Why do we dream? What do our dreams mean? Why do our dreams haunt us? I’m not a dream scientist, but if you step inside my world of crazy, I can answer your questions. And if I don’t satisfy your questions, then you can sleep on it. In our waking lives, we have control of our thoughts and because we do, we suppress our daydreaming and imaginations. Usually, we are very literal when we are postulating and do not turn on the daydreaming side because we simply are concentrating too much at the task at hand. However, when we let ourselves wander, that part of our brain turns on. When someone tells you a story, you also imagine and see it unfold in your head, similar to when you read a book. In our dream state, we mostly cannot control our thoughts and so our thought and imagination process meld seamlessly because we imagine what we immediately think about.
We dream because our brains never stop thinking even when we sleep. Our bodies may rest, but our mind never does. Remember a time when you pulled out of sleep and remembered how elaborate your dream was? Your mind was still working. Our dreams are a continuation of our thought patterns and what we take in from the world that we still yet have to process. If you go to sleep with a certain crisis in mind, chances are you’ll dream about it, too. Oftentimes, our dreams can access what we forcibly will not face in our waking lives because traumas can never really be pushed away. When we dream of people who are dead or relationships that have ended, it is not necessarily because we want to be with them. It only means that we have unresolved issues with these people and they remain open wounds. To acknowledge this understands that we must deal with it in our waking lives. We may never be able to receive closure from them, but we can express our feelings via a letter. This will lesson our trauma.
Sometimes, we have reoccurring dreams or dreams that scare us. Reoccurring dreams are unprocessed feelings and experiences that affected us more than what we cared to admit to. Dreams that scare us may show us what our deepest fears are because we refuse to admit them in our waking lives. Dreams exist to haunt us because we cannot come to terms with our past. They are not premonitions, reasons to get back with your ex, or sessions with your dead relatives. Maybe that last one, but I’d like to think Uncle Don has better things to do than show up at my dinner party dressed as a rabbit. Dreams are an extension of our thought process and the place where we hide our traumas. Because we don’t understand them, we ascribe things to them that they are not.