On March 8, the Dreammaker woke me at 5:30 a.m. with vivid dream images. In my sleepy pre-dawn daze, I scribbled these words.
I am living on a River among a group of people. A four-year-old child that I know in the neighborhood is happy dancing. In the next scene, my clothes need washing. I wonder how to wash clothes on the river when a “magical door” appears and the clothes are washed.
First, I write my associations & symbols of the dream images:
-Living on a river – common symbol for the waters of the unconscious.
-Clothes – outer mask [persona]. Identities /roles.
-Happy dancing four-year-old child – inner Child of wonder and awe
-Washing clothes – Cleansing persona. Transformation. Purification.
Next, I look at the context of the dream from daily life.
Four days before the dream, I told my friends a story about a life-changing adventure. When I was age 54 in 1999, my spouse and I sold our home and stored all our belongings to work as hotel seminar coordinators for a training company. We traveled the USA in a Chevy Suburban for a year staying in 2-3 hotels per week driving from the Florida Keys to Alaska.
As I told the story, I expressed feeling lost on the endless highways. The excitement of travel changed to fears that life had turned brown like a parched desert…Who am I without a home or a community of friends? Everything familiar was dying. In the middle of that travel year, a stroke took my mother’s life. The losses accumulated into a spiritual “dark night of the soul”.
Re-telling the story when I was stripped of all that defined me seemed to open the unconscious waters for the dream and a healing of memories. The dream image of “washing my clothes” was a cleansing of one of my identities that I call “the one who suffers”. As I reflected on the message of the dream, I knew that another orphaned part of me was welcomed to the Home within me. Attachment to any identity takes energy and thus drains my life force.
The day before the dream, I read one of my favorite verses: Psalm 30 – “God has turned my mourning into dancing”. I remember that I belong to Someone. I am a happy dancing Child.
I am grateful for the dream work that I began in the 1980s with psychiatrist and Jungian analyst, Dr. James A. Hall. In my coaching practice, I guide clients to discover messages from dreams. If dream work inspires you to inner development, please contact me.