Friday, March 5, 2010

Dueling Pools

While our dreams often reflect the current events in our lives, they can show us that our reactions to these events are linked by a long chain to events and opinions we picked up long ago. Sometimes these dreams are little gifts, because they enable us to realize we don’t have to hang on to ineffective ways of thinking and feeling.

The Dream: My cousin Judy and I embrace. She feels small and delicate, and I feel tenderness toward her. We have a desire for closeness, for an end to the suspicion and rivalry that we inherited from our parents. I invite her to visit. I think she doesn’t know what a beautiful, resort-like place we have here in California, so I say, “You can swim in the pool.” Then I see the plans she and her husband have made for their back garden. The plantings are marked on the plan, as is a rectangular, heated swimming pool. I feel one-upped, but I say to myself, as if just realizing it, “My pool is heated, too.”

Interpretation: Here I am dealing with feelings of inadequacy left over from childhood. The dream tells me that the reason for my uncomfortable competitive streak is still living in the unconscious (the pool). According to Jung, a square represents wholeness and balance. The rectangular shape of the pool in the dream indicates I’m not seeing the whole picture: one dimension is askew. In the dream I begin to see my cousin as a human being, rather than a competitor; despite her apparent superiority, she needs care and careful handling. By bringing my unacknowledged envy to consciousness I can realize that what I have is just fine. (“My pool is heated, too.”)

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