Bad Dreams and Nightmares

I thought this would be an appropriate topic for the #BloggORS Challenge.  This will put a little more of me – albeit a not-so-good part – out there.

I think we’ve all probably had them, either as a child or as an adult – or both, but bad dreams and nightmares are yet another part of life.  I understand there must be bad to balance the good in life – that whole yin and yang thing – but I tend to think my bad dreams have a disproportionate share.  Why do the bad dreams seem to stick around in your head longer than the good dreams?  It should be the other way around.

When my wife and I were dating, she talked me into getting a reading from one of those spiritualists.  I wasn’t sure if I really believed in that stuff, but I went along.  I was surprised (“shocked” might be more accurate) by how much the spiritualist knew about me.  For example, she knew that I spent a good portion of my life in the military.  She went on to say that I had served in the military in all of my prior lives, as well.  She said that my military past haunts my subconscious.

I still don’t know if I believe everything she said, but her reading could explain the majority of my bad dreams and nightmares – they seem to center around the military, with battles and fear and death.  In my present-life military experience, I did not have to go to war.  Nor did I experience any real fear (except from my Drill Instructors in Marine Corps boot camp).  However, the visions and experiences in some of my dreams are extremely vivid and intense.  Sometimes, the fear is such that I wake up from a deep sleep.  When that happens, my breathing is usually fast and my pulse is racing.  (That’s how I define the difference between a bad dream and a nightmare.  If I wake  because of it, it’s a nightmare.  If I just have recollections after waking, it’s a bad dream.)

According to the spiritualist, my spirit (or soul or whatever they call it) has fought in every major U.S. war, but she could not tell me if I was ever killed in battle or captured.  I heard somewhere that it’s impossible to die in your dreams.  I’m quite glad that’s true, because if I didn’t wake up when I did, I’m sure it may have led to that.

When I am in the midst of one of these terrible dreams, it seems that when the situation begins to go south, a part of me reminds the rest of me that this is just a dream, and that’s usually just before I wake myself up.  What really confuses me, though, is if I have the power to wake myself up, then why can’t I just choose to have a happy dream instead?  After all, they’re my dreams, aren’t they?

If you have any particular insights to dreams, please do leave a comment.  I’d be very interested!

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