Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A Sad Dream About A Happy Toddler: Post #2



I’m examining a dream about a favorite toddler who appeared dead in a dream. The dreamer was so upset by the dream imagery that she had difficulty stepping back to more clinically analyze the dream message; this dream has nothing to do with the death of a child. Even then, it took a while before the dreamer understood how the message related to herself. This can happen, especially when dreams are shocking. We’re going to walk her through the whole dream analysis process to see how her understanding eventually unfolded.

Isolating the symbols
The first minor obstacle was dealing with the way she related the dream. In the italicized paragraphs below, you can see that the dream is related in its entirety in one sentence. The rest of what the dreamer said was all commentary. When we isolate the symbols, what should we include?

This way of relating a dream is really common. Dreamers often “set the scene” in their telling of the experience. When I walk a dreamer through the interpretation process, I include all of the symbols—the ones from the dream itself and the ones that come to light in the dreamer’s commentary. The dream world and “real” life tend to get blended in the telling of dreams, and it is all equally important. Here’s the dream as this dreamer told it:

I have a niece who is two. My own kids are older now, so I love to babysit for her. It brings back lots of memories, and she’s as jolly and as fun as any child I’ve ever had contact with. I just love being with her.

So it really upset me when I had a nightmare about her. It was short, but I woke up in a sweat. I don’t remember much, but the part I do remember was awful. I dreamt that I was looking in her crib, and I saw her lying there. But she was dead.

That’s all I remember, except that I was stunned.

Tell me about…
Now let’s take this series of symbols—from both the dream and her commentary—and see what happens when we put them all together in the “Tell me about it” phase of the interpretation.

*  Niece:  very close to me, my own flesh and blood
*  Two:  young, not formed yet
*  Older kids:  less impressionable, more secure in who they are
*  Babysit:  I get to spend time for a while
*  Memories:  I delight in this early phase of development
*  Jolly and fun:  She brings lightness to me
*  Love being with:  I look forward to the experience
*  Upset me:  It was so unexpected and shocking
*  Nightmare:  It seemed inconceivable; it couldn’t be true
*  Woke up:  I was in a state of panic
*  Sweat:  It was all about fear
*  Awful:  It was supremely uncomfortable
*  Crib:  A safe place for a toddler to sleep
*  Lying there: I knew something was wrong
*  Dead:  The life was gone from her

We’ll examine these metaphoric interpretations more closely next time.


If you enjoy these posts, please feel free to leave a comment.
Or, follow the discussion uninterrupted.
Scroll down to the bottom of this page to learn how.


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

A Sad Dream About A Happy Toddler



Dream messages are not always obvious to the dreamer. It isn’t that the messages are about some obscure metaphysical subtlety. Often the messages can be commenting on the most important issue in the dreamer’s life at the time of the dream. But we don’t always associate our dreams with the conflicts we are grappling with. What follows is a good case in point.

A short dream about a niece
I have a niece who is two. My own kids are older now, so I love to babysit for this toddler. It brings back lots of memories, and she’s as jolly and as fun as any child I’ve ever had contact with. I just love being with her.

So it really upset me when I had a nightmare about her. It was short, but I woke up in a sweat. I don’t remember much, but the part I do remember was awful. I dreamt that I was looking in her crib, and I saw her lying there. But she was dead.

That’s all I remember, except that I was stunned.

Helping the dreamer separate her emotions from scary images
As I have pointed out from time to time in this blog, a dream’s first challenge is to be remembered from sleep, through the various stages of awakening, to full wakefulness. That’s not easy unless the dream can use poignant, often upsetting images. It’s not that the dream is trying to be mean to the dreamer. It’s only that shock value is an excellent method of navigating through the various filmy stages of half-sleep, half-wakefulness.

So the first job I have in working with a dreamer is to bring her to the understanding that this is not a dream about a baby dying. I reassure her that I have every expectation that her niece is going to live a long and full life. She need not feel guilty about having this dream; she need not be upset by the shocking imagery. Nevertheless, there is some aspect of the dreamer’s own psyche—a young aspect since this is a dream about a toddler—that is in trouble and is in the process of a demise.

There is even a remote possibility that this dream could signal a good change in the dreamer. If the baby is symbolic of something unhealthy in the dreamer, then its symbolic death could be constructive. The chances are, though, based on the dreamer’s own description of her niece, that something positive that lives inside of the dreamer is in trouble. It’s our job to find out what that is and to see if we can’t rescue it.

Isolating the symbols
Those who read this blog regularly may remember that one of the first steps in analyzing a dream is to isolate the symbols. But if you look at the dreamer’s own italicized words above, you see that the dream, itself, only comprises one sentence of the three short paragraphs.

Stay tuned to see what we do about that.


If you enjoy these posts, please feel free to leave a comment.
Or, follow the discussion uninterrupted.
Scroll down to the bottom of this page to learn how.
 

Don't miss a single post! Enter your email address below for uninterrupted dream discussions!