Dream Interpretation/Dreams about
QUESTION: Hi Chook, I wanted to ask about a theme I've had throughout my life and I can't find interpretations in books or online. Over the years I've sometimes had dreams where someone comes up to me and tells me they're my real parent or grandparent and I believe them in the dream. In real life I am not adopted; I know my birth family and have a decent relationship with them. When I was a child those dreams would leave me confused when I'd wake up and I'd question reality. And I just recently had a similar dream where a woman came to me and told me she's my real mother. I'm curious as to why my subconscious is trying to mess with my sense of reality.
Thank you for your time,
ANSWER: Hey Greta,
That is a very intriguing and mysterious dream theme! How often would you have these dreams would you say? I have a few ideas about it, but before I jump in and start speculating, would you be able to give me more details about a couple of these dreams? If you are able to describe one or two from start to finish in detail, this is really going to help pin it down because often there are other clues in dreams that can be easily overlooked. Include your thoughts and feelings at different times of the dream. (I have been caught out a few times trying to interpret general dream symbols. When I then get detail about specific dreams from the dreamer, I find that my original speculation can be somewhat off the mark!)
It is also really going to help if you could describe these dream family members a bit, what they looked like, their approximate age and personality, if you can that is. Also, how do your dream "real" family members differ from your waking life family members? And are the individual family members the same person in each dream? For example, say you had a couple of dreams about your dream "real mother", would this be the same "mother" in each dream? Also, do you ever dream of "real" brothers or sisters or uncles and aunties? Or is it always either parents of grandparents?
Some additional things you can start doing from now on to help figure out these dreams is to keep a diary of what you do and thoughts that cross your mind each day, and along side that date, write down in as much detail as you can any dreams you had the next night. While your dream theme has occurred all your life, often the dreams can be triggered by something which happens during that day. This will be something that your dreamself sees as relating to whatever is bringing up these dreams. This might help to pinpoint what the pattern is.
One more thing, have you ever heard of lucid dreaming? This is where you can become aware enough in a dream to realise that you are dreaming. People who become very good at lucid dreaming can often ask questions of their dream characters to see why they are there, where they have come from and what their purpose is. Obviously this will be quite a long term thing and it takes quite some time to learn these skills but I thought I would mention it anyway in case you were interested. I note that these dreams have left you confused and questioning what is real and what is not. with lucid dreaming, one technique is to use recurring dream themes as a cue to then do what is called a "reality check" to determine if you are dreaming or not. (For example one reality check is to to try to push your finger through your other hand.). I am no expert in lucid dreaming but there are heaps of resources on the net. Even just reading about some of the research being done in this area is very enlightening!
It might take a bit of tooing and froing but I'm sure we can figure this one out. Just for your information also, this website allows two follow-up questions so if we end up needing more follow-ups, i will make myself "available" so you can start up a new question thread,
Ok well hope to hear from you soon.
Take it easy.
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QUESTION: Hi Chook,
Unfortunately I only remember a couple of those dreams in detail. I can't remember the ones from when I was a kid, only that they'd leave me in a state of confusion as to who my real parents were. I remember telling my parents about a dreaming about a woman with red hair, and my parents gave each other strange looks. My paternal grandmother died giving birth to my father so we never knew her. All we know about her is that she had red hair. My parents speculated that her spirit might've been visiting me. But I don't remember those dreams, I don't think she claimed to of any relation to me.
Another dream I do is remember is when I was in high school. I dreamed about being in this room with a group of old women. One of the old women came up to me and told me she was my real grandmother. These women in the dream turned out to be evil witches and I wanted nothing to do with them and was felt trapped. The only other dream I remember in detail is the one I had the other night. In real life I'm a film actor but next weekend I'm doing my first play so I guess you can say I'm nervous and have some anxieties about that. This dream took place during the stage performance. My real life mother was somewhere in crowd, but after the show this woman comes up to me and tells me she's my real mother. I look into her eyes and I felt like she was telling the truth. Looking back now I wonder if she's one of my spirit guides.
I don't know if you only deal with subconscious dream interpretation or if you also deal with more spiritual aspects but I believe I have two spirit guides that sometimes show up in my dreams. They usually appear as women and the one seems closer to me while the other just kinda tags a long. When I look into their eyes they stand out to the other characters in my dreams. They're powerful. I don't always know it's them during the dream, but I usually realize it after I wake up. After I looked into this woman's eyes she stood out in the crowd. If she was one of my spirit guides I don't know why she told me she was my mom.
Unfortunately I don't have a lot of experience with lucid dreams. There's been times I started to realize I was dreaming and I was about to control the dream, but it doesn't happen very often. I looked up exercises on how to induce them and I've had luck with one of the exercises but I've stopped.
Thanks for that extra info Greta,
You raised some interesting questions in your post which I hope I can answer for you or at least give you something to think about. You asked whether I look into the spiritual aspects of dreams in relation to spirit guides, etc, or whether I look mostly at the subconscious symbolic meaning of deams. In my mind, it is not so much an either or thing, but that guides and symbolism is part of the same thing. I believe that metaphors and symbolism are how dream guides communicate with us. (I hope you can bear with me while I go off on a philosophical tangent to explain where I am coming from! Lol)
When I first read your initial post, the thought that it could be a spirit guide type situation did cross my mind - although I personally do not know whether spirit guides exist in the way that we understand them to (but I certainly do not discount their existance.). It is interesting the way you described your 2 spirit guides as standing out from the other dream characters. My own thoughts about dreams came about after reading Robert Wagoner's book on lucid dreaming. He is a real expert when it comes to lucid dreaming and he has used his skills to learn more about the nature of dreams. In short, through his research, he found that there was an "inner awareness" who created his dreams. This inner awareness seemed to have an identity and consciousness separate from his own. The dream "characters" as he calls them had various levels of awareness and individuality, but none seemed aware that they were in someone's dream. Only the inner awareness was conscious of being in a dream. He notes that some dream characters seem to have more awareness and individuality than others (much like your spirit guides seem to). Many had different roles and he specifically noted that some dream characters told him they were his guides. It was interesting that when he questioned some dream characters about being just figments of his imagination, they became very defensive and were insulted that he would assert that they only existed in his mind! They seemed to have an awareness or consciousness which was different from some of the more minor dream characters.
When you think about it, it really has to be true that there is another conscious thing within us that creates our dreams because there is more to dreams than what most people think are simply a few random synapses firing off. Afterall, if dreams were random visions popping into our heads, how come they have an actual storyline? A storyline with a beginning, middle and ending cannot be defined as random. If dreams aren't random then, what is creating the dream in the first place? It isn't our own consciousness. If it was, we would know what the dream was about because we would have made it up. We would always know what was going to happen next in the dream and nothing would come as a surprise. Clearly that isn't the case so it is not our own conscious mind which creates the dream. Something else must be creating dreams and it is difficlt to conceive how this could occur without some conscious thought and awareness - by something.
Once you get to the conclusion that there has to be some other conscious entity creating our dreams which is unique from our own consciousness, then that opens up a whole lot of possibilities as to who or what that other consciousness might be. Some may want to call it our subconscious mind, others believe that it is God, still some say that the dream world is another dimension of existence, like the etheral plain I do not personally know what the nature of this entity is, so I refer to it as the "dreamself".
I would also like to think that sometimes our loved ones who have passed on, or that sometimes God speaks to us in our dreams, but I can't believe that all dreams are from God or that everytime a deceased relative or loved one appears in our dreams it is actually them, because dreams can get pretty nasty sometimes and I just can't then believe that this is from our loved one or from God (or spirit guide for that matter). Your dream when you were a teenager, where the old woman in the crowd claimed to be your real grandmother, and then you found out they were horrible witches (I'm assuming this included the one that claimed to be your grandmother?) is a great example of this.
By interpreting dreams and getting feedback from dreamers as to how acurate or meaningful the interpretation was, I have learned so much about the dreamself and the nature of dreams. Obviously, every dreamself is different just like every person is different. But you can still get a general picture of its nature and parameters. Eg. dreams always seem to reflect the life, thoughts and feelings of the dreamer at the time of the dream. So the dreamself must be intrinsically linked to us, like a symbiotic relationship of sorts.
Back to your latest dream (sorry about rambling on a bit!), the people in our dreams - like your "real" mother - do not always represent real life people (or spirit people). Sometimes they represent some aspect of our life, like our career, our desires, or our spiritual or religious life. Often it is these types of dreams that can be very confusing. And I think your recurring dream theme is something along those lines. While I have not come across any dreams where a dream character has claimed to be someone's "real" mother, I have come across situations where dreamers have a mysterious dream lover or they are married to someone else during their sleep. These dreams can really mess with your head, especially if this lover, spouse or other significant other is not the same person in real life! But remember that the prime dream communication mode is in metaphors.
Looking symbolically, in real life, a lover is someone you love and have very strong feelings for, so in the dreamworld a lover can represent some life aspect the dreamer really "loves" and is very passionate about. For instance, a person's love of animals, art or music. A spouse, on the other hand, is someone you have made a commitment to, so again, in the dreamworld, they can represent lifelong commitment and a sense of sharing one's life and passion. For example, this might become a commitment and passion for a chosen religious path, or career - something the dreamer feels strongly about and feels committed to.
In your case, your dream is about someone having to convince you that they are your "real mother". In waking life, a mother is someone who gave birth to you. Birth in dreams is about creating something or something new going on in your life. So a mother might represent your own personal creation story, or how you came to be. Ideally, a mother is also someone who nurtures us and watches us grow, loves us unconditionally, and wants the best for us. As the dream was set on stage, I wonder if this real mother could have something to do with your acting career and how you have created this part of your life. How you have nurtured, loved, and watched your acting career grow from when you were a young child up until now? Metaphorically speaking, if an acting career comes from your "mother", then it is part of who you are, part of the identity you were born with. Have you always felt drawn toward acting and performing in some way? If so, then this might be some evidence supporting this theory.
Another part of the dream that seemed significant, and which seems to be a theme with your spirit guides and "real mother", is that when you look them in the eye, they "stand out from the crowd". In other words, they are different and unique from the other people in the crowd. So if this difference and uniqueness from others has been a theme for you, if growing up you felt that you were different from others and had a special kind of uniqueness, then this might explain this part of the dream. Also, the eyes are said to be the window to the soul. So looking into someone's eyes is really symbolic of looking into your own soul, and looking at what truly makes you who you are.
And because the woman seems to need to convince you that she is your real mother, and because you really have to think about whether you believe her or not, perhaps then there is a part of you who is still a little doubtful about whether you were born to act or whether there is another calling for you? But then you do finally always believe that the dream real mother is telling the truth. So if lately (or through your life when you've had these dreams) you've been questioning whether stage acting or performing in general is really you or is this really what you were made for or meant to do, and if then you've come to the conclusion that yes, this is who you are, then this would explain these dreams. Because the symbolism is of a mother (and not of a lover or a husband, etc) it's more about who you are than what you actually want in life. Sure, being a performer might certainly be what you want in life, but I am thinking that the "who you are" bit comes first if you know what I mean.
The real telling part is going to be being able to describe the dream real mother. What kind of personality does she have? What do you admire about her? Are there any aspects of her you don't like? How is she similar and different to you? And how is she similar and different from your mum in your waking life? Are there any qualities within her that would be needed in your own career path? Ask yourself the same question of your spirit guides also. You said they were powerful. Ask yourelf, in what way were they powerful? What made them more powerful than the other dream characters? Thinking about these questions might help shed some light on their purpose in your dreams. Dream or spirit guides are normally there to show you something about yourself. So the nature of your spirit guides and/ or "real" mother might have something to do with what made you who you are.
The dream you had as a teenager where the woman who claimed to be your grandmother but ended up being part of a group of evil witches, I imagine that this dream came at a time in your life when you were feeling somewhat negative about your identity. You said they left you feeling trapped. Thinking metaphorically, an evil witch might be able to cast a spell to force you to do things against your will, or cause bad luck beyond your control. It would make sense then that the dream left you feeling trapped. Perhaps at that time in your life, you felt that you were doing things in your life which were jot part of your plan or that you felt compelled to do even though you didn't want to go down that path. The grandmother assertion by one of them might be a reference to the origins of those feelings you were having at the time? As it was quite some time ago, and your memory of this dream might have faded a little, it might be difficult to pin down the true meaning of this one. But it is certain to be a reflection of some negative feelings you were having at the time.
Well those are my thoughts on your dream theme. I hope it made some sense to you. Sorry if I rambled on a bit too much. I just felt that given the theme of your dream and your spirit guide question, I needed to go a bit more in depth into this issue. Let me know what you think. If I've left anything out that you wanted some focus on, let me know. And all the very best with your play!! I get the feeling that all those anxieties will fade away as soon as you get out there on stage!!!