Did you know that ‘oneirology’ is the scientific study of dreams? While many people are interested in the meanings of dreams, these scientists study the correlation between brain functions and dreaming. My interest in dreams is superficial and not very scientific, however, I wanted to share a dream with you that I had.
Last night I had a dream in which I was running towards my mother’s car, which was sitting at a stop light. My mom and sister saw me through the car windows and waved to me. However, before my mom had time to roll down the window to speak with me, the light turned green and she drove away. Seeing my family’s car disappear in front of my eyes made me sad and I started to turn away to walk back to the sidewalk. When I looked up at the sidewalk though, I found that I was not alone, rather my boyfriend was standing there waiting for me.
This dream gave me mixed feelings. On the one hand, it made me feel sad that my mom and sister were leaving me, but then it made me feel good to know that I had another family, i.e. my boyfriend, that was still there for me. Perhaps this dream is my subconscious telling me to forge meaningful relationships outside of my biological family. I have been so busy this year that ‘making friends’ became an agenda item that has completely slipped through the cracks.
On another note, perhaps, this dream is my brain’s reaction to a sad German Christmas movie that I saw the day before (more about that here.) Either way, this dream held deeper meaning for me. I choose to view this little episode as a wake up call. I need to think about my priorities and think about how family, friendship, and my relationship with my boyfriend fit into my work-life balance.
I love dreams that make you think; they are a great tool for personal reflection and growth. The prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain responsible for logic, rests during REM sleep. For this reason, dreams can function like unfiltered thoughts free from logical biases and justification. There is no real reason for my dream last night, other than the fact that my synapses fired in just the right way to create this little mental movie. However, I am happy that my brain played this short show for me, because it did allow me to think more deeply about my current situation and plan for the future.
Holding on to this dream tightly and remembering the emotions I felt last night will help inform my decisions moving forward when considering personal relationships. Dear Reader, I wish you sweet dreams and an engaging, fulfilling, wonderful reality.