Sunday, May 1, 2016

When Things Don't Go Together

What does it mean if your dream has put some things together that surprise you, that, for example, strike you as incompatible? Dreams often do this, so their incongruities can be a good place to look for the key to the dream's meaning.

As an example, let's take a look at this dream that a fashion designer friend sent to me. She dreamed she was working on a heavy wool sweater with a frilly lace collar. She could have looked at this as inspiration, but her reaction was: “I would never do that!” Therefore, the garment her unconscious has created is showing her an internal conflict. But what is the conflict? How might she go about figuring it out?

She started by thinking about the different aspects of her dream creation. First, there is the sweater part. What color is it? It's red: for her that indicates anger or passion. How does she feel about the look of the sweater? She thought it was heavy and stolid.

Then on to the lace collar. What stands out about that? The collar struck her as incompatible with the sweater.

Finally, does she like this thing? Does her opinion of it change during the course of the dream?

Once she has asked herself these questions she could synopsize the results. “The sweater is red; I am angry. My anger has to do with something traditional, just like the body of the sweater. The frilly lace tells me it's rooted in femininity. I thought the whole idea of putting these two elements together was stupid at first, but after a while I concluded they worked together better than I thought they would.

"I was passed over for a promotion at work. A man got the job. Traditionally, men are promoted more than women. I was angry about that and didn't think I'd be able to work with the new designer. But the dream is telling me that this might work out better than I thought.”