Why do we sometimes dream the same dream over and over? The main reason dreams reoccur is that we have not entered into the understanding of the message yet. So the same dream message continues to play over and over. Sometimes the characters change or the setting changes, but the overall message remains the same. Once we come into the understanding and we apply the wisdom and insight of the dream's meaning to our lives the dream will cease to replay. Oftentimes, through recurring dreams, God is trying to communicate something. When we finally understand what he is saying to us, the dream script will stop repeating itself. Our dreams will change when our behaviors change. We can have several different types of dreams but they all deal with the same underlying theme. A biblical example is Pharaoh's dream of the seven cows and seven ears of grain. (Genesis 41:1–7)
Why do we have nightmares, and how can we eliminate disturbing dreams? Nightmares are about things in our lives that we fear. We are not to be fearful or run from the enemy or difficulties but face them in God's power and boldness. Once we face and confront our fears they will stop haunting us. The people, places, and events in our dreams hold tremendous significance for understanding ourselves. Nightmares are simply messages from the deepest part of us to our consciousness calling for change. If unheeded, not only may we continue to suffer from the unpleasantness of a "bad" dream, but we run the risk of perpetuating negativity in our waking life.
Sometimes a nightmare can be a wakeup call from God. Oftentimes when we ignore what God is trying to speak to us through dreams, whether consciously or subconsciously we can experience nightmares. These terrors of the night get the point across in a graphic way, in order to make a lasting impression on us, so that we will remember the dream and dig into its meaning.
There are universal symbols such as the circle, which represents covenant, wholeness, or completeness. But sometimes only the dreamer knows the meanings of the symbols. So in order to accurately interpret dreams, the interpreter should ask questions to find out what personal significance a particular dream symbol holds for that person. Symbols can have totally different meanings to each dreamer. Although they are not as important as people in our dreams, animals can be of large significance as well and sometimes portray our emotional state. People are usually symbolic of our inner person. As light divides the colors of a prism so a dream will help divide the various parts of our personality. Dreams help us to rightly discern our true selves and to remove the mask that we wear to protect ourselves from our world. Dreams help us to learn to listen to God's voice through symbolic language. They enable us to cooperate with God's greater purpose and plan for our lives. Dreams help us to reach our untapped potential by bringing us into harmony with ourselves, God, and others. They enable us to get at the heart of the matter.
If we want God to speak to us through dreams and visions, he will. God is not a respecter of persons. Abraham, Jacob, Mary and Joseph, Peter, the Prophets, Gideon, Solomon, Daniel, Joseph, and heathen Kings were all lead by dreams and visions, so we are in good company. We must pursue God and learn the way he speaks through dream symbols and night parables. We should focus on and give attention to our personal dream language. Develop an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit and he will give insight, revelation and the interpretation for not only our dreams but for the dreams of others as well.
Interpreting the Essence of a Dream's Theme
Identifying the essence or tone of a dream means we are determining the theme, main concept, or message that the dream brings to light.
To capture the essence of the dream, the dreamer should first record the main symbols of the dream removing the extraneous details, objects, and names but retaining the action of the dream. This should be done before the dream is evaluated by point of view or perspective. The theme or main concept of the dream will provide the focus of what or who the dream is about.
Each person has a unique dream vocabulary that has been assigned specific meanings depending on the dreamer's life experiences. Personal symbols in dreams are joined with surrounding details that give them life and dimension. While to some a candle symbolizes romance, ambiance, and beauty, to others it may symbolize their only source of warmth, poverty, and shame. Dogs are known as "man's best friend." This interpretation may apply to dog lovers but not to the person who was viciously mauled by an angry dog as a child. Animals are used in dreams to symbolize our good and bad character traits.
Children and babies often represent a new phase or beginning, immaturity, or childishness, innocence, purity, naivety, spiritual fruit, or something that is very dependent upon us for its well-being.
The dreams that God formulates to speak to us in our sleep are oftentimes very precise. They efficiently address multiple areas, layers, issues, and topics as they reveal concealed knowledge and hidden mysteries come to light through one short dream. It is not unusual for one dream to address both a personal concern and a universal meaning that can be applied to other situations. A dream can forewarn by predicting the future and enable the dreamer to prepare by removing health issues or character flaws or to solve a problem that is arising. We associate dream symbols with our personal experiences and the memories those experiences inspire. The symbols that appear in dreams evoke certain reactions or responses from the dreamer based on that person's individual makeup.
The dreamer will often ask more questions when the interpreter is only giving the essence of the dreams meaning. This technique will keep dialogue and communication flowing between the dreamer and the interpreter. There is an art to giving just enough to keep the person interested but not outlining each and every symbol by definition or rote memory. There must be a flow of the Spirit and not just head knowledge that is given in the interpretation of dreams.
To arrive at the essence or theme of a dream, remove all of the unnecessary information such as extraneous details, descriptions of things and places, and names. The theme is going to surround the action or focus of the dream that will lead to the understanding of the big picture.