Monday, December 23, 2013

Apocalyptic Nightmares

People often bring up the subject of nightmares with me. Perhaps it’s the psychic side of me or the fact that I’ve coached folks with anxiety issues for over 20 years, but somehow folks feel comfortable bringing up their inner fears.

On my own time, in the past few years I’ve noticed repeated post-apocalypse nightmares in my dream-state themes. They weren’t something I ever dreamed up before, but something born in the post 9-11 time period with Bush’s color-coded terror alerts and duct tape and plastic, anthrax and airport shut downs when people sneak past security.

Many people have expressed to me having similar themed dreams. I’m guessing during WWII there were similar nightmares of bombs dropping, invasions, et cetera.

The content of the dreams can reflect people you ran into that day, movies you watched before bedtime, and running background anxieties. The sleep state offers you time to work out things, problem solve and release fears and gain mastery. The theme of the apocalypse is an ideal gauntlet.

Here’s how my dream usually goes:

Everything is dusty and tan-colored. There is no other color in the scene. I am trudging along, tired, feet sore, hot, exhausted. There are people around me. Not a large group, perhaps a dozen. We are climbing over rocks and small sandstone cliffs. I stop and ask everyone to rest and conserve their energy. The group gathers around and looks at me as if I have something important to say. They look as weary as I feel, but they also seem quite lost and numb.

I point to one person and say “you find us shelter. Go with that person and that person.” I point to others. I turn. “You,” I point, “go with him and her and her and find water.” I go down the line telling people what to do. They nervously wander off. We find a shelter, we find water and food, we cower inside a cave.

The others are contented to continue on this way, but I know we can do better if we get to more resources. I tell them we must conserve our resources so we can take them with us.

Then, off we go to walk again, longer, harder, hotter, more uncomfortable until we get a glimmer of something green and wet in the distance and everyone cheers. I have brought them to the promise land. I asked them to believe me and I provided.

In the dream, I never arrive to the oasis, but I wake up feeling both exhausted from the long saga and kind of down because it was a miserable world I just spent my sleep time in.

Do these dreams mean end of times is coming? No. It simply means that we are all using themes that we relate to in order to work out problems of every day life.

In the case of your dreams, it doesn’t matter so much what is happening in them, so much as how you are handling the themes. If you run and cower, you do not feel ready to handle what’s happening in your life. If you take control, you are feeling very competent. Perhaps you freak out and then stop and take control, that is reflective of your daily life.

So, don’t worry so much about the end of the world dream prophecies, worry how you handle them.

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