A dreamer dreamed that his shoes were being used as basket balls during a pick-up game with friends. We’ve followed him through his process as he converted the dream symbols into metaphors. Below is his restated dream.
There is a part of me that is involved in something impromptu and unscheduled. It is fun and a diversion. This is being participated in by the being who I am, the one that thinks and is alive and is aware. Also participating are the parts of me that are my friends and make up my own personal social circle. All of these parts of me are involved in enjoyment and releasing pressure. We are having this fun by using the part of me that gets walked in—the part that protects sensitive skin and nerves from the hard ground. This part of me that gets walked in is in a configuration that helps keep it from getting separated, but it limits mobility to the point of real hindrance. I am taking on my own responsibilities. Parts of me are scoring points and successfully negotiating my way past obstacles. I have to have just the right distribution of weight to stay in place. But I’m on the verge of being moved from my current place and falling from my perch.
When I examine a metaphorically restated dream, the first thing I look for are the themes that run through the narrative. In this case the dream begins with a clear sense of fun and easy-going play. Terms like “enjoyment” and “releasing pressure” dominate in the first half of the dream.
Then there is a shift. There is talk of “limited mobility” and “real hindrance.” This is coupled with a discussion of trying to “score points” and negotiating “past obstacles.” Finally, there is concern that the current behavior pattern might cause the dreamer to “fall from my perch.”
These were the points that I brought up to this dreamer. I then asked him a question: “Are you possibly trying to make some progress in your personal life by joking or affably kidding your way to your goal?”
At first the dreamer had difficulty identifying with this suggested scenario. This is often the case with dreams, and it also highlights their greatest contribution. Many times we are dealing with issues in life that are so close to us that we don’t even recognize either them or their effect on us. Dreams emphasize these behavior patterns or thought processes, ones we don’t even recognize.
Next, I asked this dreamer what was going on at his work. That led to the following exchange.
“Well, I’d like a raise.”
“What are you doing about it?”
“Mostly just trying to stay on the good side of my boss.”
“Is he taking you seriously?”
“Your dream seems to suggest that you might need a different approach.”
“It implies that your affability in this situation is limiting your mobility.”
“Hunh! Maybe so.”
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