Our Children, Our Dreams: The Healing Wisdom in Bad Dreams About Our Children

August 4, 2013

Greetings.  To subscribers of this blog I apologize for the several posts in a row you are about to receive.  Just delete and do not be alarmed that I am about to inundate you with torrents of daily posts.  Neither you or I have the time or energy for that :)

A while back I wrote a blog about a parent’s nightmare about her child.  It involved water.  Over the next four years a steady stream of nightmares trickled in under the comments section of that blog post and I did my best to respond.

Over the course of more than one hundred and fifty nightmares I started to wonder about common themes.  It did seem that water and drowning was most common, followed by falling from a height, and then kids being abandoned or running into harm, “bad guys” and monsters, and also dreams that seemed to come from a place of real hurt or abuse, possibly in the dreamer’s earlier life.

Some readers might think that this would make an interesting book, but it seems like what people respond to is… being responded to.

And yet it is rather time consuming for me to respond personally to hundreds of dreams, as interesting as I do find them.

Thus a compromise solution for the time being:  a compilation of all the dreams by category, ranked mostly by the age of the children in the nightmares (if this info was supplied).  It is hoped that future readers might be able to follow the category and then age ranges to find dreams similar to their own, hopefully with interpretations and insights that prove relevant to dreamers whose dreams I cannot personally interpret.

While most readers may not find the breadth and depth of hundreds of nightmares interesting reading (I must say I have found it very challenging to confront so much disturbing material), I would seek to invite us all to consider our collective situation.

In other words, parenting is hard.  It is often lonely.  Often thankless and frequently overwhelming, exasperating and intermittently sad and infuriating, not to mention expensive and time-consuming.   Yes we love our children, but do we feel truly supported by each other and our community to be able to optimally serve our children (much less “get our own needs met”)?

While the sweep of the dreams I have received may be “normal,” and they may also be officially lacking in any meaning at all (dream interpretation is certainly more an art than a science), in waking life it does seem that many children are at risk, left behind, “drowning” in a culture of increasing extremes and where does this leave parents?

Perhaps just realizing how many parents must be out there who haven’t written their nightmare on the virtual wall of a parenting blog, but who suffer feelings of fear and overwhelm, can move us all, however incrementally, toward a wider sense of our “selves” as not just individuals but as a community, or a world.

Perhaps it takes a village, but all those villages reside in an increasingly small world.  But just because the ocean becomes a pond doesn’t mean our kids can’t drown in it.

So, sunblock and lifeguard whistles at the ready, let’s keep a loving eye out for each other and all our collective children.

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