Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Teeth Dreams

Hey y'all,
I know it's been a while.  Life happened, but I'm back, at least until life happens again.

My FB friends will recognize today's subject matter as something I've posted about periodically for the last several months.  Let me preface this by saying I'm not big into dramatic dream interpretation.  I do believe, however, that dreams reflect what one's brain is digesting, and when one has the same themed dream repeatedly, it is usually worth one investigating.

I was first exposed to dream interpretation by a friend and actor colleague of mine.  We were sitting in his kitchen talking about art and music and his acting career in California, when I mentioned I had a disturbing dream the night before.  Out he pulls a dream interpretation book, and from it, we derived that my dream of losing control of a convertible car on a windy road at the top of a high cliff and plunging down into the ocean (though I never actually hit the water - I woke up before that) meant that I felt like I was losing control of my life.
At the time, the interpretation was highly appropriate.
Ergo, since then, when I have themes or images occur in multiple dreams, I tend to be curious what my mind is processing.

The most recent development has been dreams about teeth - my teeth.  At first, they were dreams of my teeth breaking or falling out, most especially right in front of people I didn't want to see me like that.  Then it evolved into my teeth coming loose and being pulled out (by me), which then evolved into my current teeth being pushed out by new teeth that looked ugly and ruined my bite, which changed two nights later into my current teeth falling out a la children's teeth, and having nice, pretty, stronger teeth take their place.  In my most recent dream, I had a tooth pulled by a dentist, which did NOT grow back; a tooth broken by me that also did NOT grow back, and then other teeth falling out and new teeth growing in (albeit they grew in stalactite style - meaning the innards were exposed to air first, then the outer shell formed, but all very quickly and painlessly).

There's a lot of interpretive material in these dreams that I'm NOT sharing, like who I was with, colors, environment, location, activity, etc.  Those are important in figuring out what the main image represents; in this case, my teeth are the main image.

I did some research online and found a few relatively informative sites.  They broke down the different types of teeth dreams (falling out, crumbling, being pulled, rotting, etc.).
From their summaries, I found out that teeth falling out dreams can be related to stress, about not being in control of things in our lives, maybe scared of making a fool of ourselves, or being unattractive.  Teeth also represent power, considering we bite, tear, chew, etc. with them, so a loss of teeth in a dream can symbolize powerlessness.
In this case, paying attention to the mood or emotion of the dream, your location, who you are with, what you are doing, etc. is important.  For me, my early dreams of teeth falling out in front of people indicates I was worried about how people perceived me, and if I recall the time period correctly, that was true for both work and my social life.

Knowing what teeth in dreams can symbolize helped me sort of guess at what my brain was digesting in my later dreams, the ones where I lose teeth but have them replaced.
In my first rendition of "teeth replacement" dreams, my adult teeth were loosened and shoved out by relatively unattractive and small teeth that ruined my bite and made me worried I'd chip the teeth above them.  Based on who I was with and what I was doing, I concluded that things in my life are changing, not being lost, that the change is involuntary, scary, at odds with other things in my life, and potentially ugly to my peers.
However, the next rendition of my dream had me losing teeth first, then having new, whiter teeth grow in to replace them.  Again, based on where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing, I'm guessing that again, things in my life, important things, are changing - old being replaced with new - but this time, I'm focusing on the strength and beauty of the new, and that these changes are beneficial, welcome, and while startling, maybe even alarming at first, will turn out to be something lovely.
I also noticed the bit about a deeply embedded molar being removed, and also the bit about realizing that when *I* try to remove a tooth, it just broke off and got ugly.

Now, bear in mind that images in dreams can often be influence by real life situations - e.g. the part of my dream about having a tooth removed could simply reflect that my husband just had a wisdom tooth extracted.
However, it could be a combination of both.  This whole dream thing is highly subjective.

Now, to tell the truth, there have been changes in my life.  Some of them are small, like losing thirteen pounds, buying new clothes in a style I feel most comfortable and attractive wearing, adjusting to turning thirty soon, planning costumes for Comicon and my birthday party, etc.
Some of them are quite noticeable, such as joining the local Blues dancing community and LOVING it.  It's like I finally fulfilled a deeply-rooted childhood dream.  I've imagined dancing so many times, and until I finally listened to another friend and just DID IT, I thought I never could dance because I was "un-leadable." So not true.
Finally, there is one in particular that is a very BIG change.  Not too many people welcome this kind of change, because it means the person they thought they knew isn't safe anymore.  Others will rejoice at this, might even message me and say they'd been praying for me for years.
I started paying attention to my spiritual life.  Returning to it, I suppose you could say.

Nigh a year ago, I happened to go to church, like I'd been doing sporadically, and something stirred in my heart to get more involved, that I NEEDED it, and desperately.
I first joined the "Holy Grounds" crew, the folks responsible for providing and serving coffee and pastries between services on Sunday.  I started to get to know people, share a smile, brighten a day.  Over time, I joined the ladies' Bible Study, which is how I met Deb, our women's pastor, and Michele, our drama director, and those two are how my acting turned into a ministry.  I also started assisting with children's church for four year olds, learning that children are not untouchables, but cherished little beings, valuable and vulnerable.  I eventually joined a small group led by our head pastor, which led into more studies, all of them invaluable, delightful, inspiring, and even educational.  Yep, I said it.

And then came the day I told God there was that certain thing that had been rooted in me for years, pressing on me, the one we'd been talking about for a while.  I told Him I wanted it out.  It was once beautiful to me, but over time, made my heart ache.  I knew it wouldn't vanish, that it would take time, that it would be painful, that I would cry over it, but I still knew it had to come out.
I think my dreams are telling me that that thing is finally being loosened, expelled, and replaced.

Recently, Pastor's sermons and books I've been reading have all had a common theme - sharing my faith in Jesus.  I don't like that idea, because I usually end up getting pummeled verbally by some jackass more intent on humiliating me or proving s/he is right than having an actual discussion.  But again, my priorities, my affections, are changing.  Perhaps in time, they will be stronger, and I won't be afraid anymore, not of failure or rejection or hatred.  Maybe I'll grow up a little more, and find that God is by far the most precious thing in my life, and if you want to hate me for it, go ahead.  You might be able to ostracize me, unfriend me from FB, shun me from your gatherings, berate me before your peers, even seek to do me harm, but you can't stop me from praying for you.

And this is why some of my friends will say, "Well, shit."

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