Dreams bring information from our spirit on things we are grappling with. Dreams are full of metaphors and images. These familiar images are symbolic. We can study our dreams for wisdom to lead our lives. We can use this wisdom to help us live more peaceful and integrated lives. This is a dream I had recently. It isn’t the easiest dream, as an animal dies in it. But, it is an important dream in my life. And, of course, no animal really died! It uses the symbolism of the armadillo to teach.
How Do We Lose Ourselves? A Spirit Story from the Armadillo
I am in the garage from my childhood. I am being required to make armadillo soup for a test to join some club. First, I have to kill an armadillo. One of my friends, who I trust, finds an armadillo in the garage. She knows how to kill it and she comes to get me. She takes me to it. I see the animal sitting on the sailboat cover. My friend is gleeful. She lets me know, it will be so easy!
She and another friend get the armadillo to help them put a chopped wooden burning log in a duffel bag. The armadillo is smart enough to help them. My friend makes the armadillo feel like she is its friend. Then, my friend lets me know the armadillo has become trusting of all us humans. It will be fooled. It will be easy for me to put the armadillo in a bag and kill it.
I am deeply distraught and squeeze my eyes shut at the thought. I can’t do it, but my friend can. I keep my eyes shut and get tenser and tenser. I am crying. I know I can’t kill it. I don’t want to kill it. I tell my friend I can’t do it. She will have to do it, if she wants it done.
The scene shifts and I am standing over the armadillo. No one else is around. It is dead and there is lots of blood. I am numb. It is an awful scene. I don’t know what happened. Who killed the armadillo? I am very upset.
WHAT DID THIS DREAM MEAN TO ME? Only you can interpret your dreams and make meaning of them. For me, this dream was about me making decisions to not eat animal protein. I am eating less and less animal protein. This change is largely based on my increasing sensitivity to the animals being killed. This dream encourages me to not eat animal protein. In addition, it demonstrates the need for me to get clear on my principles and not become like a victim. I see what happens when I act powerless when my sensitivities say otherwise. Otherwise, like in this dream — it doesn’t matter who did the actually killing — I am a part of it if I stay victim like and frightened, with my eyes closed.
SYMBOLISM OF ARMADILLO – The armadillo is an animal which teaches us about personal boundaries and how to dig out the truth. Its outer coat of “armor-like” surface allows it to roll up in a ball and protect itself when it needs to. It likes digging in the dirt and getting deeper and deeper.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE LOSE OURSELVES? We lose track of what we believe. We let ourselves be pressured by others to do things that go against what we believe. It is easy to blame others, and cry “I didn’t know,” or “I am scared.” We ignore what is happening and it go into denial to “protect” ourselves. d. We are traumatized with no idea of how it happened. e. Others get hurt.
LESSONS TO LEARN: Learn to say no. Say yes to yourself and act on your inner truth. Take responsibility. Don’t deny what is happening. d. Give up a crowd, or friends, who go against your beliefs. ———–
HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR DREAMS I learned a way to work with my dreams years ago. Once you commit yourself to doing it, your dream life will bring you more dreams for you to remember and get messages from. If you write them down and think about them, you will be able to integrate the messages in a conscious way. I think our dreams are where we integrate lessons and solve problems, whether we record them or not. But, this practice enhances your learning and your movement in your life. It can be exhilarating to get a clear interpretation of a dream the next morning. It can set you up for the whole day.
I wish I still had the book and author who I learned from, to give her credit. And I am sure I have modified them to my own sensibilities over the years But, there are the basics. (Let me know if you know the dream author’s name!)
- Set an intention to record your dreams. Keep your computer or notebook at your bedside.
- When you wake up with a dream, wake yourself completely up and record it.
- Use this format
a. Events of the day
c. Reflections and action to take from dream. I write dream first, then actions & reflections, and then go back & do events.
- Print it, or keep it where you can re-read it later. Listen to, feel and look for visual images of what you are learning.
TAP THE WISDOM OF YOUR DREAMS. YOU MAY BE SURPRISED WHAT THEY BRING YOU.