new quality, then it is possible to work daily on it until the quality becomes a part of you.
3. Working systematically through the issues that are brought up in you to get to the new vision of yourself.
This part is mostly about learning how to transform negative ego states such as fear and anxiety, anger and shame, to positive ones. Issues tend to have presenting negative emotions that have a structure in the mind that drives behavior that is either fighting or fleeing or freezing.
Dreams come in at all three levels. They can tell you what you already have, where you are headed, and what is the negative energy that you are facing. The first two categories tend to play out in positive dreams, while the last one is more negative. When you read the metaphors correctly, then dreams can be a great resource for rapid change.
Since a great deal of science in the modern world is based on the concept that human beings are apes with a larger brain, much of what comes from dream research is limited in its ability to facilitate change. For instance, the approach used in some of the research in dealing with disturbing dreams like recurring nightmares is to treat the nightmare in the same manner that a doctor might treat cancer. The goal is to get the dream to leave so that the person can get back to a state of equilibrium and feel more positive. The problem with these kinds of approaches is that they do not take you forward to the new vision of the new capacities. They take you backward.
When you regard human beings as spiritual in nature living in a material body, then you come to understand that when the new quality is developed the body tends to get into a higher equilibrium when the new capacity is actualized. When you are having a nightmare or a negative dream, it is important to understand that the dream is just presenting a negative story so that you can understand what you have to overcome.
The classic cases of recurring nightmares are often played out in people who have been to war, but not everyone who has been to war, even when they have been in similar circumstances to someone who has a lot of nightmares replaying war scenes, will have those kind of nightmares. If you have are reliving war every night when you go bed, it simply is an indication that you have not learned yet how to be at total peace or calm. Someone who does relive the war probably has enough peacefulness for their lives to proceed in positive ways. This is a pretty simplified explanation of a far more complex transformation process, but you can see that if you know that you need to work on the capacity of peacefulness, this can be a great asset to your growth. If you are just trying to get rid of the nightmare, it means that you are trying to get back to a state of being before you went to war which is impossible. The war has already changed you. You can not go backwards. Healing and change is never a backwards process. It is always forward looking.
If a person can learn to love the negative dreams as if they are positive, then real growth can be amazing. When someone sends me a nightmare, I say to myself literally, “How great that this person got a nightmare. Now they can change. Now they are at the doorway of great change.”
Saying to child that it was a just a dream negates their whole emotional experience in life. Negative emotions are doorways to tremendous growth. Comforting a child when they have had a nightmare and then understanding that the dream was important for their growth and needs to be addressed is a more positive way to deal with the child’s life challenges. The witches and monsters and crocodiles are real. They are expressed as metaphors, but they show what is happening in the child’s emotional life that can be a doorway to their growth.
richard, This makes a lot of sense.I have great difficulty sleeping these years for mor than2 hours, it seems. So the. Dreams seem to b fragments of fragments. However I have had to make peace with this, no point in fighting he river of life at this point. I will keep your thoughts in mind as I seek to maintain contact with others I have become separated from. Thomas Fujimino City Saitama, Japan, still.
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