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In the dream, I’m a smoker, even though in real life I’m not. In the dream, I’m wearing a baggy jacket and have 1/2 dozen loose cigarette butts in each pocket but no full cigarette. I’m with a bunch of smokers and ask them for one and they all say they don’t have any. I say it’s okay, it doesn’t matter, I’m quitting anyways.
Then an ex-boyfriend arrives. In real life he’s an ex but in the dream I am still trying to salvage the relationship. I ask him if he wants to catch the ferry with me and go do something off the island. At first he disagrees but he concedes with my insistence and he even offers to pay.
I notice right away he starts taking photos with his phone which is a strange & uncharacteristic behaviour of his. He does it so much that he has no emotional connection or interaction with me at all as we wait in line for the ferry, board and start traveling. I see a huge piece of ice float down a river and point it out and he takes a photo and I hear him say, “This one is for you (meaning me)” and then he takes another one saying “And this second one is for you (meaning another woman)” and he sends the second pic to someone.
After seeing him do this 3 times I confront him with it. He doesn’t deny it. I say why didn’t he just tell me and we could have ended amicably. He said he couldn’t tell me. He didn’t want to hurt me.
So I tell him I’m not going on this trip with him and when the ferry stops I board a returning boat to go back home. He continues on.
I feel a mixture of sadness and relief.
When I get back, it’s too late to make it all the way home so I stay at an Air BnB which has a lot of others staying there too. Recollection of this part of the dream is foggy. It seems we were moving furniture around. There were a lot of people but I don’t recall more than that.
For the past month I’ve been remembering a lot of my dreams when I wake up in the morning. Most of them have been somewhat negative with threatening images or metaphors. Angry lions, snakes, alligators and bears have been in my dreams. I’ve been trying to run, trying to hide, trying to outwit them. I’ve also dreamed of bombs & fire, of being displaced, losing loved ones or being forced to live with malicious-minded people. My dreams were telling me something was going on in my real life which needed a lot of attention. Something negative was coming. Maybe several negative things in a row. I could feel it intuitively.
Then some stuff started happening in the real world. I didn’t see real lions, snakes, alligators or bears but some people I’m dealing with were showing negative behaviours as though they were vicious lions, poisonous snakes, relentless alligators and powerful bears. Suddenly I’m dealing with a lot of people’s egos & the result was I started feeling a lot of hurt & anger.
When I start doing the work to process the hurt and anger I learn a lot about myself, the people involved and the situation. I use metaphors to think about the feelings to help me understand the challenges at a deeper level.
When I feel hurt it FEELS LIKE MY HEART HAS SHATTERED LIKE BROKEN GLASS OR MIRROR. Of course, no one really shattered my mirrors or glasses in the house and no one even physically harmed me with any weapon or object. I didn’t really SHATTER….I just FELT as thought I had shattered. Since the negative emotion of hurt made me feel shattered it means that what I need is to feel connected. The solution to the negative emotion is the positive opposite of the metaphor. Since I’m feeling shattered…it means what I need to get to is a feeling of connection, of bringing many pieces together. The process that it takes to move from feeling shattered to feeling connected is where the transformation takes place.
The other strong negative emotion I’m feeling about the things people said or did is anger. When I feel angry I feel like I’m burning up. I FEEL like I’m burning at the stake. I FEEL like burning others, like getting revenge, but I have enough self-control not to but still the anger burns me alive. The feeling I have is anger but what I need is Tranquility. I feel like I’m in fire but what I need is to feel like I’m gliding down a river in a canoe. I feel like I’m dying but what I need is to feel the Tranquil serenity of floating down a river in summer. The work that I do to move from the feeling of being burned alive at the stake to feeling like I’m floating down a river in a canoe is where the transformation takes place.
Since I’m not REALLY burning at the stake it means I’m working with an image in my mind. By understanding the image, the metaphor, the feelings, the thoughts and behaviours associated with this anger then I can get to what I really want which is Tranquility in my life & in my relationships.
When you feel hurt what is the metaphor or image that comes to mind for you? What about anger? …. When you are angry what is it like – is it like detonating a bomb? like wanting to light a house on fire? like a boiling water pot about to explode? Give it some thought and share your comments in the section below. Also, remember to subscribe to Healing With Dreamwork and tell us what dream metaphors you would like to know more about.
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