When I was a little tacker I used to have awful nightmares. Cobra snakes rising up in their attack mode to get me. Or being in quick sand. Or being chased by a boogey man and not being able to move or scream for help. The text book dream analysers stuff. But for a small child it was terrifying.
When I would wake up from any nightmare I was always lying on my back. So I thought there was a correlation. Not that I knew what that word meant then. I believed that our dreams came from tapes (yeah the old school tapes that used to go into a Walkman) that were all piled up in our head. All different types of dreams. Good and bad. And depending on the position I slept in, it would determine which tape to play. If I stayed asleep on my side the first tape that hit the side part of my head first was the dream I had.
So it made sense that all the ‘bad tapes’ were at the back of my head. So when I rolled onto my back the first bad tape that hit the back of my head first would play first. And because they were often recurring dreams that made sense to me.
How funny is the mind of a child and what they make up?
It wasn’t until last year that I worked out why I still would have bad dreams when lying on my back. I used to be a bad sleeper. So I went to an eye, ear, throat specialist to understand if it was the structure of my body that was hindering my sleep. They did a face and neck scan. You could see that the airway that goes from my nose and throat to my brain is significantly smaller than the average. When I sleep on my back it can get shut off. So less air to my brain and my body goes into panic. Enter bad dream. Amazing right?! I still have some weirdo dreams but much less now I don’t sleep on my back.
It got me thinking. I wonder how many explanations we have created for things that are simply not true?
Have you decided that when someone looks at your sideways that they don’t trust you?
Have you decided that when another doesn’t include you on an email that they don’t think you are important enough or you are invisible?
What about when someone cancels on you. Does it mean they don’t value you or they have better things to do?
Don Miguel Ruiz puts it simply when he says; ‘We make assumptions that everyone sees life the way we do’. Anais Nin; ‘We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are’.
The point is, we make meaning from things that might not necessarily be true. We make assumptions about others or circumstances that are not true. Whatever you make things mean. Be careful. They might not be true. You might need to change the tape in your head and rewrite a more helpful story.