Sunday, July 10, 2011

Does the Coat Still Fit?

What is the price of social acceptance? Today’s dream, a variation on the theme of my last post, discovers the source of “social security.”

The Dream: I’ve left a beautiful coat that my mother made for me in a restaurant. She has embroidered my name into its lining. My Aunt Jenya—famous in the family for her mercurial artistic temperament--has died, and I’ve been given nothing of hers. I regret this, because I think some of her things represent treasures of old Russia and would be wonderful to have. I go back to the restaurant and retrieve the coat.

The coat is the protective warmth of a loving parent. I almost lose it by my association with the difficult aunt, who represents my unpleasant, out-spoken, aggressive side. But it turns out I have none of her qualities (I’ve been given nothing of hers). Because I have none of these (I’ve repressed my “difficult” personality traits) I can go back to the place of sustenance, the restaurant, and wrap myself once again in maternal approval. But—by repressing the negative qualities this aunt represents, am I also repressing her good qualities (her artistic talent)? Maybe I’ve outgrown the coat.

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