A little over a month ago, one of my teachers and dear friends spoke at the First Unitarian Universalist Church here in New Orleans under the topic: Let’s Get Real.
But to truly begin to remember your dreams, first, you have to honestly want to, and second, you have to accept your dreams as they come.
Last week I had one of the hardest dreams I have had in a very long time. The feelings were excruciating, horrifying really, and incredibly real. At the start, I was probably around age 14, confiding in a therapist. Although I am terrified to, I reveal to him that I can see spirit right in front of me. I immediately find myself inside of a small room, and feel that I am in a mental institution. All of my perception is profoundly altered. I am aware that I am taking the drug Haldol, a powerful anti-psychotic medication normally given to people with profound symptoms of Schizophrenia.
9 times out of 10, if a person remembers any of their dreams at all, they remember one they consider a “nightmare”. The dream reminds them of a feeling they want to avoid. Having someone stand there and suggest we explore it together—well that doesn’t sound very fun does it? Healing is supposed to be about feeling good, right? Why would anyone want to do the work of exploring our shadows—opening up to precisely the things that we’ve been working so hard to avoid or reject?
The truth is, dreams about peeing, pooping, or trying to are some of the most common dreams I’ve come across—I can’t even remember all the pee or poop dreams I’ve worked with clients over the years. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ve had one. It’s not that surprising—all humans do this every day, multiple times a day. But what does this act represent to us? And why are there often negative emotions around an experience that is so natural and healthy?