I’ve been examining a recurring dream about walking through a house, into a swimming pool. The dreamer has been having this dream sporadically ever since she was a child. Scroll down to my last post to see how we arrived at the following metaphoric retelling of her dream.
In retelling, one of the techniques is to insert phrases reminding the dreamer that all symbols in a dream are aspects of the dreamer’s own psyche.
Recurring dream metaphorically retold
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.
Whenever a dream is reconstructed and retold in this fashion, the narrative becomes a bit odd. But a careful examination reveals a definite story-line. In this case, the themes highlighted by the dream are especially straightforward: The dreamer is visiting a part of herself that is social and inviting, but which looks “boxy” and “all looks the same.” She doesn’t stay there, and simply passes through. It’s easier for her to leave than to enter this space. The instant she is outside of the space again, she feels she is in her most private, personal domain. Suddenly, she finds herself swimming.
In the dream class where this dream was related, we found ourselves wanting more information: The dreamer ended up swimming. What did that mean metaphorically? This is something that often happens during dream interpretations. A little bit of further analysis is sometimes necessary. The technique used is the same one used to unlock the metaphors of the rest of the dream. I simply asked the dreamer to, “Tell me about swimming.” She replied, “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.”
With that hint, tomorrow we’ll ask her what her dream is all about.
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