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How your life shapes your dreams, according to oneirocritic

Psychologists say that on the average, humans have between three and nine dreams every night, even when we don’t remember them.

They also warn that in reality, no one can tell you exactly what a dream means since they are usually metaphors.

However, certified clinical hypnotherapist and oneirocritic [someone who interprets dreams], Kelly Sullivan Walden, examines the five most common dreams and what she says they are trying to relay.

“But first, here are a few things you should know about dreams. Dreams speak in pictures, metaphors, and wordplay. No one but you can tell you definitively what your dream means. But, as a frequent flier, I’ll make suggestions as to what I think they’re telling you in hopes of guiding you closer to your own understanding,” Walden says.

Being chased — outrunning your power
Have you been avoiding unpleasant feelings or aspects of yourself you’ve deemed unlovable? The surprising message of this dream is there is no aspect of you inherently unworthy — every part is vital to you becoming the empowered being you are meant to be.

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Falling — afraid of failing
Dreams of falling signify a feeling of loss of control, insecurity, overwhelm, or lack of confidence. You may be judging yourself for having failed at something you set out to do, for fear of losing your step as a result of not having your feet firmly planted on the earth. Or you may be in a cycle of change, and thus feeling over your head.

Teeth — speak the truth to power
Dreams of teeth breaking or crumbling often relate to communication issues or feelings of vulnerability regarding survival issues (like finances). Ask yourself if you’ve been withholding expression when it’s important to bare your teeth.

Back at school — you’re being tested
Dreams of being back at school, forgetting your locker combination, or that you had an important test may reflect you’re in a learning phase that’s “testing” your mettle. The message is to remove your backpack of insecurities and prepare yourself so you may graduate into a successful future.

Flying — rising above your obstacles
In a flying dream, you experience what it feels like to break free from physical constraints and limitations. These dreams help you to feel the breadth of your wingspan, so you can better tap into your creative and spiritual potential.

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This article first appeared on Insider

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