Dreamwork is called ‘work’ because it takes effort & diligence just like work does. If seeking to understand personal growth through understanding metaphors in dreams was easy it might be called “Dreamplay” but the problem with that would be that people would give up when it got challenging and say something such as, “well, this is no fun. I give up.”
It’s called Dream “work” because looking at issues every day takes effort & diligence and the WILLINGNESS to change. Change is not easy. Work is not always easy. But change is what keeps life interesting and allows for things to get more and more positive daily. Work is what keeps life challenging and allows for great discoveries and progress. So despite the inevitable challenges, the process of Dreamwork for Self-Help and Healing, especially after trauma is really worthwhile.
At the beginning stages of the healing process, a lot of dreams might be full of negative emotions which show up in scenerios people sometimes call Nightmares. The goal at the beginning is to just take it easy, as if life were a beach, and look at each issue a little bit at a time each day. For example, writing down a dream in the morning and reflecting on the change that the day brings is a good routine to be in.
In time, when the healing has really permeated through all the areas of life then development can leap into the next stage which is less like a beach and more like climbing a mountain. If you are interested in exploring this concept in more depth, you can read an excellent explanation by Richard Hastings at Dreams For Peace.
Undoubtedly, by the time a dreamer is ready to really climb to new heights in their development they have encountered numerous challenging situations and behaviour, within themselves & others. Going from a snooze on the beach to a jolting hike up a hill is not a piece of cake. But by setting clear goals and then working out what it will take to achieve them, some really miraculous things can start to happen. However, at this stage the dreamer now has a whole new arsenal of skills, capacities & gifts to use when dealing with any negative behaviour which arises.
Without question, the reason trauma-work was first embarked on by the dreamer is because something in their lives was not working out too well. Maybe it was a failing marriage, or perhaps an unfulfilling career, or maybe there were physical issues such as obesity or fatigue. Whatever was the original area where healing was needed, when this healing has occurred then the next stage of development can be just so rewarding and fulfilling.
Setting goals and achieving them can bring out tremendous feelings of Joy and Gratitude. It makes all the effort worthwhile and opens the mind to brand new ideas for new goals and new heights to achieve in life.
Often times, the greatest growth for so many people begins with a negative dream image which can’t be ignored and then in time the changework just becomes part of every day living and the nightmares go away.
The Dreamwork process of understanding metaphors and working through the issues to release positive energy and capacities is a remarkable way to take hold of the steering wheel of live and drive into the positive direction the dreamer wants to go in.