Wednesday 17 August 2016

A Dream About Breathing Under Water: Post #2

This week I’m looking at a dream about being buried by a huge wave while at the ocean. When the dreamer and I began to work on the symbols and I asked him to, “Tell me about a wave,” he responded with the unusual reply: “Stress.” This answer made more sense when he explained that he works as a lifeguard at a water-theme park, and they have a wave machine. Swimmers tend to get into trouble more frequently when the wave machine is on.

Here's the wave dream:
I’m at the beach, wading in the ocean. I’m wet just about up to my shins. Suddenly a huge wave—like a tsunami—comes crashing down on top of me, and I am completely buried by the water. I flail around for a while and wonder if I am going to die. But I never panic; I am never afraid. Then I start breathing and realize that I am fine. I have nothing to be alarmed about.

Finding the metaphors
As is nearly always the case, I now try to help the dreamer understand each of the symbols from the perspective of metaphor. I start with a neutral prompt: “Tell me about it.” But in this case, when he answered “stress” to my asking about waves, I also asked him to elaborate; I suspected there might be more to his understanding of waves and water. You can read his reply immediately below.

Tell me about…
*  Beach:  It’s the edge between water and land; the border between where you can live and where you can’t.
*  Wading:  Getting my feet wet.
*  Ocean:  It’s vast and powerful. Sometimes it feels like it’s its own life force. Like it’s alive.
*  Wet to my shins:  I’m not really ready to dive in yet.
*  Huge wave like a tsunami:  Stress. But also awesome and definitely bigger and more powerful than I am.
*  Crashing on top of me:  I am completely immersed—totally submerged.
*  Buried:  I can’t get away; it has me under its control.
*  Water:  We can’t live without it; it’s essential. It's what we're made of.
*  Flail:  Not sure what to do to get myself out of trouble and in control again.
*  Will I die:  I have the thought that this could be the end for me.
*  Never panicked or afraid:  I stayed calm and thoughtful.
*  Start breathing:  I found that I could take in air that I needed to survive. That’s when I began to be hopeful again.
*  Am fine:  I have had no damage done to me.
*  Nothing to be alarmed about:  There’s nothing to worry about.

Initial impressions
Those who follow this blog often read through the “Tell me about it” part above and come away with a sense of foreboding. Dreams, so frequently, are warnings about inner conflicts; they are trying to alert us to changes we need to make, usually in how we think or approach life. This time, do you get the sense of things more under control?

More on Friday.

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