Dreams often lead far beyond the image in the
dream. Sometimes a complicated story in a dream is a setting for one outstanding
dream experience which has profound implications. Here is an example of such a
dream, whose repercussions are opening up a new depth of inner exploration.
The dream: ( 10 -21-96 )
In a dream of much confusion, loss, anxiety and desperation I meet a lovely
woman who opens her arms to me. I cry as she holds me. I feel tremendous relief
simply to be able to cry and be accepted. She wears a peach colored form -
fitting gown, with glinting sequins. She is relaxed, gentle, strong and
This is the first dream in which I cry.
Discovering a compassionate part of myself who could allow me to cry, who did
not feel threatened by opening up painful feelings, marks a profound inner
change, which was evident to me the morning I woke with this dream.
A photograph of my grandmother has been facing me on my bedroom wall for
months. My eyes had rested on it frequently, but this time I really saw it. I
wondered about her and her life. I experienced her feelings and I cried -- the
accumulation of tears, I am sure, from my earliest years, from my entire life.
Being able to open myself to my sorrow freed me to be able to see -- not only
this family photograph, but to experience the whole spectrum of emotions I had
numbed myself to. I realized that I too, like Native American children kidnapped
from reservations to live with white families and attend white schools, had been
forcibly cut off from my heritage and from the warmth of family traditions and
I never had the opportunity to be close to any of my grandparents. I miss
this connection sadly and imagine them as a source of comfort during childhood
sorrows, as well as of pleasure and learning. They exist in my mind in an
idealized world where there was time for parents and grandparents to be with
children as a natural, unhurried part of everyday life, sharing chores and
games, conversation, music and silence, nature, picnics, and attics and garages
filled with "treasures." A world where, when you skinned your knee or
someone hurt your feelings, there was a comfortable lap and warm embrace ready
for you, and no one ever shamed you for crying or told you you were too big to
cry. A friendly world where, when you were confused or frightened and made
mistakes, you learned and cleaned up your mess, with no ridicule or punishment.
There is a whole realm of feeling, vulnerability, tenderness, acceptance,
trust -- a life with deep human contact -- that I longed for and lacked,
somewhat in the way that full, true color is absent for a color-blind person.
The dress worn by this lovely part of myself conveys gaiety and beauty. Yet she
is also strong and wise. This contradicts a peculiar prejudice I absorbed in
childhood -- that a lovely appearance goes with a superficial, frivolous and
unreliable nature, while nurturing, trustworthy people tend to be plain and
somewhat slow - witted !
I feel fortunate and grateful now to be re-opening that world of genuine
empathic connection and to have a second chance. This dream both expressed and
furthered my re-entry into my own capacity for grief, joy and love.
The online version with graphics of Alissa's work is at
You can write to me at Alissa@dreamgate.com
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