Thursday, June 10, 2010

Guest Dreamer: Laid Off and Weeping


Today’s guest dreamer is Emily. She is an experienced dream worker and will interpret her own dream—although that isn’t a word she likes to use. “I'm never comfortable with using 'interpretation' when working with a dream,” she says, “perhaps because there never is one interpretation.” That’s a good point.
       
The Dream: I am in the instructor’s room at the county jail where I used to work as a teacher. I sit at a small round wooden table across from my tall blond co-worker Alyssa. Our boss Evans walks in and asks her if she has 2 ½  hours available. He then talks about how good Alyssa has been on the job; so good, in fact, that he is going to have to lay her off. Tension builds in the room. Alyssa stands up to walk out with Evans to go to that 2 ½  hour meeting where she’ll be terminated, and she starts to cry. I stand up to hug her, and I start crying as well. As we embrace and weep together, she inadvertently knocks off my Tilley hat.

Emily’s thoughts on her dream:
As jail is a form of imprisonment, I see how I can imprison myself by being “too good” a daughter, wife, or friend. So good, in fact, my animus needs to deliver me from my self-imposed and compulsive responsibility that has recently resurfaced in waking life (I know my boss never took his job half as seriously as I took mine, so the message comes across loud and clear).

The weeping is timeless grief. As Alyssa grieves at leaving her “dream” job (which I held in waking life for many years with much satisfaction), I grieve at the passing of my old, unhealthy habit of needing to be needed. Allyssa knocks off my Tilley hat which represents outdoor activity, recreation, freedom.  By embracing Allyssa the dream ego shows compassion for the qualities that are not so great about the “good girl” persona. Perhaps she’ll soon put the hat on!

Carla’s thoughts: If this were my dream, I would ask myself about the significance of 2 ½ since my dream emphasizes that number by mentioning it twice.

The things I’m “too good” at are socially determined roles: daughter, wife, friend. The phrase “laid off” tells me that some part of me is saying, “Lay off! Gimme a break.”

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Carla, I like the comments you added to my dream! I hadn't thought about "laying off" from all the pressure that's been in my life lately. That's why it's so necessary, in my opinion, to get ideas and thoughts from others about our dreams. Not that we don't get valid ideas and messages about what they mean when we work with them alone (we do!), but any added perspective from someone else certainly adds to the layers of the dream's message. I'm honored that you posted the dream and did such a wonderful illustration of it as well! Emily

Carla Young said...

Emily, thank you for submitting your dream! And I hope readers will always feel free to add their input to any "interpretations" that I come up with. I think most of us can have blind spots to things that are obvious to others, and two heads are better than one.

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