Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Dream

Man has been mystified by his dreams since he was a hunter-gatherer. Primitives believed they were a connection to the 'other world'.

Fortunes have been made by authors of books purporting to analyze the meaning of dreams. Such books go back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who authored their own dream interpretations. Macrobius and Artemidor published such books.

There are those who believe that our dreams are like an Ouija Board; they are foretelling a future event. This is not scientific, has no basis in fact and is simply superstition. In Biblical times people believed that dreams were sent by God to announce future events.

Freud introduced the concept of dreams being a path to the knowledge of the unconscious. His entire psychoanalytic theory was based on dream interpretation as a means of exploring the depth of the psyche.

Jung went further and had the view that dream interpretation became central. I took a course in College and we studied Jung's theory. If I can recall it correctly, his premise was that we are the authors of our dreams. They are a method our brain has of working out problems.

Our assignment was to keep a dream journal. We were to write down as much as we could remember of our dream before getting out of bed. If we couldn't remember the dream, we were to write how we first felt when we opened our eyes. I thought of it as a mist left from the dream that hadn't left me yet.

After weeks of keeping the Journal, we were to read over what we had written. Did a theme appear? Did we see a correlation to something going on in our lives at that time? Perhaps the dream was of a repressed memory that stayed in our subconscious mind. One woman kept dreaming that she was at the bottom of a lake and all sorts of trash was being thrown down on her. Her revelation was that she was resenting the demands placed on her by her family. I guess, being a good little girl meant that she shouldn't mind, so she repressed the anger she felt. The dream helped her release the anger and deal with it.

All of the above is an introduction to the most vivid dream I have ever had. I must take you back to a time before the dream in order to explain it.

My pregnancy with my son was nine months of hell. I endured morning sickness the entire time. The good news was that I didn't have to lose weight after Mark was born; I had to gain back the 20 pounds I lost.

As a result, I knew I couldn't take care of a toddler if I had another pregnancy like that. Five years later I thought I could manage to take care of my son if I was sick, so all birth control stopped. I wanted a sweet girl to go with my little boy. Five years went by and I was not able to conceive.

Being disappointed, I replaced my desire of having another baby and with one of the trips my husband and I would take when our son was out of the nest.

Then I had to rearrange my plans once more. I was pregnant! This time I was not happy. I would be 35 years old when the baby was born. I had my life planned for the freedom to travel. In that unhappy state I sent my family to bed and cried.

That night I had THE DREAM. I dreamed that I was a tour guide showing some people an old hotel. The dream was in color and the wallpaper was red and the woodwork was white. The stairway was so narrow only one person at a time could ascend. I started up the stairs, but a group of people were coming down. The first to descend was an adorable girl baby toddler about two years old wearing a white dress. As she came down I reached up and grabbed her, held her close, nuzzled her neck and smelled that uniquely lovely talcum powder baby smell. As I did so I said, "Oh you beautiful child, who wouldn't want you?"

Now when you have a dream in living color with scent you know it means something. From that moment on I did not mind being pregnant.

As it turned out, the dream was prophetic, but I'm sure that was a coincidence. The real meaning of my dream, as I analyzed it, was that my disappointment at not being able to have a baby girl was so deep that I totally repressed it. Only when it was a possibility did I allow myself to admit it and I did so by dreaming of it.

It would be romantic to believe that it was, in fact, an omen and if you want to think that, it's okay with me. Whatever the reason for my dream, I will never forget a single detail. When Gail was born I was so happy to have that baby girl I kept saying loudly, "I've got my girl. I've got my girl."

Gail - 5 days old

Some dreams do come true.


20th Century Woman said...

Lovely, Darlene, just lovely. What a beautiful dream come true.

Darlene said...

*20th Century Woman - Thank you so much for your kind words.

Betty said...

I sometimes have dreams in which I am only an observer. Like watching a movie. What do you suppose that means?

Ugich Konitari said...

Yes, I believe dreams to have a message. And I am so glad yours came true...

kenju said...

You brought tears to my eyes and I am so glad you got your girl.

Your dream was most certainly prophetic and also what you said about repression. Your subconscious always processes in dreams what you are thinking about in the day time. We should all listen to our dreams more and try to interpret them.

Darlene said...

*Betty - I have those kinds of dreams, too. Only you can figure out what your dream means. Maybe you could try the dream journal and see if an answer comes to you.

*Ugich - So am I. She is my blessing.

*Kenju - You obviously understand what I was trying to say.

Nancy said...


This is one of the nicest stories I have every read.

I'm delighted that you got your little girl and having the dream that allowed you accept the pregnancy was just the best..

I have a little radio that I play to go to sleep and I also turn it on very early in the morning. Sometimes in the morning I have a dream and when I wake up the same thing I am dreaming is on the radio. So, I suppose I am hearing the radio and I put that story in my dream.

What do you think?

Vagabonde said...

Darlene I have been away and am catching-up. I enjoyed your telling us of your dream. It’s hard to know, for me, when dreams are prophetic, or when they were due to bad digestion!
I read your post on health care and really I believe the problem in this country is greed. As long as lobbyists will be authorized to play with the pockets of our officials, we won’t get much done for the good of the country. Greed has been here for a long time. I was just reading about Dickens’ trip to America and his impression was that people were only interested in money – and that was a long time ago. Greed is what caused the Fonzie schemes. How about corporate compensation? In the 90s the ratio of CEO compensation versus an average worker was 250 to 1 which meant that a boss earned on his first day of work what his worker did in a year (and now it is supposed to be more like 500 to 1). In European countries it’s more like 100 to 1. Even when a US company is failing, the workers get laid off but the CEO keeps the money. Isn’t that greed? Greed is the biggest problem in this country right now, so it will be a hard battle to get good health care for all.

Darlene said...

*Nancy - Sounds logical to me. As Freud observed, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Not all dreams are meaningful. But we are still the authors of our dreams so when you hear something with your conscious mind it translates into a dream. And some dreams are just wishful thinking.

*Vagabonde - I agree with your comment on health care reform. Greed rules and it isn't a new thing. Money and power motivate the movers and shakers.

Anonymous said...

It seems right that we should be the authors of our dreams. At least, I have found that the ones I remember reflect what's going on in my life. Most dreams, I do not remember.

Glad your dream had such a positive influence on your life -or was it the other way around? Perhaps your mind had already changed and your dream was the result.
Cop Car

Darlene said...

*Cop Car - It's kind of like, "which came first the egg or the chicken?"
isn't it?

Rain said...

I think there are many types of dreams but definitely believe some are prophetic and will tell us something if we are willing to listen. Yours gave you joy and was prophetic. Without it you might have had a very depressing pregnancy which would have not been good for the baby either. How you got that prophetic dream, that is a question I don't try to answer.

Once in awhile, and not often, I dream something that I find out eventually was very prophetic but generally I'd prefer they not be. It's kind of scary. Every prophetic dream I have had though has had a purpose to encourage me to do something or accept something I might not have otherwise-- like dreaming of someone I had yet to meet and the dream couldn't possibly have caused that meeting but it did prime me for it.

Most of my dreams are just enjoyable, some explain feelings I cannot define during the daytime hours, very much like counseling, and can encourage me to think I am on the right track-- or not.

I always dream in color and often very vivid ones. most of mine are a combination of daytime events mixed in with thoughts I might be having.

After Sarah Palin announced her resignation as governor of Alaska, I dreamed about her that night and she was wearing an old bathrobe. I don't give that dream any meaning at all. It came out of daily events and I was just glad it wasn't Michael Jackson :)