I have a problem. I have tried lucid dreaming for a long while, but without success. Even tho I remember my dreams almost every night and sometimes my dreams feel very vivid, I can't seem to ever realize i am dreaming and control my dreams.
I think that is because I'm afraid of having nightmares or hypnagogic hallucinations of monsters. I've read some people tales about their night terrors and stuff, and i am scared of having them, i'm afraid of the fear.
You see, I think my mind is preventing me from having lucid dreams because i know my fears will pop up!
I am afraid to open my eyes and find jeff the killer staring from the window or the dog from smile.jpg to appear from a dark corner.
I am afraid of doing reality checks, because i fear that when I look myself in the mirror i'll se a distorted, monstrous version of miself staring back.
And because of this i KNOW my subconcious will materialize this fears in my lucid dreams... i know i will probably be able to exit the nightmares, but I'm afraid of the feeling of being afraid. Know what I mean?
Yet, I don't want to miss out the opportunity of control my dreams, since my work requires a lot of creativity and it may help me.
Do you think i should give up on lucid dreams? If not, how could I get to relax enough to have them, or have them without my fears coming true?
thanx in advance
(and sorry if my spelling is bad, i'm italian)
Lucid dreaming is an exploration of your inner self. You don't know what you'll find till you get there... but as you already have great expectations of confronting deep-rooted fears than that's probably going to shape your experience.
What's more, if you do have underlying fears and anxieties (say post traumatic stress, or other issues that require therapy) I strongly recommend dealing with those fears in waking life first, before opening yourself up to them in the dream world.
One of the functions of dreaming is to deal with repressed anxieties and so you could be right in thinking that your capacity for lucid dreaming may be limited by your own subconscious self until you deal with those fears. It's hard for me to advise on this subject because I've always had a healthy mindset going into lucid dreaming and can't truly relate to the idea of "inner demons" being "let loose" in the mind. I'm pretty sure that's a cliched way to explain it, such is my limited personal experience of this.
But there is another option to consider. You may be inflating the fears in your mind and using them as the reason for your lack of lucid dreams. Perhaps this is a normal level of fear, and perhaps you haven't achieved lucidity yet for another reason. Maybe you have inadequate self-awareness in your dreams and waking life. A lot of people overlook this aspect, because it's so alien. But I truly believe it plays a major role in lucid dreaming, and meditation is a good way to enhance this skill.
I encourage you to identify your fears - writing them down may help - and meditate on the nature of the anxiety. What are you really afraid of? What's the worst that can happen? How is a dream monster dangerous when it's "just a dream"? And see if you can find some childhood event or invalid belief that is causing you to hold onto a fear that isn't serving you at all. In addition to the sleep disorder articles on my site, Ryan Hurd's website DreamStudies.org is a good resource as it deals with sleep paralysis, night terrors and lucid nightmares in a positive light including the psychological functions behind them.
Remember most fear is fear of the unknown... so shine a light on that which terrifies you.