Needing to go really badly in our dreams, but not being able to find a place that is appropriate, can be frustrating, embarrassing and really quite stressful. We may be frantically hunting for somewhere we can go, or we may find a toilet, only to discover that other people can see us. We may feel too ashamed to relieve ourself, and feel increasingly “blocked” and “restricted”. There can be issues of privacy and space here, but this can also be a dream about our most basic needs. We can also look at how we are able to express ourselves in waking life, how we may feel our personal energy can flow freely or where we are placing barriers and rules on ourselves, or letting other people do that to us. Going to the toilet in most cultures today is an intensely personal thing, so it is important for you to understand what your needs are in order to understand this dream.
Looking at how we feel in these dreams can be a clue to what these dreams might be saying to us. We can consider if we feel angry and frustrated, humiliated and shameful, urgent and frantic, and so on. Dreams of trying to find a toilet invite us to consider:
- Where in my life do I feel frustrated or blocked?
- Is there something quite normal and human that I feel ashamed of?
- What basic functions am I preventing myself from doing?
- What emotions do I just need to let go of?
Thinking about going to the lavatory or bathroom in a symbolic context can take away a bit of the “eewww” factor, that cringe-worthiness that might stop us from even remembering or reflecting on this kind of dream. Try thinking of “relieving” yourself in a more abstract context, like getting toxins or un-needed things out from not just your body, in a physical way, but also from your mind, as in getting rid of negative emotions. This can be things like left-over fear, anger, jealousy or sadness. We need to purge our minds as much as our body – or else we do literally become “blocked.”
If we can’t find the toilet in our dreams, it can be a sign that we are not allowing ourselves the basic needs in life. We may be too busy, too engrossed, to caught up with caring for something or someone else, that we forget to take care of our most fundamental requirements. This kind of dream suggests that maybe we need to create a little time and space in our life to fit in some of the basics. Just as in waking life that special privateness you get when you close the bathroom door is a moment of calm, so too do we need that same space of private to attend to our psychological needs. It doesn’t have to be a long time, but the important thing is that we start paying attention to the messages our sleeping mind is trying to give us. The urgency of needing the toilet can be a powerful motivator to stop and pay attention!
Needing the toilet in a dream may often come after a troublesome relationship – either in our personal life, of maybe a business sense. There may be a sense of lingering unpleasantness that we know deep down needs to be dealt with. If at the end of this dream we do find a way of finally going to the toilet, that is usually a good sign that our dreaming mind is finding ways to purge or relieve us of our negative “baggage.” But even if the dream doesn’t end that way, simply paying attention to the dream and acting on its message to honour ourselves better with the fundamental care we need, can be enough to transform this dreaming experience into a far more pleasant one.
Of course, these symbols are all only relevant if the dream truly is symbolic, and not caused by your body screaming at your sleepy mind to wake up because you really do need the toilet! If you are bursting and dream of needing the toilet, it is far less likely to have any great meaning, and probably is just one of the fascinating ways our subconscious knows what is going in our body before the conscious mind does. And in this case, we are particularly grateful for that!