Why Dream Analysis is Empowering
Recently I was asked how I feel when writing about dreams. Especially after reading the nightmares I analyze, people often think that dream analysis must be somehow traumatizing, but I don’t look at it that way. After thinking about the question, the best answer is that I feel empowered when analyzing dreams.
We have little control over our dreams as they occur. We are subject to wherever our dreams take us, no matter how frightening, embarrassing, disgusting, or upsetting. Sometimes the only escape is to be scared enough to be frightened awake. I let nightmares dictate my sleep quality for a long time, until I started to study them. By analyzing dreams, we put an explanation behind the monsters of the night, and by doing that, they can no longer control us. When we know that a nightmare is the product of emotional scars of our past, issues we face, or recent images we’ve encountered, we learn about the enemies of our minds, and by learning, we can fight them.
In our lives filled with technology, broadcasted on social media, and bombarded with constant information, we often drown out our own thoughts and with those thoughts, our own unique, valuable, and powerful minds. Unhappiness is ignored when we pick up our cell phones to scroll through the latest feeds. Dissatisfaction is temporarily patched by the validation of social media. Sadness, anger, and pain are often suppressed in our cultures that idolize strength and happiness. But as we drift to sleep, and the expectations and constraints of the world around us fade from our consciousness, our true emotions, desires, and fears emerge in the form of dreams. Dream analysis therefore gives us a fascinating window into our complex, curious minds, if we only take the time to pay attention rather than drown them out with distractions, avoidance, or self-prescribed sleep aids. Dream analysis then becomes a free resource available to us nightly in the practice of self-reflection, mindfulness, improvement, and empowerment.