One doesn’t have to be in therapy to realise that certain dreams are significant, in that the sleeping self is sending a message to the waking self with the intention of helping us to know ourselves better.
So many fragments of our lives have been scattered, rejected or forgotten; yet they are all filed away in the cabinets of our sub-conscious and return to us in our dreams. They are parts of ourself which we need to integrate into our lives.
I had such a dream following the death of my partner of 54 years, Hywel. I was in a tea shop. On the table opposite me sat a very dull-looking woman in a tightly belted raincoat, sipping at her tea. I said nothing and ignored her. Suddenly she put down her cup with a clatter and, rising, said to me, almost spitting the words, ‘Thank you, Father!’ and stormed out.
I awoke with a start. It was like a slap in the face, but I recognised what the dream was saying. I am by nature a very private person, though I conceal this behind an extrovert manner, so that few guess. When Hywel was alive I used to hide behind him, for he was naturally outgoing, smiling and speaking to strangers, whereas I would be withdrawn. When one’s partner dies the survivor always has much psychological work to do, and part of this for me was to learn from Hywel’s example, to be more outgoing, smiling at passers-by, stopping to chat with people, integrating all this into my present life. In this way, too, one’s partner lives on.
When one has a dream like this one should not approach it like a crossword puzzle, but take the dream for a walk, live with it and slowly its meaning will seep into life. As I have often said, there is within each one of us all the wisdom we can possibly need; we have only to LISTEN!