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Archive for the ‘Phobias’ Category

Throughout my life I rarely tend to dream, or at least I don’t tend to remember them.  I do tend to remember a few recurring dreams through the years though.

One that I do recall is that I’d be in my parent’s back yard running around, playing on my swing-set, that sort of thing.  All of a sudden there would be a snake in the grass that I’d trip over, and as soon as I realized that it was a snake that tripped me I’d jump up and start running.  My coherent self would think that I’d run into the house to my Mother, but instead, in my dreams I’d run half way across the back-yard, and up onto the wings of a wing-back chair that was placed in the middle of the yard next to a pine tree that was there.  Then the snake would chase me and slither up the leg of the chair and as soon as it got close enough I’d wake up.  But whenever I’d wake from this dream I’d feel paralyzed.  Eventually I’d choke (because I think I’d stop breathing) and then I’d be able to move again.

This dream freaked me out time after time.

Recently at a yard sale (tag sale, garage sale, flea market – whatever you want to call it) I picked up a book called Dreams: More than 350 Symbols and Interpretations.  According to this book this is what the dream means:


SNAKE
The snake is a difficult dream symbol because it is so widely interpreted among various cultures.  Interpretations run the gamut from blood-curdling fear to wisdom and peace.  These options are determined by literary history and folklore from different cultures, as well as personal experience.

In waking life, it is not uncommon to be afraid of snakes.  For some people, this fear is disruptive and pathological, even to the point that a photo of a snake represents an oppressive threat.  For these people, snake dreams are almost universally bad.  If the dream includes someone who handles snakes, whoever tames the object of the fear is likely a source of wisdom and control in the dreamer’s world, and may be a representation of some aspect of themselves or someone else they know.

Among Asian and Native American cultures, the snake is a wisdom symbol.  The idea of wisdom comes from the snake’s ability to shed its skin and renew itself.  If one dreams of snakes from this perspective it is a dream of renewal, problem-solving, and good tidings in general.

I do vaguely recall at least sometimes when I had that dream, sitting on the back of the chair and watching the snake sit in the seat of the chair shedding its skin.

In Judeo-Christian cultures, the snake is a symbol of temptation or spiritual opposition against reaching one’s goals.  This concept is derived from Bible when Satan tempts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the form of a snake.  Sometimes, a snake dreamt in this context will remind you of a person in your waking life with whom you have a competitive relationship.

I’ve always been fairly competitive when it comes to certain things, so this is a strong possibility.

Finally, Freud and classical psychotherapy have also thrown interpretations into this “pit.”  The contention is that the snake is a type of phallus.  The snake often embodies fear about intercourse and an aversion to it.

Coming up with an insightful interpretation for your dream snake could be tricky.  What emotions are prevalent regarding the snake: fear, respect, or opposition?

Fear

What is your attitude about snakes in waking life: neutral, fearful, or friendly?

Out of those 3 words I’d say fearful, but it’s really more cautious….

Did the snake appear when you were alone or were others with you when the snake entered the dream scene?  What are your feelings about those others?

I was always alone.

Answering these questions should lead towards a productive interpretation of the snake dream.

PARALYSIS
One of the most troubling dream events, and startling physical side-effects of REM, is paralysis.  Large muscle groups often become paralyzed during a dream, presumably to prevent injury to the dreamer in case the dreamer’s instincts would cause a physical reaction to dreaming visuals.  It can be troubling if the dreamer becomes aware of his body in a paralyzed state without being aware of the fact that the mind is still in a dream state.  Suddenly stripped of every physical capacity for defense, the dreamer can experience great panic or victimization in the dream.  This scenario is a troubling version of the lucid dream.  Instead of mind awareness and body control, the dreamer has body awareness and no mind control.

Hundreds of years ago, this phenomenon was observed and named “having a witch on your back.”  The idea was that an unfriendly spirit within the dream had pinned you to your bed.  Indeed, it is not uncommon to have a sense of spiritual oppression in a dream that includes paralysis.

I don’t know if I’m panicked in the dream, but I’m sure I’m panicked when I wake up (or think I’m awake) and don’t feel like I can move….

What strange dreams have you had?
Have you ever tried to figure out what they mean?

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Betty White & Robert Redford (at least I'm pretty sure it's him!)

Back in March when Betty White was on Larry King Live, Larry asked who was on Betty’s “to-do” list.

KING: What haven’t you done that you want to do?  Who is on your to-do list?

WHITE: My answer to that, my standard answer is always Robert Redford.   But that doesn’t get me anywhere.

KING: Have you ever met him?

WHITE: No, and I never want to.  I just want to enjoy it from a distance.  I would be panicky if I ever met him.  I’ve taken his name in vain for so long.

KING: You have to go up to Utah and he’s there.

WHITE: I know  He’s also in Santa Monica.

KING: He’s not – he doesn’t hide.  He’s public.

WHITE: I just don’t ever want to meet him.  It would spoil all the fun.  I want to fantasize and talk about him behind his back.

KING: I’ll tell you, he looks just as good as he does on-screen and has ever looked.  He’s aged very well.

WHITE: Oh, I – tell me about it.

It got me thinking – throughout my life I’ve heard people say things like:
I’d love to meet Bruce Springsteen.
I’d love to meet Sting.
I’d love to meet Eric Clapton.
I’d love to meet Sully Erna.
I’d love to meet Robert Pattison.
I’d love to meet Clint Eastwood.
I’d love to meet Vin Diesel.
I’d love to meet Duane “The Rock” Johnson
I’d love to meet Justin Bieber.
I’d love to meet Derek Jeter.
I’d love to meet Wayne Gretzky.
I’d love to meet Jackie Chan.
I’d love to meet Jennifer Aniston.  }
I’d love to meet Brad Pitt.              }  You can’t mention one without the other two….
I’d love to be Angelina Jolie.           }

Well my question is this:  what do you say to these celebrities once you’ve met them?  I don’t know what I’d ask them if ever I were in the situation to meet a celebrity I was in awe of.  I also worry that if I did figure out something to ask then, they’d be rude and/or do something to ruin their “perfect” image I have of them in my mind.

Betty White has the right idea.  She fantasizes about Robert Redford but she doesn’t want to meet him and “spoil all the fun.”

What celebrities have you met?
What did you say to them/ask them?
Did they say or do anything to ruin your view of then?
Or if you haven’t met a celebrity, who would you like to meet and what would you say to them/ask them?

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My bike & I in Montreal, Canada - Picture courtesy of Michael T. Henry Photography

I rode my motorcycle today for the first time in about a year and a half.  I think the reason I haven’t ridden is because I am a algophobiac.

Algophobiac

Algophobia is the fear of extreme pain.  I’m also a trypanophiobiac, but that’s another blog all by itself….  Anyway, last year when I took my bike out for the first time, I dumped it.  Not badly, but enough that when I felt it start to fall, I thought I could hold it up.  HUGE mistake because I pulled all the muscles in my shoulders.  So because of this, I was a bit reluctant to get back on my bike this season.  But today, I did it!!
I didn’t ride it far, but I accomplished one of my biggest problem areas on the bike.  Turning from a stop has been the most difficult thing for me on my bike.  The reason is because my bike is VERY top-heavy and the center of gravity is very high.  I rode around a neighborhood development for about half and hour, around and around, stopping and going…  The landscapers and roofers probably thought I was nuts!  All in all it was a good ride because I didn’t drop the bike, and I am slowly starting to feel confident again.  I think figuring out that my front brake is VERY touchy is part of the culprit to my fear.  As soon as I touch it, it brakes and wants to pull the wheel to the side, which will tip the bike….  Now that I am aware of the problem, hopefully this will help me to be more confident in my riding.  Hopefully I can keep my algophobic fears at bay!!

What are you afraid of?  What phobias do you have?

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FEAR

My friend Lynn made a statement in her blog.

Sometimes fear is just:
False
Evidence
Appearing
Real

It got me thinking.  Why are we afraid of certain things?
Are our fears based on fact or some false reality in our minds?

I’ve never understood why people have such a strong fear of speaking in front of an audience.
(Actually it’s more of a fear of being embarrassed)
Maybe I don’t understand it because it’s a fear I don’t have.
I have two angles of thought on public speaking.  Either it’s in front of people who you know and
if you stumble over words they’ll laugh with you and love you anyway.  If it’s in front of people
that you don’t know, well who cares, you don’t need to see them ever again.

Have you ever had a fear and found a way to overcome it?

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