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.

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