Saturday 23 April 2016

Walking Through A House: Concluding Post

I’ve been examining a recurring dream about walking through a house, into a swimming pool. Scroll back to my last posts if you wish to review the interpretation process.

This dream was related in our dream class, and we came to the following interpretive restatement. But we also felt that there was more information needed.

Metaphoric retelling
There is a part of me that is young, not fully formed, but which already has a sense of who she is. I am using the main way to enter a part of me where some aspect of me presumably lives, but it’s not the central part of me. This part of me is boxy, and it all looks the same. I can see through it, and it is slightly elevated. I’m in a passageway that defines spaces within myself, keeping them separate from each other. But there is one part of me that I have easy access to, and it’s inviting. This part of me is having a social gathering, but I don’t interact with any of the parts of me there. I don’t stay. I just walk through. Now I’m outside of the boxy space in the most private, personal part of me where I can be with (my) nature. I didn’t have as far to go this time. It was less effort. Unexpectedly, I find myself swimming, which I love, and it is perfectly OK with me, even though it was unforeseen and unpredictable to many of the social parts of me.

The class wanted more information about the symbol “swimming.” What follows is the dreamer’s response to the “Tell me about it” question. “When I’m in the water—especially when I dive under the surface—I’m always struck by how insulated I am from the rest of the world. I can totally be myself without interference from the influences of others.”

The dreamer’s own assessment of her dream
From the perspective of the class, this dream seemed to be describing a choice. One option was to live in a social frame of mind where there is a defining of spaces but everything appears “boxy” and “all looks the same.” The other option was to be “totally myself without the interference from the influences of others.” That second option seemed to be the one that came more naturally to the dreamer. We asked her for her own assessment.

She said, “This dream is the story of my life.” She felt that, as a child, she was constantly struggling to balance the wishes of her strong-willed parents (and family in general) against her own need to explore the richness of her personal, inner life. She told us that she had—and still has—a rich, alive inner existence. She learned early on that, when she tried to share her experiences with her family, she was immediately ostracized and invalidated. Even today—approaching the age of retirement—the same struggle between social conformity and inner truth is prevalent in her life.

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