Dreams containing imagery of self-reflection, own likeness and their connection to the dreamer’s personality traits

reflectionWhen awake, we are bombarded by external forces and stimuli which influence how we behave and project ourselves to the world. As we sleep, we carry all this information into the dream world, so that we can process and reflect on the events that happened during the day. During waking hours, our mind is constantly aware of the surroundings and the outer world, but when we dream our subconscious shifts its attention to the inner world for introspection. It is the time for internalizing all the information we absorbed and finding possible connections in seemingly random images. This is why so many people see images of themselves or their reflections in dreams.

Could self-reflections be a projection of existing psychological issues?

When it comes to self-reflection, it can be a case of too much or too little. Why? Seeing a reflection of yourself on a glassy surface or a mirror in a dream can often manifest as a projection of the dreamer’s need for self-examination or as a result of being too self-conscious. The former propels the dreamer into action towards increased self-awareness, while the latter warns against the possibility of spiraling into vanity, narcissism and even crippling self-doubt. Either way, scrutinizing your reflection serves as a critique of your current state. It suggests an imbalance that needs to be corrected for the dreamer to live in harmony with others.

Are fragmented and distorted reflections within dreams valid and analyzable?

Self-reflections and mirror images are oftentimes benign and merely gentle prodding of our subconscious to put us into tip-top shape emotionally and psychologically. It becomes more concerning, however, when the images appear distorted, fragmented or broken. These types of manifestations are usually associated with nightmare scenarios and should be analyzed more seriously to get to the root of the issue. A fragmented reflection, maybe seen in a broken mirror in a dream, could portend illness, accidents and even death. These cases would require a careful evaluation of critical aspects of your existence to help counteract the bad omen conveyed by the vision.

Do common interpretations of seeing your own likeness reveal your personality flaws?

Among the most common self-reflection themes in dreams are an absence of reflection, a blurry image and having someone else instead of your own reflection or image. In these cases, dreams about the absence of reflection could be pointing to a loss of identity. There may be incidents in which you could be coerced to act against your principles or perhaps you would behave according to the will of others in order to be liked or to please them. Meanwhile, a blurry self image depicts a lack of conviction. Some dreamers who experience this dream scenario end up getting passed over for a promotion or not getting hired because of their erratic nature and inconsistent behavior. Finally, when someone else is looking at you from your reflection or image in a dream, it means you are insecure and afraid of being judged. In certain instances, this type of dream depicts an upcoming social gathering or event which would put you into the spotlight or require you to have your best foot forward.

Dreams could reveal our hidden desires, suppressed feelings and developing issues. In rare instances, they can give us a glimpse of what is to come. They can provide solace or add to our trepidation, depending on the dreamer’s state of mind. In the case of visions with self-reflection, identity comes to the fore. To unlock the message of these dreams, a follow-up self-examination is essential. While it is easy to disregard dream symbols and consider them mere distractions from daily existence, there is merit in interpreting their meaning to help identify and anticipate issues that may have been buried in the busyness of day-to-day life. Who knows, understanding how your mind works may unlock insights and aspects of yourself you never even thought existed.

Dreaming Slim: Forced fixations on weight loss and their effects on our subconsciousness

abrbyThe self-obsessed selfie culture propagated by social media has put even greater pressure on people to look their best for fear of being rejected or ridiculed. Among the latest vanity trends and excessive focus on beauty is the dieting and exercise bandwagon. Role models, exacerbated by peer pressure and media scrutiny, further legitimize this trend touting hip terms such as “fitspiration” and “summer bod” which put a premium on unattainable and impractical body image. While proper diet and exercise are good for health and wellness, some people tend to overdo it for the sake of appearances and quick gains. The stress of losing weight and gaining six packs can sometimes be psychologically taxing that these images find their way into our dreams.

The preoccupation with self-image and buying into the stereotypical model ideal of fitness can result in dreams of gaining excessive weight. Weight gain alludes to added burden. The added weight could represent whatever is weighing you down in reality or causing you to feel down and out. Then again, gaining weight in a dream also has positive connotations, especially if you are perfectly happy and confident about yourself. In that case, instead of liabilities and worries, the excessive heaviness may portend financial gain.

The other manifestation of the symbolism of weight in dreams is losing weight. Scenes in dreams which involve shedding weight could bear negative interpretations. If you are feeling inadequate and rejected in reality, losing body weight in the dream world likely refers to a loss of wealth or the respect of your family and friends. Remember that symbols manifesting in a dream vision are heavily rooted in the dreamer’s personal issues and waking-world fixations. Weight loss may be a metaphor of the dreamer’s shortcomings that are in turn causing or feeding into the lingering feelings of ineptitude and rejection.

This obsession with fitness and weight loss can also manifest in different ways while dreaming. In extreme cases, these imagery can regress into nightmares. You may find yourself in situations where you feel weighed down by a heavy object causing difficulty in breathing. Other scenarios may involve endless running, as if being chased by a threatening force. The subconscious can also magnify your insecurities about your weight, so that you could appear distorted in your dream while being heckled by nameless, faceless people because of your true or perceived-to-be appearance.

As we sleep, our mind sorts through the various experiences and information we gather while we are awake. Anything that is bothering us and the salient issues we contend with bleed into the realm of dreams as a way of making sense of all these facts in our head. The more we fixate on something, the more amplified they will be in our dreams. Letting other people’s perceptions of perfection and the ideal image erode our self-confidence and brainwash us into thinking that we are not good enough cannot be healthy for our physical and mental health. Not only does it cause anxiety while we are awake, they can also cause fitful sleep and even nightmares.

Being constantly bombarded by images of perfectly toned physique on our social media feed makes self-acceptance and healthy body perceptions all the more harder to preserve. However, instead of focusing on the facade and the physical aspects of working out and losing weight, a change of perspective is in order. Instead of looking at this fitness revolution as a pressure cooker to eat less and exercise constantly to achieve that summer ready body, think of it in terms of health and wellness. Instead of looking at appearances and external factors to motivate you, think of your well-being and motivate yourself from within. Do not aim for the abs, but for the healthier lifestyle. Gaining a little weight is fine, it is obesity that is unhealthy and that is what you should strive to avoid. At the end of the day, it is your body and it is you above anybody else who can say whether it is functioning perfectly and makes you feel great.

Colors of dream visions: Bridges to metaphysical states and palettes of perception

Bridges to metaphysical statesWithout jumping in stormy waters of attempting to answer questions like “Can visually-impaired people have  colored dreams”, let’s consider the effects of colors on our subconscious states and the most commonly-interpreted meanings of these dreams. Colors in dream interpretation are usually closely associated with parallel symbolic elements of a dream and, generally speaking, it is common that certain colors add to the emotional charge of a dream, thereby detailing and making dream recollections more saturated and prominent, but not necessarily easier to interpret. Rather than trying to focus on particular colors or colors in isolation, it is more interesting and thought-provoking to outline some of the most frequently recalled and discussed color associations, combinations and patterns in dream interpretation.

Black and white dreams. Based on traditional dream interpretation sources, black and white dreams are indications of mundane and uneventful existence the dreamer is immersed in. Having colored dreams has always been explained as the fact that a dreamer who experiences color-saturated dream visions is still developing emotionally, physically and spiritually. A person who has colorful dreams could also be living a very active lifestyle with a multitude and great variety of people he or she is surrounded by in everyday life. Some sources indicate that inability to recall any colors from a dream points to accelerated aging, problems with cognitive perception and even memory deficiencies.

globeWhite and pale colors. Although arguable, the dominance of whiter and paler color combinations in dream visions are often referred to and interpreted as aspects more characteristic of physical body functions, bodily fluids and the like, especially if the colors accompany anatomical details, metabolic processes or similar scenes. Colors of white, if they stand out from the background or grab attention in a particular dream, represent notations and tendencies to create fences and build walls inside the dreamer’s mind protecting and safeguarding the person from the outside world. A ballerina with ambitious, but reclusive attitude; white and snowy Christmas landscape with the feelings of complete isolation from the rest of society for the time being; or a hospital setting when all we can think about is our own body and possible threats to its well-being; are some of the most characteristic examples of these dream visions.

neonNeon and screaming colors. Depending on details and settings experienced within these dreams, these color schemes are indicators of mechanistic pressure, subliminal reflections of overexcitement and urban buzz, projections of existing or growing anxieties and feelings of being out of place. The transformation of human race into urban-dwelling homo sapiens desensitized these visions almost to the point of being perceived as ordinary dreaming experiences compared to say, imagery appearing in a dream after attending a circus or a local fair or traveling by train half a century ago. Interestingly, glowing and pulsating colors, especially when contrasted with dark backgrounds, are often referred to as innate affinity to magic, supernatural and cosmic, whether these attributes are cultivated in the mind of the dreamer in reality, or just a subconscious manifestation of some dormant undiscovered abilities and predispositions.

Irregular and misplaced colors. Sometimes dream visions can contain scenes and images painted with distorted, out of place colors, which could evoke mixed feelings after they occur, a stir in emotional state and the resulting worries, concerns and curiosity to find out why these colors were perceived this way. The answers offered by dream interpreters usually include notions of accentuating subconsciously and focusing dreamer’s attention on a particular person, object or act, assigning a completely different value to something following a shocking discovery or less than pleasing information contradicting previously held personal opinions or beliefs. More often, misplaced colors in a dream are viewed by interpreters as voids in the logical progression of a dream, markers which highlight something left out of the whole picture by the dreamer and, therefore, serve as a more concentrated substrate for interpretation of these dreams.

What is your personal experience with colors in your subconscious state?

Dreaming about rats: Symbolic aspects hidden in commonly-described dream scenarios

Dream interpretation about rats abounds with theories and explanations related to these animals based on their affinity to famine, poverty, unsanitary conditions fed by the fear and disgust expressed by many in regards to these creatures lurking in the dark corners and suddenly crossing our paths.

Rats as dream symbolsBut let us take a closer look at the symbolic representations and some details contained within dream related to the images of rats. Apart from their physical characteristics and features which can evoke deep feelings of repulsion and disgust both inside the dream and afterwards, some commonly-experienced dream visions can reveal interesting, if not unusual associations and imagery, especially in the context of a particular dreams scenario.

An interesting detail often described by dreamers who happened to dream about rats is the environment and surroundings in which the dream took place. Often, it is a place characterized by the presence of water, dreamers refer to “muddy”, “rainy”, “slippery” locations as places where the contact with rats had taken place. The combination of these two symbols, “the rat” and “the water” suggests that dreamer’s mind could be subconsciously reflecting the existing struggle between two contrasting personal positions or attitudes in reality: admittance of guilt, wrongdoing or inappropriateness versus readiness (but quite possibly reluctance) to repent, cleanse or change for the better. By closely examining more predominant details of this dream scenario, one can analyze to what extent this situation can be applied to this kind of interpretation.

Another prominent aspect commonly remembered and described after having dream visions involving rats is their appearance or small physical details pertaining to what they looked like. Often, these are associations and chimera-like images related to the features of a human body: little humanlike hands, human faces or other parts of human anatomy morphed with the image of a rat. Common dreams about rats also include coming into physical contact with these animals, for example stepping on them, being bitten by them and so on.

Scared of ratsFor people who are naturally afraid of rats in wake life, these dreams could be either a confirmation of their phobia and repulsion directed at the animals, or a subconscious attempt to examine or question the nature of such fear. The symbolism of encountering a rat is quite often accompanied by the scenes of dark, untidy and unpleasant surroundings transposed into the dream from reality. Therefore, it’s a good indication of the dreamer’s preoccupation with cleanliness, purity or natural aversion to chaos and disorder. However, it could also be quite possible that the person experiencing dreams about rats spends some portion of his or her wake life in unclean, cluttered and messy environments, e.g. as a warehouse worker, a head of a large household which is difficult to manage, and the like.

It is probably artificial and far-fetched to relate symbolic representations of rats in our dreams to certain personalities and aspects of behavior of human character (a traitor, a person capable of deceit and betrayal), as many dream interpretation sources infer, because the image of a rat in these dreams is heavily dominated by the physical features of the animal and immediate surroundings which evoke, before anything, sensory reactions and responses, both on subconscious (dreams experienced) and conscious (dreams remembered) levels.

When trying to interpret dream visions containing a rat or rats as a central symbol, it would probably be more beneficial to explore tangible physiological reactions to the outside world in order to find a more meaningful interpretation of dreams about rats.

Dream symbols over the span of human life: evolution of symbolic representations about reality

We spend one third of our lives in a state of sleep (unconscious existence), which is referred to as a natural mechanism for restoring energy and giving our bodies much-needed rest at night. As we get older, the duration of such rest tends to become more and more prolonged in order to maintain our vital functions at an appropriate rate as we age. But what about the subconscious side of brain activity? Does it go through a completely different set of transformations compared to the young age and how do symbolic visions change over the span of our life?

Trash CanUndeniably, during the younger formative years, when the very foundation of memory and cognition is shaped, our subconscious reflections capture a great variety of new imagery, visual and sensory aspects of the everyday life. No wonder, adolescents experience very diverse, if not chaotic dream visions comprised of interwoven symbolic elements accumulated during the wake hours. It would probably be a complicated task for a young person to sort out distinct and discernible visions contained in their dreams in order to interpret them in a meaningful way. The exploratory nature of human mind causes us to retain important moments of our lives, but in a very erratic and disorderly way, so their analysis as far as dream interpretation is concerned, becomes difficult, if not impossible altogether. At this stage we could draw an analogy of subconscious brain activity resembling a computer file system which is being constantly updated without a whole lot of sorting and categorizing of the individual files within that system.

Old recordsAs we age, we gain more experience and start to separate discrete events in our “file system” into more stable and recognizable elements, which are often compiled, coded and stored based on their importance to us. Over the span of our lives, we increasingly attribute more significance to some events while forgetting or even completely ignoring those that seem mundane and unworthy of remembering to us. Figuratively speaking, the subconscious retention at this stage could probably be compared to an old vinyl record etched with certain well-defined and vivid symbolic visions coming alive during our sleep and leaving lasting recollections long after we wake up and go on with the conscious existence.

Therefore, it is clear that only discrete and isolated symbolic dream visions become more profound and prominent as we go through the process of maturation. And the biggest questions for any dreamer who is experiencing these recurring symbols and visions later in life are why do some certain symbolic dream elements take over less important ones and how could they be interpreted in a meaningful way, since they were “distilled” by the memory and recorded as distinct marks in our subconsciousness.

Would it be fair to say that older people are capable of finding and identifying much more relevant meanings for the dreams they experience because the “search terms” of their inquiries are considerably narrower, more precise and more defined? Does the number of years lived matter in symbolic dream interpretation just because our long life experience helped us keep only the most memorable life moments and important milestones retained as symbols and visions of our dreams?

Symbols of rain or rainy weather in dream interpretation and possible ways to analyze these dreams

Generally speaking, weather-related dreams offer little insight as far as dream analysis and interpretation are concerned with the exception when dreams include symbols and vision of rain and rain-related events. The main reason for having a multitude of interpretations for dreams about rain is its direct relation to water, which has been strongly connected to the fertility and abundance, which are characteristics of prosperity and happy life in many of the world’s cultures regardless of their geographic location. Presence of rain in dreams serves as a linking element between availability of favorable weather conditions and personal well-being and feelings of security. Similarly, dreams containing threatening or even catastrophic events and involving rain events, can be a representation of insecurity or fear reflected at a subconscious level.

Hiding From RainMany dreams are inherently related to emotions and feelings experienced while dreaming, for example soothing and comforting feelings of warm summer rain, feeling secure and protected while observing rain falling outside in bad weather from inside the house, or expression of loneliness and discomfort while being caught in the cold rain on the street and so on. For some people, while experiencing dreams about rain, the visions can evoke feelings of stressful and worrisome existence, some kind of disturbance or effects which result in excessive introversion, low self-esteem and depression projected into wake life. Psychological aspects of experiencing these kinds of visions can add to formation of complexes and states negatively affecting person’s life, especially if dreams are recurring in their nature.

The composition or the way rain was observed in a dream as well as its various degrees of intensity can provoke different emotions and reactions following the dream. The color or even the size of rain drops seen or felt while dreaming are explained and interpreted with a surprising variety of meanings and symbolic connotations by dream interpretation sources. Additional elements (i.e. thunder, lightning, wind) can add to or completely reverse the original meaning about rain symbols, creating ambiguous or contradictory interpretations of rain-related events experienced while dreaming.

Summer RainAs it has been mentioned before, dreams about rain are closely related to symbols and visions of water, therefore there are a lot of similarities in the way these two type of dreams are interpreted. Often enough, the notions of clear or dirty water are approximated to explain similar dreams about rain. Many sources regard clean and fresh rainwater as a symbol of personal rejuvenation and renewal, the ability to start life over and expect to be favored by the destiny that lies ahead.

While trying to find a meaningful explanation of a dream about rain, try to recall details pertaining to the situation: were you alone or with other people in the rain, what was rain’s intensity, was it accompanied by some environmental conditions such as thunder or lightning, what was the feeling you experienced in this dream? Other recollections could be related to the impact which rain had on you in your dream. Interpretation of a vision when you did not feel comfortable in the cold rain could be quite different from an event when you happened to notice other people or kids enjoying a light summer drizzle. The negative or positive outcome of such experience can change dramatically based on details you bring back from your subconscious visions related to rain or rainy weather.

Dream Symbols: Understanding Reality Through the Language of Symbolic Meanings

Our dreams are not just random sets or sequences of events occurring during sleep. They have a discernible connection to reality, whether such a relation is rooted in our past, a reflection of our present or a prediction of our future. Dreams are rife with symbolism and symbolic images, or things which speak about us – and more aptly, to us – through the deepest recesses of our subconscious. These symbols take the form of living or nonliving things, sounds, visions, our own and other people’s actions which appear in our dreams as a mirror of our innermost thoughts and feelings, or a parallel conscience to guide us through life’s journey. Therefore, it is imperative that we uncover the meaning of our dreams so that our awareness could help us act accordingly and use our knowledge for our own good.

Brain PuzzleNot surprisingly, remembering and interpreting certain dream symbols can often result in revelations which were somehow already anticipated or expected by the dreamer. However, there are dream symbols which may be difficult to fathom, and a deeper understanding and analysis of life’s circumstances are needed in order to form a cogent connection to the dream visions themselves, especially when a dream is recurring. These symbols may reveal some deeply-rooted subconscious desires. They may be hiding repressed memories of long-forgotten traumas. Or they could be perceived as warnings based on dreamers’ previous life experiences and practical knowledge alerting them about upcoming unfortunate events, giving them ample time to steer clear of future dangers.

Although symbols represent perhaps the most important part of a dream, looking at a specific symbol in isolation would not be helpful in trying to uncover relevant meaning and significance of a particular dream. As with some words which can have many meanings, depending upon the context in which they are used in spoken or written form, dream symbols should also be interpreted in the context they appear in a dream. Dreamers must pay special attention to all notable attributes in the dream as these may help reveal, modify or put specific symbolic representations in their proper context and, therefore, provide more valid interpretation. For example, snow by itself seen in a dream, may indicate that the dreamer is a casual observer to people’s hardships and difficulties, regardless of his or her reactions to such situations. However, “melting snow” has an entirely different symbolic meaning. On account of an additional context describing the symbol, in this case the modifier “melting”, the symbolic meaning of “snow” is completely altered.

Dream CatcherInterpretation of dream symbols using discrete representations of objects, actions and events experienced in a dream can result in some broad ideas for interpretations, however, more detailed combinations of symbolic attributes pertaining to specific dream visions produce much better interpretation results. Many dream interpretation sources posit that symbols are what can be considered elements of the universal language for dream interpretation and often belie a more deeply-rooted and inherent meaning.

For this reason, readers need to understand that additional details associated with specific dream visions or dream stories can aid in context-specific dream interpretation. For example, eating an apple and seeing a rotten apple, although bearing the same object considered as a symbol, i.e. apple, in the world of dreams, are obviously two different dream events which will have separate context-specific interpretations. Similarly, dreaming about a river, as described by the dreamer in more than one setting or scenario, could represent a number of things. As for dreams which involve recurring symbols, readers may be wondering why such visions keep appearing like pesky flies in their subconscious state. In most cases, they symbolize problematic events which have gone unresolved, or tumultuous phases in their lives which have not been accorded a proper closure. Otherwise, these reminders might just be another collection of unaccomplished plans or unfulfilled dreams waiting to be realized.

Not all symbols contained in our dreams have the same connotations as they would have in the real world. Often, certain things which might be considered unfavorable in reality connote a completely opposite meaning as applies to the world of dreams. One example is when a person dreams about death. It does not follow that someone they know in real life would meet the same fate. Death in the dream could be indicative of a change or transformation. Since the notion of death implies “coming to an end,” it is often symbolic of new beginnings. So there’s the rub. For someone who does not bother to look deeper for the most commonly-interpreted meaning of this seemingly macabre symbolism, that person will likely be unjustifiably burdened with anxieties about some ominous event which would most probably never happen. Of course there are dreams whose symbolic meanings are exactly how they would unravel in real life. Dreams of this nature are either a form of self-affirmation or proof that dreams indeed do literally come true, and deservedly so.

As in all forms of literature, a dream can be summarized and shortened by determining the “crux of the matter,” or the central theme of the dream from which its meaning can be deduced. The gist of a particular dream, no matter how complex it may seem, can manifest in the most vivid recollections of symbols taken out of the dream and have a profound significance to dreamers that only dreamers can determine for themselves. To reiterate, paying close attention to the context in which these symbols are seen in the dream will help dreamers arrive at the closest and most commonly-assigned meanings and interpretations as provided by both traditional and modern dream interpretation sources.

To give readers some relevant examples, dreaming about a “baby” in general is a symbol of upcoming pleasant surprises and fortuitous occurrences. That sounds simple enough. To dream of a “crying baby” connotes major health problems or a sudden tragedy. That’s still quite straightforward. However, consider this next dream, “cuddling a crying baby in an effort to calm him down, to no avail”. This by all appearances is a complex dream vision which might require some analysis on the dreamers’ part to help them grasp the central theme, which would then aid them in determining the dream’s symbolic meaning.  Again, only the dreamers can decide as to which particular attribute or part of the dream they think is prominent or significant enough to help them zero in on that attribute as the central theme, or the context in which the dream vision might take its symbolic meaning and draw a widely-recognized interpretation.

Baby CarriageTaking the third dream sample a bit further, it is possible that such a complex dream vision could only be the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. For the sake of argument, and knowing that it would bring readers to a better understanding of symbolism and symbolic meaning, let us assume that one dreamer dreams of “cuddling a crying baby in a room full of countless other people who are doing exactly the same thing, i.e., each cuddling a crying baby, and all seem to be working in a collective effort to calm all the babies down, to no avail.” In analyzing this rather convoluted dream vision, dreamers will be guided by their own conscience, that is, an inner awareness of what part of the vision truly strikes a chord with them in order for them to decide that it is indeed the symbolic image they are seeking a specific answer for. The possibilities to narrow their inquiry to a searchable dream description are as divergent as “many babies,” “strangers taking care of babies,” “baby tantrums,” “room full of crying babies,” “room full of people cuddling crying babies,” and so on.

There is no denying that enormous efforts are placed in creating and maintaining online dream interpretation sources which are able to respond to the signs of the times, but admittedly, these answers are mere guideposts. They are there only to give directions and to light the way. Ultimately, it is the dreamer who creates his own destiny, he who unlocks the true meaning of his own dreams.