We’ve been working on a dream about a lady diapering a cat. The dreamer first told her dream. Then she isolated the important symbols. Next I gave her the simple prompt, “Tell me about [the symbol].” She replied with the first thing that came to her mind. Finally, when all the symbols were “defined” in this way, we then put the dream back together with two changes:
1st, I replaced all the original symbols with her definitions.
2nd, I inserted occasional phrases to remind her that all the symbols were aspects of herself.
Here are the two versions of her dream.
The Original Dream
In my dream, I am sitting in a circle with a group of other women. We’re on the floor, sitting on pillows and cushions, and we’re talking. I have a cat in my lap, and as I look around, I realize that all the other women have a cat in each of their laps as well. We are all putting diapers on our cats. Despite this activity, I notice that all the cats are really well behaved, lying or sitting patiently, not acting out or upset at what we’re doing to them. All the cats seem content and just remain quiet.
I’m thirsty and, off to my right, there is a drinking fountain in an adjoining hall. Above it is a window, and as I ponder getting up to quench my thirst, the sun shines brilliantly through the window.
In my dream, I’m with a part of myself that is a lot like me; I feel a really strong bond with this part of me. I am holding a part of myself that is catty and can be back-biting. In fact, all the aspects of myself in this dream are holding potentially back-biting qualities. But what is remarkable is that the potentially back-biting parts of me are all behaving themselves, even though they are all being treated like babies, in their infancy.
I feel parched and uncomfortable, and I see a place within myself where I can refresh myself and get relief. It’s near the part of me that is transparent—the part of me that I can see through, both in and out. As I look, I see the part of myself that provides me with growth, that gives everything about me warmth, light and vitamins.
What the Dreamer Learned
The dreamer identified with the revised message right away. She said she had been working hard on an aspect of her personality that she thought needed change. She tended to be judgmental and caustically critical. She loved that the dream was suggesting she had improved. She also loved the part of the dream that said her refreshment and growth would come from her transparency; no secrets or hidden agendas. Over all, the dream was telling her that she was making important progress.
I love how dreams offer us an overview of life when we are mired in details and can’t see clearly!
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