What Does My Dream Mean? Dream Interpretation 101

What does my dream mean? This is a popular question many people ask themselves upon awakening each morning after witnessing many insightful, strange and somewhat bizarre occurrences right? The subject of dream interpretation is quite complex. First of all, there are many different types of dreams. Secondly, contrary to popular belief, there really is no stand alone meaning for each symbol or event that may occur in one's dream, therefore a dream interpretation dictionary that you can pick up at your local bookstore is nearly superfluous. I do, however, believe that the study of dream interpretation has been given more harsh criticism then what it deserves.

Some dreams tend to reflect emotional or psychological barriers in our waking lives.  Whether we have a deep-seated fear of abandonment or a nasty habit that's ruining our lives and the lives of those around us, it will show up in our dreams, at some point, in one form or another. This type of dream can give us clues, or even in some cases, instructions on how to recover from a serious problem. This is where lucid dreaming can prove to be quite useful. Although seemingly insignificant, many of our dreams serve the purpose of construing what we encountered the previous day, which is crucial to our mental health. So it's interesting that not only can we interpret our dreams, our dreams also interpret our experience. By making sense of the knowledge and skills we gain each day, dreams aid us in facilitating our ability to form more sound judgments and help us stay attuned to reality.

Over the years, many people, including well-known psychologists such as Carl Jung, have conducted sleep and dream investigations. Online its fairly easy to find an an array of dream interpretation dictionaries based on Jung's theories. Dream interpretations based on Carl Jung's work will often encourage one to consider the location and surrounding objects for hidden clues. I strongly doubt the validity of so called "dream dictionaries" simply because an object or dream symbol will rarely appear in a dream exclusively, therefore dream interpretation is exceedingly perplexing. This is why; I personally, render a basic dream dictionary almost futile.

Another contributing factor conducive in translating dream symbols is emotion. It’s important to consider how one feels during a dream scenario or when engaged in a specific event. For example, a common recurring dream scenario is losing one's teeth. To understand what this means one must reflect back on how they felt emotionally while this was occurring. The meaning of this dream will change from person to person as it is contingent upon the emotion felt during the event, however, the feeling of embarrassment is the most often reported emotion along with losing teeth, which indicates many people being able to ascribe the loss of teeth in a dream to something they feel embarrassed about. Even so, one must also consider the location of the event and other objects involved in the dream scenario.  

In summation, I do believe we can come closer to understanding the information our dreams are imparting, assuming that there is information being imparted, but to translate an entire dream would be impossible since most people only remember segments of their dreams. In finding the answer to "what does my dream mean" any dream interpretation will always be built upon suppositions, even when interpreted by the individual who dreamt it. I also believe that we should learn to be more discerning and recognize which dreams, or dream symbols, might hold meaning and which ones are merely comprised of day residue. Irrespectively, I find the study of dream interpretation entrancing and probably always will.

Article Written By: DeLeah Townsend

DeLeah, wife and mother of 3 children, has been studying dream interpretation since 1999. She's directly helped many others understand the meanings of their dreams through her insights. She and her husband also teach lucid dreaming techniques online. You can visit their YouTube Channel here!

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