Nightmares have a bad rap!

When we fail to accept nightmares as the well-intentioned warnings they are, we only prolong the pain.

When we fail to accept nightmares as the well-intentioned warnings they are, we only prolong the pain.

by Thomas W. Sonandres — 

Nobody likes waking in the middle of the night, in a cold sweat, struggling to shake off the dread and terror that nightmares can evoke. The emotional toll from nightmares make these dreams something most people wish to avoid. If we are lucky, the shock and foreboding remain for only a few minutes after we wake. Sometimes, though, the effects of a nightmare spill over into our waking lives.

While the unpopularity of these high-anxiety dreams is understandable, it is also unfair. The truth is, nightmares are actually beneficial to us. They are the dreaming mind’s last-ditch effort to get our attention and prompt us to take action about whatever issues we are ignoring, downplaying or even consciously unaware of. The more frequent and intense the emotions, the more urgent it is to identify the waking sources, and the more urgent it is that we deal with these issues.

Take a nightmare I experience recently, for example. In the dream, the anguished face of a giant pressed itself against my second-story bedroom window, its eyes locked with mine. I awoke, but the effects of the dream remained. It was 2 a.m., I was wide awake and the writhing face still wanted in. A few very long seconds later, the giant slowly dissolved into shadows, moonlight, leaves and breeze.

On reflection, the dream was a face-to-face encounter with emotions I had stuffed since the “good-bye” of a wonderful friend three weeks earlier. I had seen truth, my own face, my giant-sized hurt about what was no longer to be.

As psychic Edgar Cayce said, “The application is the interpretation,” but identifing what had set off these alarms was not enough; it was only the first step. So, I acknowledged, embraced, wept, accepted, forgave and shut off the alarm. Hurt replaced the giant, but confronting the dream set me on a path toward healing.

Of course, I could have ignored the issues my subconscious was urging me to confront, but the nightmares would only have continued. When we fail to accept nightmares as the well-intentioned warnings they are, we only prolong the pain. In fact, our interior and exterior realities often collide as unresolved emotions begin to express themselves in the physical world. We may experience prolonged sleeplessness or develop a skin rash, for starters.

Whatever a nightmare’s effects, it is important to name our nocturnal dragons and tame them via positive, non-harmful steps. Engage in the parts that are meaningful; discard what is not. Applying guidance to our dreams leads to happier, more fulfilling lives.

 

Thomas W. Sonandres is a dream interpreter, dream class facilitator and author of Dreamlady.com: Guidance from Your Dreams. www.dreamlady.com or 602-279-3998.

Reprinted from AzNetNews.

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