That Dream You Had Last Night Is a Message From Your Soul


I’ve been drawn to studying dream interpretation lately.

This is a recent interest for me, and it caught me by surprise. For years now, I’ve been unable to recall most of my dreams. The main reason why, I think, is because I’m chronically sleep deprived most days. Ever since my daughter was born, I haven’t averaged more than 6 1/2 hours of sleep per night (on a good night). Getting sufficient sleep is a major factor in how well we’re able to remember our dreams in the morning. Suffering from lack of sleep, low quality sleep, or fragmented sleep (which also happens because my daughter still wakes up at least once a night with a nightmare), means my brain has fewer chances to reach the REM phase, which is when dreams happen.

Still, despite the fact that I haven’t been making it easy on my subconscious to feed me bits of information at night, I’ve been waking up over the past couple of weeks with bits of dreams still lingering in my mind, and I’ve made it a priority to write down as much as I remember once I blink my eyes open. That’s the only way I can get the dream to stick around long enough so that I'll remember it after my feet hit the floor. Then, later in the day, I head to my trusty journal and watch as the threads unravel and details I thought I’d forgotten spill out onto the page. The interpretation part has been fairly intuitive, though I have looked up a few of the more traditional meanings from time to time.

This past weekend I had my most remarkable dream experience yet, and I woke up determined to keep even closer track of my dreams.

I dreamt I was back in elementary school, in Queens, New York, where my parents immigrated from Romania when I was 11 years old. Back then, I didn’t speak a word of English, and as you might imagine, the culture shock was immense. I had a hard time adjusting to school as a fresh-off-the-plane immigrant around a bunch of tough 6th graders, but to my surprise, I adjusted quickly and I have the best memories of my year as a New Yorker.

But I haven’t thought of that school in decades. I haven’t been there in a whopping 26 years, and my memories of P.S. 11 are sketchy at best. And yet, there it was in my dream, bright and colourful as though I’d attended last week, and not two and a half decades ago. But this time, I was there as an adult, with my husband and daughter in tow. Oddly, the school was under heavy construction. Debris littered the ground, and scaffolding ran up the length of the building. Yet there were many other families around as well. People with children my daughter’s age (she’s about to enter Junior Kindergarten in September), all walking through the construction zone, grateful and excited about the changes. I showed my family around, but there was one area, draped by a construction sheet, where I refused to enter. That was the auditorium. My daughter and husband explored, but I wouldn't step foot inside… which is so strange, because I vividly remember having assemblies in that room, mouthing words I didn’t know to the Pledge of Allegiance, and walking across the stage as an elementary school graduate at the end of the year.

I woke up feeling enormously nostalgic and missing the school terribly. I’m so glad we live in such a connected electronic age, because despite having made my home in Canada for the past 25 years, I was able to grab my phone and pull up school photos and information in the span of a few seconds. Imagine my surprise to discover that my former school had undergone a massive renovation project recently. It’s been one of the most overcrowded schools in the city, cramming in nearly 1,200 students in a 3-story building prior to the construction project. Each class averaged 47 children.

I didn’t know any of this, and yet, there it was on the screen. The construction zone, the happy families, the hope and relief the expansion represented. All of it, just like in my dream.

I wish I could tell you why my dream self wouldn’t go inside the auditorium, though. That part I haven’t been able to figure out, but I suppose some aspects of the dream realm are meant to remain a mystery.

I’ve always believed dreams are messages from our souls, but I also think they’re so much more. The subconscious is a conduit to energy we can’t possibly tap into during our waking hours. The connection is powerful and intimate, and filled with knowledge beyond that which can be easily explained. I’m now determined to learn as much as I can about dream symbolism, dream interpretation, and the power of our subconscious mind.

Do you typically remember your dreams? Have you had a particularly memorable one in the past few weeks? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your dream stories.