Dreamwork 3: When Your Metaphor Hits Resistance
Today I received this dream after the post from yesterday.
This morning I had a dream I as swimming along a beach trying to get to a distant goal along the beach. About 100 yards out from the beach was a huge wall. I was trying to swim towards the shore, but I got pushed back by the currents until I was against the wall. I looked and it was storming and these huge waves were coming towards me. I told my father that I would be okay, I just had to wait it out. I closed my eyes and didn’t fight the huge waves. When they were finished I knew I only had limited time before they came again so I swam as fast as I could towards the shore. I just made it when I woke up. Could the waves be the tests and trials in my life right now and I just have to wait them out, be patient?
One of the ways you know that a metaphor works for you is that it is something your true self is drawn to. When you are operating out of an metaphor from your ego, then your life is being controlled from forces outside of your true self that are usually not all that pleasant such as “I feel like I am a slave at work” or “life is a bottom line.” What happens to most people is that they find themselves living in a bad metaphor because they have never really consciously attempted at living in a metaphor that they have chosen that resonates with them. Maybe your metaphor is a jazz band or a symphony orchestra or maybe it is a science lab. A lot of us lose control over our spiritual life around the age of 5 or 6 when school starts taking over the metaphoric life of children. That is why choosing a playful metaphor resonates so profoundly with most of us. When we have time off, we want to do our metaphor.
From the above dream you can assume that the operating metaphor of choice is life is a beach because that is where she is in the dream. If life is a beach is your metaphor, then the goal is often warmth and closeness. In this case the dreamer is trying to swim to a distant goal but the currents keep pushing her back until she is up against a wall. Water is a relational element so swimming is an appropriate activity when you want to get close in a dream. This is good news for the dreamer because if she were somewhere else, it could mean that her life was extremely distant from the goal.
The problem in a dream is often stated in the opening line. In this case “I was trying to swim to a distant goal”. If the goal is closeness or warmth, then seeing something at a distance is the wrong metaphor. The dream uses it to show the mental error so that it can be easily correctly. Instead of thinking of the goal as distant she can bring the goal closer to her in her mind until it is as if she can touch and feel it. The switch is mental. It has nothing to do with swimming itself. It has to do with how you see a goal. When the goal is far away, it means that it takes a long time to get there. When it is close up, you can start actualizing the energy right away.
The next step is to deal with the currents. So to do metaphoric work you just ask yourself what they are. What is a current that pushes me against a wall? A current could be the negative energy that many people have in the culture that make closeness so difficult. It could be criticism, fault-finding, backbiting, or malicious gossip. They create negative currents that push you against a wall and keep you from getting close to people. So the goal here is to change the negative current to a calm and tranquil one. The way you get calmness is to ignore all of the negative talk and then fill the environment with positive vibes such as validating and supporting others. An environment that is validating and supportive is always very calm and tranquil.
Finally the dreamer has to deal with the big stormy waves. Big stormy waves are usually brought on by big leadership figures because closeness is a goal that they do not want you to have. It is the biggest threat to people who have a lot of authority and power. The dreamer does two amazing things in the dream. She waits out the first set of stormy waves and then goes to the shore to wait out the next set. Any energy that is ruled by the ego can only sustain itself for limited periods of time. So when you have a negative leader who is ruled by the ego, they try to create storms so that people will remain distant from each other. Closeness passes control from the leader to the rank and file. This is why it is such a threat, but they can only sustain a storm for so long before it is its own consequence. The best strategy is patience which the dreamer observes about herself in the final question.
Patience is a highly underrated virtue because it is a different energy than something like assertiveness or enthusiasm. However, when you lose patience, you lose all of your opportunities for achieving the goal you set out to accomplish. Patience allows you to take all of the time you need to do something which is exactly what you need to make a relationship work. It is also the most important energy you need for doing dream interpretation and dream work because it allows you to take time to understand a metaphor and then change it. So if you have a big organization task, when you use the beach metaphor you have all the time in the world to do it. That is how you get it done by patiently working through it as if you were on the beach with lots of time.
Most of the modern world is caught up in speed because profit making is about doing something fast. Most things that are worthwhile and lasting require patience which is the ability to leave the people addicted to profits out of the picture and put those you really want to be with in the picture. It is like you can let them make their profits while you achieve closeness. When the storm blows over, what is left is closeness and warmth. The ego is gone. It is when we get caught up in the storm that we are in big trouble.
This is great, Richard, lots to think about, thanks!!