Pay Attention to Your Dreams by Kirsten Langston

Written by: Kirsten Langston Published on: July 28, 2021

“Months before he died in 2012, I dreamed I was sitting in my mother’s house with the family, and my father got up from his chair and walked out of the room. “How long will Dad be gone?” I asked. “Forever,” my mother replied.”

A dream is a wish your heart makes…or is it? 

Back in college, I took a class about Carl Jung and dream interpretation. To this day it remains one of my favorite classes I have ever taken. In the class, we more or less just got into groups, shared our dreams, and then tried to interpret them. 

Dreams are our subconscious boiling over while we sleep. No one knows why we dream or what purpose dreams serve. Jung believed we dreamed as a way to communicate with our subconscious. I am, of course, (if you couldn’t already tell) inclined to agree.

If I’m remembering this correctly, some theorists believe that we evolved to dream over time and our ancestors did not dream at all. We know animals do it too, though we obviously don’t know what they are dreaming about. Most scientists believe that there is no function to dreaming while others believe the function evolved when we were cave people. They think it was a sort of threat simulation so we could practice defending ourselves from saber-toothed tigers. 

In 2012 I began having some rather strange dreams that were definitely out of the ordinary, so I started writing them down. I had not kept a dream journal since I had taken that class in college. I remember our professor telling us not to worry if we couldn’t remember our dreams most of the time. He explained that the more we wrote down the more we would remember, and he was right.

I started the journal in 2012 with one dream a night, and within weeks I was remembering and recording up to five a night. But what was the purpose of these dreams? I couldn’t help but wonder what I was trying to tell myself. 

Dreams Predict the Future

I remember before my father was ever diagnosed with kidney disease, I kept dreaming that he was in peril in the Russian River, surrounded by sharks, and only I could save him. Spoiler alert: I ended up donating my kidney to save his life in 2005.

Months before he died in 2012, I dreamed I was sitting in my mother’s house with the family, and my father got up from his chair and walked out of the room. “How long will Dad be gone?” I asked. “Forever,” my mother replied. 

I’ve had dreams where I am searching for a bathroom for what seems like hours, only to wake up, having to pee badly. 

I’ve had dreams where I’m sick at the doctor’s office and then woken up with a cold. 

I’ve had dreams where I am in the snow and then woken up to find my husband and dog have stolen all the covers from me. 

This is a strange thing, but I often dream the plots for my novels. At least once a month, I will dream an entire movie.

This demonstrates that dreams are permeable; that is, things that are happening in waking life often penetrate our dreams, such as my snow dreams or my bathroom dreams. But what if dreams could go the other way? 

The Importance of Dreams

I would argue that they do already. Have you ever had a dream where you get into a fight with someone or someone does something horrible to you and when you wake up, you’re actually mad at that person? 

Let’s say you dream of having a certain car, a new house, or a different job. What is to stop you from pursuing that in waking life? I would go so far as to say you SHOULD pursue that in your waking life. 

Often, our dreams are trying to point us in the right direction in life, if only we would listen. 

Some cultures believe that when we sleep, our consciousness slips into another place—another dimension, if you will—and in that dimension, all these things you dream about are actually taking place. Dreams were taken very seriously back in the day and still are in some tribes and shamanic practices. 

In these times we forget the importance of our dreams. We are taught to ignore them or treat them as just some weird thing that happens that has no bearing in “reality.” I would say that you should ignore that line of thinking. 

Your dreams are trying to tell you something, give you something, or show you something. Dreams are an important part of daily living, and I would highly recommend you pay attention to them. Keep a dream journal, then go back through it after a few months, and see if there are any underlying themes. You may find that you’ve been given a premonition or two.