In waking life it is often easier to settle for less than the whole truth.
Convention, politeness, diplomacy, ambition, obligations and other issues
take priority, making half truths, or even fibs and falsehoods more likely.
The ability to say something in a way that avoids revealing our true beliefs
is a skill we all must learn.
The danger is that we start to believe our own half truths.
Truth is an issue in dream work when your dream self is too constrained to
say what he or she really wants and needs to say. The great benefit of dream
work is that you have no reason not to speak truthfully to dream characters.
You are totally free to work out what you really believe and then practice
how best to say it in a clear and non-threatening way, which will support
you in your waking life.
I dream I am walking down the street on my way home. I see a cute little
school girl. She is selling kittens and asks me to buy one. I tell her that
I am in a hurry to get home.
In fact Sissy felt like saying, "No way. Potty training a cat is that last
thing I'd want to do." Sissy didn't want to hurt the girl's feelings but she
hid her own feelings by implying that, if she were not too busy, she would
have taken a kitten.
I asked her how she could tell the whole truth to the girl without hurting
her feelings. After some experimenting, Sissy decided to say: "I would not
be a good person to look after a kitten because I don't really like animals
and you need to find someone who would really enjoy your kitty." That answer
allowed Sissy to be true to her own feelings as well as kind.
I dream I am with a group of people from work and an old acquaintance, Dan,
comes up and says hello. We are all going to a conference. Because he is
friendly, I feel I ought to be friendly back. I give him my business card.
But I have a funny feeling that I shouldn't. I say, "Call me, letís have
When Tom woke up, he felt hopping mad at himself. In waking life, Dan had
stolen money from his friend Jane when they were all in graduate school. Tom
was so strongly influenced by convention that he was outwardly friendly even
when he didn't feel that way.
We first explored what Tom really wanted to say to Dan (on the lines of "You
louse! Give back the money.") The problem for Tom was that he and Dan were
not alone. That dream context was not the time or place to show his anger at
Dan. Tom tried saying, "Nice to see you again" but realized that was
completely untrue. Then he said "Have a nice day." That was acceptable
because it was meaningless. Then Tom said, "It brings back memories to see
you again," which was far closer to his real meaning. Both he and Dan would
understand the implication.
In waking life we are under a great pressure to avoid the truth. We fear
that the truth will hurt other people or that the truth will be used against
us. "Looking good" is often easier. But, over time, we can lose sight of
what it is we truly believe.
Saying what you believe in a way that is acceptable to the listener is a
skill that needs to be learned. You can start learning this process in your
dreams. Even though these examples might seem simplistic, they were powerful
experiences for the dreamers and helped them to speak up for themselves in
Dream Analysis By Telephone
A phone consultation is a great way to begin your exploration of dream work.
It is also perfect when you don't have the time to attend a regular class
but want to discuss a particular dream.
David is available for dream consultations by phone. The current cost is $50
per hour. A typical dream analysis might consist of a 30-45 minute
discussion of the dream and a follow up after the next dream.
David's hours for telephone consultations are Monday through Friday, 10 am
to 7 pm, Pacific Time. To make an appointment, please email him with two or
three times when you are available and your phone number. He will e-mail you
back with an appointment time, payment information and request a
confirmation. David's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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