– by Bei Linda Tang –
Dreams offer glimpses into our inner worlds, and reflect our deepest feelings, emotions, and desires. While it’s empowering to gain personal insight and take control of our own mental health through dream interpretation, in my view, the most significant benefit of dreams is connecting deeply with others. It’s the key to real happiness and peace. To initiate a conversation about dreams is an act of showing real interest, understanding, and trust. When you do this, you will be rewarded with deep, spiritual connections and true happiness.
In my home, we have a short ritual in the morning. At breakfast time, we ask the children if they slept well and had had any dreams. This only takes a minute or two, but it is a great way for them to start each day knowing they are loved and cared for. When there are dreams to talk about, we’ll listen to what they have to say – either then or later in the day when there is more time.
Dreams are fun to talk about. Their contents are often unexpected, and they stretch our imagination. My kids have dreamed of robbing banks, talking to animals, and hiding from wasps in a creek. They know our dreams too. I am always surprised by couples who have been together for a long time but don’t know about each other’s dreams. I can’t help but wonder, if you don’t know your loved ones’ dreams, do you really know them?
The knowledge of someone else’s dreams equates to real understanding and intimacy. When my husband or one of our children is in a bad mood, I can always cheer them up by mentioning something from their dreams.
Interpersonal communication in today’s world is extremely challenging because everyone is so busy and distracted. As soon as new technologies become available that free up some time, we always manage to fill our schedule quickly with some other to-dos. How do you stay closely connected with someone while you live through different experiences?
When I pick up my kids after school, I’d always ask, “how was your day?” and “what did you do today?” The answer is always “good” and “nothing”. With the short amount of time we have to talk to loved ones, how do you get to the really important stuff? Dreams are a condensed form of what matters deeply. If you care about someone but don’t have much time to communicate with them, you absolutely need to cut to the chase and ask about their dreams. You will be surprised at the depth of information it can reveal in an instant.
Parents provide the upbringing that shape our consciousness from the beginning of our lives to the paths we take early on. We learn from everything we experience, positive or negative. Our personalities are formed mainly based on what we have experienced in childhood and youth. When we are hurt in one way or another, we develop coping mechanisms, swallow the deep emotional pain, and harden our shells. This protects us from the outside but also prevents us from connecting with our true self and others.
To make decisions that will lead us to happiness, it is necessary to reach into the hardened outer shell and understand what caused it to be there. Dreams reveal what goes on internally at a deep level. They are honest, relevant, timely, and irrefutable. This is true for each person. If you understand the personal relevance and importance of your dreams, you can appreciate the relevance and importance of others’ dreams. By sharing dreams with others, you open yourself to deep, meaningful communication with them. This will transform your relationships and bring true happiness.
Bei Linda Tang is a mother, wife, owner/creative director of Dream Designs (dreamdesigns.ca), and author of Navigate Life with Dreams: A Guide to Happiness and Peace by Working with Your Own Dreams.
Nov 2, 2019, Kay Meek Theatre, West Vancouver. Bei Linda Tang hosts Dream Salon, a symposium to explore the science and psychology of dreams. For more info: dreamdesigns.ca 604-254-7030