The Art of Healing in Your Dreams Over Time
For years I’ve been trying to find a reliable site for dream interpretation or symbolism. This is one. I can’t even think of another one.
What exists, however, is a lot of SEO-focused or AI-generated dream content. While some of it may be based on, let’s say, Freudian dream analysis or Jungian archetypes — something legit — it’s still never satisfying for offering perspective into anything but my most basic dream questions. You know: What does yellow in a dream represent? Or…why am I dreaming about giraffes?
I don’t have a degree or certification in dream analysis. But I’ve been independently studying the practice almost my entire life, and I’m pretty good at it. Through journaling and tracking my own dreams as a regular practice for the last decade, I’ve started to see patterns in repeating stories or recurring themes in my own dreams, which have provided me, over time, with opportunities for healing.
I’m going to share one of those with you because today, when I remembered it, the dream last night felt like one of those big deal moments.
Picture a 19th-century spiritualist, eyes rolled up to the ceiling, his hands over my head shouting: “YOU ARE HEALED, SISTER.” It wasn’t like that. Picture instead a 40-something year old woman in her Target-brand red pajamas for the second day in a row, sitting in her cozy chair next to the window that faces the street, a pale blue soft-cover leather journal in her lap. She takes a sip of her cappuccino and says “Ohhhh. Riiiiiight.”
That’s more like it.
What About Dreams of Houses?
I may have been a little harsh above when I said there’s little quality content on the internet about dream symbolism or archetypes. There’s probably a lot, but people in general are bad at making their content Google-search friendly. Or, they published the content on a blog designed in geocities in 2007 and then, I don’t know, died.
Here’s one site I found just now searching “dreams about houses Jungian.” He writes about houses appearing in dreams:
Houses engender deep emotions in their occupants. We can have a loving and intimate relationship with a house — or sometimes what seems like an anger or even hate-filled grim struggle.
Dream houses may reflect our inner psychic state — or we may project our inner psychic conflicts onto our outer house in the waking world.
I dream a lot about houses: so much so I have to categorize the house dreams. Sometimes I dream about a house that has rooms I never knew existed. Sometimes I dream about one of my childhood homes. Sometimes it’s the apartment building in Washington, DC I lived in for most of my college years. Sometimes I dream about a house that doesn’t actually exist in my waking life, but has a cavernous basement with lots of tunnels.
Another house-related dream I have had over the years involves returning to a house I have moved out of to discover it contains cherished objects or clothing I left behind. When I have this dream, I typically feel elated at having located the lost items — it’s that sexy dress I thought I threw away or my daughter’s baby book that was lost in our move from New Jersey to Israel.
When I wake up, though, I’m often sad, realizing not only did I not re-discover the lost objects, but I feel pathetic that I’m still mourning the loss of things I should have already let go of years and years ago.
Letting Go in Real Life Starts With Letting Go in Dreams
In the dream I had last night I wasn’t in a house. I was somewhere that ended up containing my things, but not in a house, or at least, not in my house.
I was with one of my longest-running (and still remaining) best friends Sondra. She was already at work going through boxes and bags she had brought there, taking items out and putting them in large industrial-sized recycling or trash bins. Baby onesies. Stuffed animals. Things like that.
I was anxious to get to work once I saw how easy it was for her. I headed to the back of the room, and was surprised to find I had things there, too, that belonged to me: paper shopping bags full of mis-matched shoes, games for the kids we had bought at Marshall’s years ago that were missing pieces. So many things that belonged to me I no longer needed or even wanted. In fact, there were antique heirloom items, but not from my family and so while they were cool, I had no need for them, and no space. Everything was tossed into recycling or trash. I didn’t keep any of it.
Admittedly, I felt some comfort when I found a piece from a game in my pile that complemented the game Sondra had already thrown into the recycling bin. It felt good to somehow pass that game along to someone else who could benefit from it … and they’d have almost the entire game intact to play with.
The Healing Comes in Storytelling, and Over Time
I say to everyone who will listen that journaling your dreams upon waking, even in the middle of the night, is such a worthwhile practice. Sure, it can get in the way of healthy sleep, but I’ve written before (when sharing about my recent lucid dream) that if this is the case, you need to first focus on getting your sleep back. Seriously. Yes, I am a dream worker, but I am also a migraine sufferer. Maintaining regular healthy sleep patterns is critical for keeping the migraines at bay.
I dream journal for a variety of reasons. It started as an effort to prove to myself and others that some of my dreams were precognitive. I’ve since understood, however, how the simple act of telling the dream story to myself in the journal brings with it extraordinary opportunities for healing if I am just a little tuned into it.
If you’re a writer or a reader, you are probably already familiar with figurative language. If you’re not, trust me, you use figurative language anyway every time you gossip with a friend.
Most of my “a-ha” healing moments arrive by and through the figurative language I use when relaying the dream. This is not intentional. It’s just how we tell stories.
So many things that belonged to me I no longer needed or even wanted…
So while they were cool, I had no need for them, and no space…
When I see my own words on the page I usually laugh at how obvious it is. How easy my subconscious is trying to make it for me to get the point. The revelation appears and it’s actually funny.
I laugh out loud. The laughing is like the punctuation at the end of a sentence I will likely no longer need to write again.
Dreams and the Art of Letting Go
I can’t tell you exactly how it works, but soon after I have the revelation in the dream, things in my life change for the better. There’s probably a certain neural pathway that’s changed, or subconscious belief that’s been squashed and thrown out with the dream game from Marshall’s.
There are other experts and other articles who can tell you more about the science behind it. One day, I may be able to tell you more about those things, too. It’s not that I don’t care. I’m just not the one in the position to relay it to you.
Who I am is a proponent of the practice of dreaming and dream journaling. Call me your virtual dream coach, if you like. Because if the practice works, and it doesn’t harm you or anyone else, there’s no need to delay getting started before understand the whys and hows.
Tell yourself some stories.
And, heal a hurt that, once disintegrated, no longer holds you captive or makes the decisions for you without you knowing.