Dreams are funny little buggers. I really enjoy some of them. Especially the ones where I don’t want to wake up because I’m so SO close to having way too much of a good time. I guess you could say that I’m lucky that my subconscious is both very creative and very realistic with the stuff it comes up with.
Though when the dreams are NOT so good, that doesn’t exactly work to my advantage.
It’s amazing how our subconscious can remind us of things we don’t want to remember, or bring to life fears we didn’t even realize we have. I know there are many different theories on dreaming, and after mine of the past new nights, I had to know what the hell is going on in my brain.
Fancy that, in her article published in Psychology Today, Ilana Simons presents five modern theories on why we dream. The fourth theory relates to dreams being a way of giving ourselves our own personal psychotherapy. Simons says:
“Ernest Hartmann, a doctor at Tufts, focuses on the emotional learning that happens in dreams. He has developed the theory that dreaming puts our difficult emotions into pictures. In dreams, we deal with emotional content in a safe place, making connections that we would not make if left to our more critical or defensive brains. In this sense, dreaming is like therapy on the couch: We think through emotional stuff in a less rational and defensive frame of mind. Through that process, we come to accept truths we might otherwise repress. Dreams are our nightly psychotherapy.” Source
That’s all fine and well, but then why do I wake up from my dreams and carry their weight with me? In this case, for days at a time?
Two nights ago I had a dream that reminded me of one of the most traumatic times in my life. Believe it or not, it was my senior year of high school, and through a series of events I ended up quitting something that was hugely important to me, alienating all of my friends, and nearly losing myself in the process.
In hindsight, I see clearly why things played out the way that they did and understand what lead to these decisions. I can even accept that, at the time, this was the right decision to be made. But sure, I still think about the choices I made frequently. And yeah, I still hate that I quit something that was so incredibly important to me.
I had never quit anything before, and can honestly say that I haven’t given up on anything that important since. I’m certain that my fear of failure ties directly to this one decision that I made almost 15 years ago, even if I did make it for the right reasons.
So that was Sunday night. I spent the better part of yesterday hugely introspective and unsettled with nagging feelings of guilt and failure.
When I crawled into bed last night I was at first nervous that I wouldn’t sleep, but I fell asleep easily. Now I kinda wish I hadn’t.
I only remember slivers of my dream last night, but like most of my others it was realistic as hell. I was at Crossfit and Coach was yelling at me. Not “come on you can do it” yelling, but angry yelling. He was extremely upset with me, but I had no idea why. I can’t remember anything that was said except “I am so damn disappointed in you.”
I’m not even kidding that I woke up nearly in tears.
I mean come ON subconscious, please don’t take my safe place and someone I know who believes in me and do THAT. That’s just unfair.
So again today I’m really unsettled. My failures are weighing on me even though they have no reason to. I know that I’m a little too far in my headspace and need to just stop, but I’m struggling to do so.
Clearly, subconscious brain didn’t go to shrink school, because man she sucks at this therapy crap.
Why can’t I just have dreams that I’m flying or naked like normal people?