Dreams: The Daytime Kind
Imagine really wanting something a lot, seriously a lot, and no matter how much you push and work and labor and pray, you get no closer to making it happen. In my book, The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward, I write about how sometimes when you are possessed by the myth of Sisyphus (the guy who famously pushed the rock up the hill and never-ever-ever got it to the top) that the healthiest, best, and sanest thing to do is let go of the life you planned and find a new way forward. There are lots of things I advise people who are dealing with the disappointments of life (such as loss of job, relationship, health, inability to achieve a goal, etc.) and who want to get to their next happy: calling the time of death on a dream, grieving the dream fully, letting the land lay fallow before getting into a rebound dream, and, as I am exploring in this post, analyzing your desire to understand what you really wanted from the dream.
If you are here on the Pacifica blog you already know that dreams are important.
At Pacifica we love dreams. We love to dig deep in the psyche with our metaphorical miners’ caps on and look at the symbols and discover the unconscious desire of the dream, meet the shadow, and see how the animus and anima are playing peekaboo.
According to the Grandpoobas of nighttime dreams, Sigmund Freud and Jung, are dreams are expressing our unconscious desires, wish fulfillments, and aspects of our unconscious that want to be made conscious. And according to Cleantis (that’s me), our daytime dreams, or life-goals, should be analyzed and explored too, as they have unconscious aspects worth exploring. You see, I believe that our dream to have something or to be something are a fill-in for a deeper emotional experience we are after. Dreams such as, “I want to be a star”, “I want to go to Harvard”, “I want that man”, “I want to write a screenplay” or “I want to start a healing community,” for example, might mean we really want validation, love, attention, security, or a sense of community. And the good thing about knowing what we really want is that we can get those things in lots of ways, not just through one possible unattainable dream. Once we know the unconscious psychological desires, there can be many channels to the completion of the goal other than through the original desire.