You're in Charge:
A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist
Chapter 6 (an excerpt)
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8 9 p.5
If someone has a dream
that includes the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus,
Neptune, and Pluto, he may need some outside help (i.e., "What
is missing in your dream?") to make him realize that there
is a planet missing from his solar system. Someone with his "head
in the stars" may find it hard to see the obvious, which, of
course, is Earth. It would be very useful and enlightening for such
a person to identify with Earth for a change!
II.... Be alert for any
puns or colloquial expressions. These days a dream of a loaf of
bread may be a dream about money. Or it may conjure up the need
for "a jug of wine and thou" to be complete. It's your
dream, so only your associations are valid.
Ann Faraday has an excellent
chapter in The Dream Game on the many puns she has collected from
her subjects. A dream of her own contains two puns:
A man in long white underpants
shoots her down with a machine gun.
The meaning of this
dream occurred to her later that day when she was waiting to appear
on a radio talk show with a host named Long John Nebel and suddenly
recalled some gossip about his hostile treatment of his guests.
She had repressed this information, so her unconscious was sending
her a warning that a man in "long johns" might try to
"shoot her down".
III.... Notice any numbers
that appear in your dream (house number, number on a roulette wheel,
someone's announced age, the price of an object, etc.) Explore your
associations with those numbers.
IV.... Notice how you
are feeling when you wake up from your dream. This feeling state---
fear, joy, sadness, anger, frustration, puzzlement--- may be your
best clue as to the meaning of the dream.
V.... Notice the colors
in your dream. Any particular association to these colors? You might
want to draw certain parts of your dream. If there is a very special
color in your dream, see if you can match it exactly.
VI.... My suggestion
for finding the message of the dream (if it doesn't become apparent
as you work on it as described above) is to have a dialogue with
the dream. Ask the dream (or the Dream Sender within you, who sent
you the dream) what message it has for your continuing growth. Then
change places. Be the Dream Sender. Tell your Self what message
you have to deliver.
If you emerge with a
long, rambling statement, my hunch is that you are avoiding a shorter,
pithier statement that could be an inducement to action. I sometimes
ask people to reduce their message to a few words that could go
on a poster, and then suggest that they make the posters and hang
them on their walls at home. Here are some of their products:
Give yourself a CHANCE.
Give yourself the TIME.
The bough may break,
but the tree will stand.
Cross the river where
Don't tie your ship to
a single anchor (or pin your life on a single hope).
VII.... When you have
finished your work on your dream, translate it into some kind of
action that can be undertaken NOW. As in the work with fantasies,
this is necessary to be grounded.