How To Learn From Your Nightmares

Author Kelly S. Walden says learning from your dreams and nightmares can make your life better. / Illustration by Scarlett Kirn

Kelly Sullivan Walden knows what secrets could be lingering in our darkest of nightmares. 

Walden, also known as “doctor dream,” and author of Dream Oracle Cards for The Awakening Dreamed, explains nightmares may not be all they are cracked up to be. 

“Every dream is a good dream even if it’s terrifying,” Walden says. “Every dream is trying to help us become more whole. Every dream works on behalf of our wholeness and our health and our wellbeing.” 

Dream Oracle contains 53 of the most common dream symbols, which helps to bring insight into our dreamworld.  

“Usually nightmares are brilliant because they get our attention that’s why they are the most commonly remembered dreams,” she says. “More people remember their nightmares than they do the positive dreams because the imagery is so stunning that it really gets our attention.” 

Walden explains that if we were wise, we wouldn’t just try to forget our nightmares or bad dreams simply because they frightened us. We would realize that our subconscious mind or higher consciousness is trying to get our attention, so we can make important changes in our lives. 

Common nightmares may not be what they seem. Ever have a nightmare where you were being chased by that zombie you saw at the latest horror film fest? 

Although these types of nightmares where we are being chased may cause an ample amount of uncomfortable emotions to arise that linger with us into the waking hours, they are more likely to serve as a warning than just merely frightening us. 

“It’s usually an aspect of our own power or our life force that we have deemed ugly or undesirable and we are running from it. But it truly is powerful and beautiful, especially if we use it in a way that is life serving. It is a part of ourselves that we are trying to run away from,” says Walden. Often these horrible creatures like monsters or witches that chase us in our dreams are not trying to hurt us but are trying to help us reach a level of self-realization. 

Other common nightmares have their own unique connotations as well. Ever have a nightmare about a violent tornado that was ripping and consuming everything around you? 

There you were in your nightmare horrified that this monstrous tornado was going to consume your helpless soul next? You are not alone. Many have but, some things are not like what they seem. 

In general tornados represent massive change in the way you think. Tornados are made up of wind and air which are elements associated with thought. Since tornados are destructive and wild in nature they represent a radical change. 

“In some way destruction precedes creation. So, it’s not always a bad thing,” she says. “It might not feel pleasant, but it might be preceding a big change in your life.”