When I was little, all of my nightmares had animals in them. A squirrel bit off my hand, I was swallowed by a goldfish, and a bull chased me home. I can recount these dreams I had when I was six years old like I just dreamt them last night. I can play back the movie in my brain and relive the same feelings I had when I dreamt those dreams 36 years ago.
As a child my mom used to tell me I shouldn’t eat anything right before bed because that would make me have crazy dreams. I brought crackers to bed with me when she wasn’t looking.
Hence the squirrel, goldfish and bull visited me in my dreams. Even as an adult I believed my mom and had a spoonful of peanut butter or a handful of chocolate chips before bed so I could have crazy dreams. Hence, Brad Pitt and Michael Jordan.
A few weeks ago my daughter and I had virtually the same dream one night apart. The bear visited me first. I never shared the dream with my daughter because the scene alone was scary, although I was undisturbed by it. In the dream the bear kidnapped my son and clawed my husband’s back. The crazy part…I was calm in the dream, not worried and when I woke I didn’t think I had a nightmare just a bizarre dream. The next night my daughter woke my husband up in the middle of the night. She had had a nightmare. A bear was chasing her daddy and little brother. She was frightened and he had to crawl into bed with her to calm her back down. I was oblivious to it all, asleep, probably dreaming about Michael Jordan and Brad Pitt.
Bears represent introspection. When they show up in dreams this can have various meanings dependent on what is going on with the dreamer and especially when one dreamer is age 7 and the other 41. The bear provoked opposite feelings in each of our dreams, but did pretty much the same thing. He represented different messages perhaps. What can the bear teach us both? More for me to ponder in this full life.