By Layne Dalfen
From working with so many people, helping them understand their dreams, I am convinced the important part is that you connect to the dream's meaning, no matter what method you use. Sometimes you can get some great info just from one picture or one scene in a dream!
Here’s a story about Heather, who noticed her dream fragment repeating itself. Don't feel like you need to remember a whole long full-length story in order to find out what's going on for you. These examples prove you can understand important parts of yourself if you remember even a small fragment of a dream.
“I heard you on the radio and wanted to ask about a recurring dream in which I have chewing gum stuck to my back teeth and it won't come off. I have to put my finger back there and pull it off. I have had it 5 or 6 times in the last several months. What do you make of it?”
I offered, “If I was dreaming there was chewing gum stuck behind my teeth, and it wouldn't come off, I would probably be having a difficult time saying something to someone. I could potentially have get a dream like that at times when I really have some important feelings I need to express, and I am just plain stopping myself from letting the words come out. In other words, I am ‘STUCK’. Get it?”
Heather admitted she did have something to say that she’d been holding back.
The way Heather’s subconscious used the image of the gum serves three purposes. One, it stops her from expressing herself, (stops her tongue from moving easily), and second she uses the symbol as a pun about feeling stuck. (We often use puns and play on words in our dreams same as we do in waking life.) Finally, the gum not coming off helps mirror Heather’s frustration which she was actually feeling in her waking-life situation.
Often if you read the dream back to yourself, you can find the answer to the issue there in the plot or action in the dream. In this dream for example, Heather is able to remove the gum by putting her finger back there. In other words, she helps herself get it off. This might point to the solution she was dealing with in waking life. Sometimes you have to help yourself away from feeling stuck. Just like Heather did in the dream.
Speak to the person you need to speak to. By the way, in case you’re not comfortable with expressing yourself, you don’t need to spill all the beans. The fact is even if you say a bit of how you feel you will let some air out of the balloon and the recurring dream will stop. Well anyway the dream image typically disappears once the dreamer is asking questions about the dream and trying to understand its meaning.
All that said, Heather shared with me, “Your answer makes perfect sense, but I am sorry to say that I will probably never get to tell the person what is ‘stuck’.”
It turned out that Heather was angry with her Mom and Dad, and that's why she didn't feel okay about speaking up. What do you think?
I’ll leave Heather’s Dream with this: Even though you may not feel comfortable speaking out to the person you’d love to express yourself to, or it's a situation in which you actually can't speak up, you still free up the energy by talking about your situation to ANYONE and the fact that you now understand the meaning of your dream, means that chances are, that image will not return.
A Footnote: Here’s a point to remember that you have probably heard me say on http://youtube.com/watch?v=Qqx7GWyAnlA
The symbols we use are very personal to each of us. For example, if I asked my brother what comes to his mind when he thinks of his teeth, he might say something about how he got punched by a bully when we were kids, and he lost the nerve in one of his teeth. So, each of us has our own private memories and associations with the symbols we use. Be safe. Throw out the dream dictionaries…..or at least wait until after you have instead asked yourself what your own associations are to the images. If you work with a friend to help them understand their dream, you can say what I do. Start your sentence with, "If it were my dream.." That way you show respect for the dreamer and see if they relate to your idea about what the dream means!