Dream Interpretation Can Promote a Practical Outlook

The words “dream” and “practical” have opposite connotations.

If you “dream” you’re not supposed to be hemmed in by reality. Your imagination is supposed to soar on a wild flight of imagination. 

If you’re “practical” on the other hand, you’re not acting creatively. You’re answering base concerns. 

So they say. 

But it’s not true. 

Practical = Dull 

The reputation for dreamy fancifulness comes from the symbols and actions in the dreams. Dreams can seem weird, funny, and very different from daily life. 

Yet once the dream symbols are interpreted for what they mean, and their relationship with each other is understood, there’s an underlying practicality that can get you unstuck from mental ruts. The insights help you prioritize. 

Weird dream 

In the dream, I was in a restaurant in a foreign country. There was a beautiful mountainside scene around me. I was struggling with what to order. I didn’t know what I wanted to eat.  

Finally, a server came up to take my order. I hesitated. She saw my hesitancy about what to order. She said, “Never mind, I’ll get something for you.” She didn’t say these words verbally, rather, she showed this. It was a foreign country where they spoke a language that I didn’t know. 

She shows up with a smallish shrunken cooked head on a plate. The head was attached to some shoulders. I was surprised, taken back. It’s a dead human I’d be eating! I hesitate at first and then start eating. It’s delicious.

This is the shrunken head of a Huambisa person from Peru (Photograph, 1899). The “dinner head” in the dream had more meat on it and shoulders too. I found the thought of eating it repulsive in the dream, but what could I do?

We were there eating in the restaurant with beautiful mountain views for three to four hours. I don’t want to give up eating on the man. There’s a lot of meat left. The man whom the head belonged to gave up his life so that I could eat, but the meal is taking too long. It’s starting to bleed over into everything else I must do. I’m conflicted. I don’t want to waste the meat. As noble as a sacrifice for my dinner was, I’ve got to leave at some point. 

The meaning 

The dream pointed out that there really is a limit to the amount of honoring we can do for sacrifice. Further, I don’t always need to feel guilty. I didn’t ask to eat the man. Rather, the server (who stood for the strange country and her culture) said, “Never mind. I’ll get something for you.” My dinner would have been dead without me. 

I can honor. I can say “thank you.” I still have to do what I must do what I’m responsible for. I don’t need to be a prisoner to the awe of sacrifice. 

It’s about finding a balance. 

Building values from your dreams 

Weird as they may be, dreams can help you find a practical balance. A season of life (related dreams occurring over a given period) is often focused on helping you find a balance between these competing priorities. 

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James Cobb, RN, MSN is the founder of the Dream Recovery System, a place on the Internet dedicated to helping you make the most of your sleep and dream journaling.

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There's gold (figurative) in your dreams.
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