Dreams – are they meaningful?
My DW got up a few days ago and told me about a dream she had. In her dream I was doing something that was making her very angry. She never woke up during the dream, but remembered it and was feeling a little irritated at me for whatever I was doing in her dream. She wasn’t violent and didn’t share this with me till later in the morning after she had time to calm down. This is not the first time she has reported similar. She has other dreams and, like many of us, some of them are outlandish, fantastic journeys into the wildness of our minds. I’ve tried a few times to interpret them, and we laugh at them often. I can’t remember what I was doing in this example specifically, but we both laughed at it.
As I was thinking about her dreams, it dawned on me that I have never had a dream where I got angry at her for anything that I can remember. But she often reports such as well as getting irritated at other people. For the most part, when she is in my dreams, it involves me having sex with her. Often that will be in some way or place that is unusual, or some amalgamation of several good or desired activities.
I have heard more than one comedian jest about a wife waking up and socking her husband for something he did in her dream. That is always funny because all good comedy has elements of truth in it. But I also know some believe dreams are “windows to our souls”, or at least indicators of things going on that concern us.
What has been the experience of the “dreamers” here?
I don’t try to take my dreams too seriously. Almost all of my dreams involve me caught up in some dilemma, like forgetting where I left my car or losing my wallet or regretting that I just bought a $1.2 million car I can’t afford. A very typical dream for me involves being way too underdressed in a public place, e.g. at work just wearing underwear and hoping no one will notice or judge. I also steal cars a lot in my dreams. I tend to drink too much in my dreams. I’m not an upstanding citizen in my dreams. When I wake up, I laugh them off and try to not be like the guy I am in my dreams.
I have woken up after a dream because my husband was doing something in it, and being irritated at him. What the irritation comes down to, is it brings situations up to the surface that is in your spouse or in your relationship, and you have to deal with the emotions of it, even if the actions didn’t take place at that time.
I have come to a level of peace, that many dreams are just the brains way of processing things that have been inputted, even if subconsciously.
That said, we (my husband) have also experienced dreams where they were very clearly from God and Him revealing things. Once you experience something like that, it’s hard to know whether a realistic dream is a revelation or just a dream.
It’s happened to DW & I a few times and led to some laughter as well as discussions due to one of us being irritated at the other for their “behavior” in a dream. Most of the time nothing has happened to lead up to the dream.
On the other hand, I have royally screwed up a few times in the last three years of marriage when in a moment of irritation or anger at DW, called her using my ex’s name (divorced from her 13+ yrs). It has ONLY happened when I’ve been mad or irritated with her. TRUST ME, it’s embarrassing and funny and maddening all at the same time. DW is nothing like my ex and is quite gracious when I have done it…but man, it’s frustrating to do that. The last time was caught on tape because WE were making a recording for a family thing at church and I introduced her by my ex’s name. :-O Yes, I did. The hilarious look on her face…and done once again in front of her daughters. Then it took about 5 more takes to finish the video because I couldn’t keep a straight face and get through it. Yes, I’m a moron and can insert my foot in my mouth quite easily. 😀
I believe dreams are a way of processing some things. A therapist told me years ago, that a reoccurring dream that happens once a month or more, needs to be looked at deeper.
For years, I had 2 dreadful, reoccurring dreams. I researched them both, but only ever found a meaning for the one. The other one was too weird, I guess. They weren’t nightmares, but I would wake up shaking and and with my heart pounding. After I had worked through a lot of stuff, a couple years later I had interesting dreams, the same ones, but with happier endings. Those dreams never came back.
A few months ago, I dreamed that DH had told me he no longer shared any bond with me and that really troubled me. Thankfully, he said there was no truth to that! Other than that, I have never dreamed irritating or troubling things about him. He says the same about me.
I have also had dreams where I felt like God sent them to bring closure on certain situations that had been troubling me. Not very often though, but too clear to just shrug off.
Biblical dreams do not always happen at night. How many people today would say in the biblical pattern, “I had a dream in the middle of the day when God spoke with me”? Very few if any. For many people the pursuit of God’s will is too difficult to determine through His written word. They would rather have dreams. It is possible that God does in fact speak this way, who are we to say He will not? Except that one who holds to the continual revelation of God’s word in such a manner as imparted through dreams, also holds to the view that His written word is not complete. Where does that slippery slope end?
Dreams, as Brynna says, help us to process some things. Fantasy, day dreams, are a calling, a road map to fixing the past.
The written word says that in the last days, God will pour out of his Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy. And the promise of the Spirit is for those who are ‘afar off’ as well. As Job points out, God warns men in dreams, warning them of the error of their says.
Some dreams are from God, but like we read in the prophets, there were also those who shared dreams out of their own hearts.
It is possible if you have a dream about someone doing something bad it reveals something about them, or a warning about a temptation that might come their way. We should be open to that. But I think we should examine our hearts if dreams make us angry at others
I often have bizarre dreams with no discernible narrative (even enough to coherently share it with DH the next morning) and feel like that is all the stuff I had running along side my conscious thoughts during the day, just out of reach on a different track in my brain, tossed in together like all the scraps leftover from six different kinds of projects. (A little fabric, some 2 x 4 scraps, an empty potting soil bag, and a lot of dust: just try to make something sensible out of that mess!)
Sometimes I dream about things I know are things I struggle with when I’m awake and can point to the reasons: I dream about big beautiful dream houses because I’m really frustrated at how over-stuffed ours is. I dream about being back in high school and having no idea what’s going on or even where my classes are and not having any assignments done because I so often feel so inadequate to my roles of wife and mother. Aaaaand I dream about desperately trying to find a usable bathroom because I really really have to pee and just haven’t woken up yet!
Often there will be a random person of my acquaintance who seems to feature in a dream. I always try to pray for that person, and if feasible, reach out to them. Years ago, this happened (a little more dramatic in that case; I had dreamed about her and then woke up and couldn’t stop thinking about her) and the person told me how much it had meant to her to know that God had put her on my heart in a particularly difficult time. I consciously made myself available to God for that type of ministry and even though I sometimes get a response where it is clear the person thinks I’m cuckoo, I trust that it makes a difference most of the time.
Oh! And once in a while I have a weird dream that is just cohesive enough that I write it down and think maybe I’ll make it into a story or part of a novel someday. I think that’s the creative brain coming out to play when it hasn’t had a chance to do so during the day. 🙂