I have had a lot of crazy, weird, fucked up dreams over the course of my life. They say you are what you dream, but I pray to God that’s not true. If it is, I’ve got some shit to sort out.
As a child, I had two reoccurring dreams that followed me for many years. The first dream only happened when I was much younger, but the second dream still finds it way to me, even at 23.
In the first dream I am always walking into the local Meijer grocery store. As I am passing the penny horse named Sandy, there is a woman standing in the corner. This woman is tall, unconventionally beautiful, yet intimidating. She has snakes for hair and now that I’m older, I’m starting to think that she was Medusa. I look around, but no one can see her except for me. No one seems to notice the snakes continuously moving about her head. She has her finger to her lips, warning me to be silent. She knows and I am scared. When I look into her eyes, I do not turn to stone. Instead, the eyes I see are my own and they are begging to be saved. I always wake up before I can close my eyes or look away.
To see Medusa in your dream signifies cunningness and terror. Alternatively, the dream may imply that you are draining all of the energy out of others. You are burdening others with your problems and putting a strain on the relationship. -DreamMoods
Being the youngest of four children in a household where money was already tight, there is no doubt that I was draining the energy out of my parents. As most children are, I was selfish. Quite honestly, I was a brat up until the age of 12, just ask my brothers. But then I grew up and got over myself. I realized how my actions were affecting those around me, especially my parents. I’m not quite sure what happened, but there was a day when it just clicked. I understood how the world worked and saw that my parents were doing the best that they could. I understood that being selfish and throwing fits were only causing more problems for everyone. The funny thing is, I don’t remember having this dream after that moment of realization.
The second dream is really a nightmare and in it I am stuck running in slow motion. The context of the dream is ever changing. Some nights I am running along a familiar track, other nights I am in a forest or on a grassy hill or in the middle of a wild flower field. Often times I am alone or separated from other people, but some nights I am on a crowded street, surrounded by unrecognizable faces rushing past me in every direction. My body is asking, begging to make any sort of movement and my heart is pounding as I try to break past the hold that is keeping me in place. My legs have abandoned me. I feel as though a magnet is pulling me to the ground and every step I try to take is a struggle. All I want to do is run. But no matter how hard I try, I can never keep up. I can never get to the edge of the forest or the top of the hill. I can never reach the finish line. I always wake up in a sweat.
After doing some research, I found out that this is a fairly common reoccurring dream to encounter. Because so many people have had this dream, there are a million interpretations out there. Out of the dozens of the dream interpretation books and articles I have read about this dream, only one really resonated with me:
“Your legs represent your fundamental drive as you push yourself forward through life. If you feel that your legs are moving slowly, then you feel that there is something resisting your progress in waking life.” -Ian Wallace, a psychologist and dream expert
Like Damn! Okay! I see you, Wallace! Getting right to the point! I feel metaphorically stuck in real life so I’m literally stuck in my dream. I feel like I’m going no where in life. I feel as though everyone around me is flying through life, while I’m still learning how to walk. Well done Wallace, you got me.
So how do I become unstuck?
Whenever I have felt in limbo about an issue in my life, I have been known to talk it to death. I call and text me friends redundantly over the same issues that have me feeling in a loop. Lately, I have been trying to switch things up by planning events that are out of the ordinary routine. For example, I decided today to run a half-marathon! I have always been a runner and with the right motivation, I have hope that with an end goal set on the calendar, I will feel like progress is being made towards that goal. There may be other areas in my life that are not moving forward, but at least something is!
Alternatively, if you are feeling stuck, I have found the app Unstuck to be very useful. The app walks you through a questionnaire to help you figure out in what way you are feeling stuck. It then provides advice and ideas on possible ways to become unstuck. It’s worth giving a shot when you get to the point where you really don’t know what else to do.
So whether you believe that dreams are simply a random collection of pictures you see during the day all jumbled together in your sleep cycle or you believe they represent your subconscious fears and desires, there is one important takeaway. You dream what you dream for a reason. Maybe it is just a dream about Meijer and Medusa because I went to the store on the same day I read a Greek Mythology book. Maybe it is because I needed a wake up call to my selfish behavior. Regardless, I think there are valuable lessons to be learned if you pay attention to your dreams.