Let's face it – your favorite dream character is always YOU. It is easy to think that our dreams are proof that everyone who bugs us in real life really is to blame. But nothing could be further from the truth. It is mainly that we are so used to our own attitudes and beliefs we often take for granted that we are right in our dreams or righteous in our opinion or on the winning side.
And although there are exceptions to every rule, the telling sign is always “how free from attitude is our dream character, how generous and expansive?”
Because if we are smug or self-congratulatory or pointing a finger, you can be sure there is some shadow playing out that is yelling for our attention. These kinds of polarizations are indications that there is something below the surface about to be revealed. So it is not just the content of dreams to pay close attention to but the feeling states they offer – they are suggestions often of how we are in the world or another way to Be in the world.
When I went to Italy for the first time, a dear friend and fellow traveler there told me that the rule of thumb to follow when in Italy was to find a way whenever possible to get up as high as I could so I could see everything. That is the rule of thumb I propose in looking at a dream, taking the bird's eye view, and in doing so enabling the possibility to see that our biases might not be true.
Allowing ourselves to see our hidden aspects in the other characters will break the dream wide open. As in real life, the folks who bug us the most are expressing themselves in a way that we don't approve of, we often adopt even a moral stamp to our judgment of them but meanwhile a creative part of our self-expression is getting suppressed. So it Bothers us. Our dreams often reveal the why. They set us up to see the typical way we respond to conflict, intimacy and relationship in the world. They show us how our judgments of others are revealing an aspect of us we are afraid to expose.
It takes a careful climbing back into the dream to feel into each aspect.
Recently I had a dream that illustrates the way it can feel inside of the dream character, of being the one who feels so strongly s/he is RIGHT, even though lurking in the rightness is a distorted sense of survival.
I dream I am a man in a house at night with my business partner who was a woman, and her husband. She is a photographer and that is our business together. There is something I wish to do and my partner and her husband do not want me to do it and will not go along with my plan. I feel so compelled to do it, there is a sense of survival in it, that I decide to sneak out of the house into the pitch black of night and get in my truck and drive off to do “it”. As I am planning this out in my head and am about to leave I call someone on the phone to let 'him' know what I am doing and I stay on the phone with him while I am leaving the house. I am outside in the black of night, hurrying to my truck, it is in a rural setting – grass, trees, nature all around. I am completely blind as I am moving quickly, when suddenly Nature turns on all the lights! It is like the bright light of day is suddenly shining down on me and I look around... and there right next to me, pursuing me, are my partner and her husband. My partner's husband says to me, "Have you thought about what you will do when 'she' (my business partner, the photographer) is no longer there?" I realize they have come to ask me this question, not to restrain me. I turn and look toward my car; I am still on the phone, and then I wake up from the dream.
My business partner — she is the photographer – her gift is to capture images. She is the inner feminine, the artist. She is with her husband – a sacred partnership. He IS wherever she IS. I ask myself what is the difference between a business relationship and a marriage. A marriage is a sacred contract and a public celebration of a bond. In a business partnership I see there is a way you can have a built in right to gain something without necessarily having a sacred bond. Their marriage partnership represents something important that they are showing to me that I have left out – about how to honor my own relationship with my inner feminine, the artist. There is potential not just to use her for her gifts but also to be always in sacred alignment with her and to have her agreement for everything I am doing. To always Be where she is.
In the dream I am feeling insistent on the need to do something I feel both obligated and driven to do. But in order for me to go through with it I must run away, isolate myself from my partner, which is a clue that it is out of balance with who I am. And I am so uncomfortable with the consequence of this I am on the phone, in close connection to a God-Self voice, telling Him my every move. Another clue that the plan I am about to carry out is questioning the natural order. I leave in the pitch black of night and flee to my truck. I can’t see a thing – I am totally blind. Then Nature in complete service to my Highest self, turns on the house lights! Pay close attention-this is like the loudspeaker saying listen to this! And my partner’s husband, the true masculine asks me the question, “Have you thought about what you will do when SHE is not there?” and that question ‘wakes me up from the dream’.
I felt deeply the overriding question “Have you considered all the ways your life will be different without your feminine side in alignment with your every move?” I saw immediately its relevance to a current situation of some life choices I was about to make in a particular from of mind, and also an old habit—the imposition of either/or when I was feeling trapped in survival mode. Again not the actual content is in question first--but the feeling state which will definitely effect the content of any manifestation, for sure.
So I get to see the rightful place of the masculine – asking the one question that will put me back in alignment with my inner Goddess, my inner Feminine, the one who captures the images, the virtual Queen of the Arts within me. And from there as both of the forces integrate inside me I could ask what was rightful action in response to the issue I was experiencing in my life.
Although there are times our dreams are giving us literal advice, avenues to follow, we must use our common sense...a dream would not tell us for instance to go jump off a high building. But they could tell us to come down out of our minds and make contact with a more ground place, or experience a freedom like flight in some arena in our lives. So make a lot of room around you when you turn on the movie projector and take note of who is in the audience. Most likely they are going to be your new best friends.