Archive | Sample Dreams

I dreamed of pulling shards of glass out of my tongue.

I received a text this morning from a friend:

“I had a dream of broken glass in my mouth and pulling large shards out of my tongue.  PS my dad just had massive stroke.”

It occurred to me that this short snippet of a dream and the accompanying information presented a good opportunity to illustrate two themes in dream work.

The first is the notion of association.  Whether the images in this dream connect in any obvious way to the relationship between the dreamer and his father, we can be absolutely certain that there is one.  How do we know this?  Well, the dreamer has told us so.  By including this piece of information in his text, the interpretation has already begun.  And whatever meaning we derive from examining the dream, we absolutely must connect it to issues that may exist between father and son at this time.

The second point I can illustrate is the way in which a symbol itself can be broken down to yield some interesting results.  In this dream, it is glass that intrigues me.  While most people might gloss over this image and go right to the juicy details of the shards of glass stuck in the dreamer’s tongue, I suspect that if we look at glass itself for a moment, we will get a distinction worthy of the effort it will take to get it.

Looking for the universal meaning is best done by examining the use or essence of the thing itself.  Since we don’t know what this particular glass was used for (it’s now in shards) let’s consider its essence.  Glass is a fine material that is made by heating sand to very high temperatures, changing the molecular structure into the transparent, brittle substance we are familiar with.  When it is broken, the sharp edges can be very dangerous indeed.

So now to the dream itself.  Any obstruction to the mouth in a dream is going to connect to issues of communication.  This dreamer is expressing dangerous obstacles associated with communication, things either said or unsaid.  My inclination is to go with unsaid and here’s why:  Sand is made up of small particles of rock.  Rocks are symbolically associated with memory; they contain the blueprints of the past through the study of geology.  Sand can be made into glass under the pressure of extreme heat.  It is possible that the shards of glass causing problems today may be the result of old ideas, heated up over a long period of time, transformed into glass.  And since we know his relationship with his father is key, it is safe to say that his exploration of what this dream is representing should be concentrated on those things that have been left unsaid that may be causing pain in the present.

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Lysol, nudity and little people: What does my dream mean?

Every once in a while, a friend will call or email me a dream they’ve had.  Sometimes it’s because the dream feels disturbing or important and they want to gain more insight and self awareness by considering it.  And sometimes, it’s just because it’s weird and fun.  This is one of those.

Brent shared this dream: I was assaulted naked by a group of people armed with Lysol cans, covered from head to toe in Lysol then ran all over desperately trying to find someone to wash me off to no avail, as my skin become redder and more irritated. Some how I thought that the midget actor Verne Troyer was the only one who could save me..

And here is how I responded:  Lysol represents the (false) need to protect us from microorganisms by killing them off with poison. It was a product born out of the fear instilled in the zeitgeist when science discovered pathogens that caused disease. Most bacterial and other microorganisms are important parts of our interactive living exchange, but corporate America would say that 1) you are in danger and 2) we can protect you from that danger and 3) Oh, did we mention that our protection is poisonous???

The group represent an old thought paradigm based on fear that there is something wrong with you, especially visible when you are vulnerably exposed (e.g. naked).  Think of the religious background you come from and other “group mentalities” that would view you as diseased or dangerous and in need of cleansing.

You are naked, so you are not only vulnerable, but exposed (loosely connecting the imagery to sexuality and certainly to sensuality). So this judgmental “group” that lives inside you is the fearful notion that you must be thoroughly cleansed so that they will be protected from hidden, invisible dangers that are EVERYWHERE (from head to toe) and sure to be contagious.

Your current sensibility understands that this approach is actually dangerous and irritating, but the damage is already done. The only one who could save you now is Verne – he represents that part of you that is 1) small, but ultimately powerful (like a spiritual truth) and 2) different from the status quo (spiritual thoughts that may separate you from others in a group-think sort of way, but that actually know the truth in ways that group- or race-consciousness does not) and 3) willing to take great risks despite his perceived limitations.

Insight and self awareness is available in all our dreams – even when we think they’re just weird and fun.

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Why do I always dream my husband is cheating on me?

Why do I always dream my husband is cheating on me?  It is one of the most frequently asked questions and is usually accompanied by a bit of anxiety on the behalf of the one asking.  And it’s not just the husbands out there; plenty of wives are cheating in dream land as well.

Having an affair is the ultimate betrayal and the cause of great fear amongst all sorts of couples.  It is natural to have some measure of insecurity within a relationship and the idea that your partner might step out on you is this fear taken to its furthest manifestation.  Your primary relationship may or may not be subject to an actual affair, but in the language of symbolism, this dream has little to do with infidelity and a lot to do with getting your needs met.

Asking for what you need in a relationship is tough work.  Wishing that you partner could read your mind is common – in fact many people expect that their partners can and should be able to know what to do in any given situation and may punish each other when this does not occur.  A dream of cheating may be pointing to a moment in your primary relationship when you may not feel like your needs are being met.

Below is an excerpt from Dream Sight; the term Infidelity/Affair.

Infidelity/Affair:  A circuitous route to meeting needs.  Avoidance.

There is no intimacy need that cannot be met in a primary relationship.  Going outside of a marriage or partnership for sex or affection is a way of meeting a primal need by a roundabout way.  Simultaneously, there is an avoidance of some underlying problem that is not being addressed.  Therefore this image represents both a circuitous route to connection and avoidance of confrontation.

If you discover an infidelity in a dream, you may want to consider areas in your life where you are avoiding taking care of your self.  If you are engaged in an affair, you might need to examine your life circumstances for signs of being manipulative or indirect in getting your needs met.  As getting caught is always reflective of an unconscious desire to effect a change, being discovered as being unfaithful could indicate a desire to shift some area of your life.

Always be willing to look at issues of responsibility when this dream image appears: where in your life are you not allowing yourself to be accountable for your actions?  If the dream involves details of constructing an affair, you may want to examine how genuine you are being in terms of expressing and manifesting your desires in life, both relationally and otherwise.  Where in your life are you being authentic?  How might you be betraying your own needs?

It is safe to assume that this image in a dream indicates a theme of intimacy issues in your waking life, no matter what the marital state of the dreamer.  This may have literal implications if you are actually involved in an affair or believe your partner to be.

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I always dream of being in a tunnel.

Last week, I was giving a talk on nightmares and people in the audience were having a blast trying to outdo each other with the intensity of their dream images.  There is nothing like the vast landscape of the dream world with which to play “I can top that!”  There was scenario after scenario, each scarier than the other and the laughter of recognition as this group of individuals appreciated the variety of their dream experiences.

After ten or so minutes of this, one man sheepishly raised his hand.  Almost apologetically, he said, “It doesn’t matter what I dream about or where I am, but I am constantly finding myself crawling out of a tunnel that closes in on me toward the exit, to the point where I have to squeeze myself out.”  He went on to explain that he could be going from one room to another, or from outside going into a building (or inside one going out) but that he always seems to find himself trapped in some sort of narrow passage.  Panic sets in, but just as the tunnel closes, he always manages to get through.

This dream is about transitions and changes in the dreamer’s life.  Since he has had it many times throughout his life, it has become a very effective way for his unconscious to use the dream life to help him process the fears and challenges that come up when life is reflecting a big change.

A tunnel brings people from one location to another.  In this way, a dream about being in a tunnel is going to symbolize the process of transformation that is occurring when you leave a destination behind and have not yet arrived where you think you are heading to.  What is important to consider is that a tunnel is not an organic way of getting to one’s destination; it is a man made structure.  The change that is taking place when a tunnel becomes the symbolic representation of that change is one that must be planned, engineered and then executed.

As an example, this dream might come up the dreamer himself must actually construct how he is going to change his life, as opposed to a change when all that really needs to happen is for time to pass, or for someone else to make a decision.  Tunnels are also underground, so the transition in life that this dream represents are associated with things you want to keep hidden and out of sight – to occur below the surface so they don’t interfere with life on the ground above.  The danger therein is that you could be crushed or squeezed as whatever transition you are undergoing is coming to a close – I am reminded of the phrase “it’s always darkest before the dawn,” in the way that as you go through a big change, the longer and harder you have to work, it is always toward the end that you think you can’t take any more and feel the most squeezed.  This is where the anxiety and panic come in.

It is important to notice with this dream that you always get through…just like in life.  We are often terrified by change, feel we want to hide the impact of what is going on, keep our challenges below the surface of other people’s ability to see what’s going on and that we have to work so long on something, we might not make it all the way to our destiny.  But we do.  This dream probably helps you balance out the stress so you can wake up each day and face the next part of the tunnel you are making your way through.

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