Dream symbol meaning is specific to each dreamer, and it can even vary from dream to dream for the same dreamer. As your subconscious mind chooses particular dream symbols to portray particular aspects of your waking life, it may be influenced by many factors and may follow certain patterns. At the same time, all of our subconscious minds seem to use a set of similar approaches to encode meaning into dream symbols.
Dreams Are About You
Because dreams occur within a deep part of yourself, it’s not surprising that most of what they convey pertains to yourself and your life.
Dreams Tell About You and Your Life
Dreams very often portray a snapshot of some part of your daily life or something on your mind, presented from the perspective of (and in the language of) your subconscious mind. As you examine each dream, you can often find a parallel between each element in the dream and a certain element of your waking life or mind.
Dreams Show Your Perspective
In most dreams, everything in the dream (all the elements, people, settings, etc.) pertains to you personally. More specifically, most dreams portray your thoughts and feelings about things, rather than portraying the things themselves. Each dream symbol tends to represent your perspective of something from real life, rather than the actual thing. For example, your sister in a dream likely portrays your experience of her (rather than her, herself), your perception of something she said (rather than what she actually said or meant), or your assumption about what she was thinking (rather than her actual thoughts).
Dreams Convey a Distorted Reality
Because dreams portray people and things the way you view or interpret them, you can’t rely on a dream for an accurate representation of reality. Every dream has been filtered through the distorting lens of your subconscious mind and often infused with subconscious fears, desires, and imaginings. Therefore, it’s unwise to base a decision solely on a dream, which would mean blindly following the whims of your subconscious mind.