Often, we do not know what is most important to us, especially if knowing the self is associated with pain. We acquire pain associations between knowing and doing in childhood with parents who were set against either or both. We were punished as children for “getting ahead” by parents who were secretly competitive. We were punished by those so arrested by fear that they wanted us to remain in hiding with them. It was like being outstanding as a Jew in Nazi Germany. They punished to preserve us.
Then there were parents who punished us for being below a certain standard. They hated us as well. Some parents punished us for being at either end, too good or too bad so that their children learned a juggling act of mediocrity. As a result of being punished for existing outside a parent-defined “norm” we became terrified as children and remain terrified as adults of doing the same wrong things.
Because of the severity of the experience, childhood pain often determines our life path. If pain did not frequently occur and was much regretted by the parent who openly apologized, such a child follows the path of joyful self-realization. If childhood was felled by severe punishment, this child grown to adulthood, chooses whatever path can avoid it. They try to be unnoticed in the crowd. Sometimes our path regarding pain is a receiver/doer reversal. We punish our lover and/or child. Pain is always in our rear view mirror. It’s a not me, it’s you defense.
We need to know the fears which have long guided us in order to get over them. Dreams show us how we feel. They show aspects of our self long denied. What if you were trained to think very little of your mental ability? Then you dream of a circus with clowns and high wire acts, with acrobats and elephants. You inhabit the persona of each performer. It is you who fly through the air on a trapeze and then throw yourself from one bar to another. It is you who walks with lions. They mind your stick as they traverse the tightrope. Actually they are very tame and think of you as their friend. The stick is just for show. It is you as a clown who ridicules man’s propriety when you honk your red nose and fall over your walking stick which gets the audience to laugh. It seems they are laughing at the clown, but basically are laughing at that ridiculous part of self.
Our dreams are sources of great riches. They tell you when you need to laugh and when to cry. They tell you who you love and who loves you back. They tell you when you are needlessly fearful. They tell you when to quit. Knowing how you feel enriches you, the way drugs and movies and distractions cannot. A dream is your creation. A dream is not an advertisement attempting to sell you something. . Dreams are created by you to show you your inner truth. Listen, look and learn.