Author Patricia Garfield was my first dream guru. She has a very simple pocket paperback book about keeping dream journals. In her book, Patricia explains how many primitive tribes teach their children to face their fears by using dream work. If you were a native child and you dreamt about a tiger chasing you, your parents would tell you to go back into the dream about the tiger the next time you dreamt. However, when the tiger is about to catch you, turn around and ask it for a gift.
You can do the same thing yourself. The next time you have an anxiety-producing dream, tell yourself you want to dream about it again. This may take more than one night so be patient. Whatever the frightful dream is about, face it in the dream instead of running from it. Ask for the gift. This is the same as asking for the lesson of a bad experience. Seeing the value in something we otherwise find devastating or painful is how we grow.
There really are only two emotions…love and fear. Love is everything that brings us joy and makes us feel good about our selves. If it doesn’t make you feel good about you, it’s fear. And fear is that which keeps us from taking risks and ultimately discovering our true potential in life.
Don’t be afraid to confront your demons in your dream world. Facing fears is the only way you develop more courage and get emotionally stronger. If you wait, until your life is “pleasant” or “stable,” you’ll never do it. I’ve made some of the greatest strides in my life during times of duress. (And people who know me, consistently describe me as “courageous” or “a risk taker” or “self-confident”)
Face your fears in your dreams where it is safer and you will find your life blossoming like a beautiful lotus.