Something has broken, in your dream. You may be devastated, strangely detached, or even relieved or elated. You may want to fix the broken thing, hide it, forget it or simply not care what happens to it any more. So what is the meaning of broken things in a dream?
You know I have written here previously about the many elements of the dream representing a part of the dreamer. So a broken thing in a dream can be a “broken” part of you. The most obvious thing I think people consider in themselves as being broken is the heart, followed by the spirit. We can have big and small heartbreaks, crushing blows to the spirit or the slow erosion of hope and joy over many years. Consider all these when you dream of something broken. The end of a relationship, job or dream can all provoke dreams of broken things.
Sometimes though, when a dream dies inside, we don’t pay attention to it, or perhaps don’t want to admit it. We want to let it go. We pretend we don’t care because there are so many logical reasons why we should give up on this thing that was once so special. The thing that held a treasured place in our heart. We want to be mature, practical, logical. And we let dreams go. Sometimes we have to. And that’s ok too. But the important thing is to acknowledge what is really going on. Don’t ignore it. When you let go of something precious, it is ok to mourn it, to feel sad. Dreams of broken things may be asking you to honour what is passing. Or they may be warning you to look at what’s really happening, and giving you a chance to mend a broken dream before it is beyond repair.
Another thing we refer to symbolically as breaking are “promises”. Have you broken any promises? (To others, or to your Self…) Or have you been on the receiving end of broken promises? Broken things in your dreams may be exploring your feelings around these.
Often the broken things in the dream represent things that are broken for a very good reason. You can outgrow opinions, ideas and worldviews. As you mature and become wiser, previous perceptions of the world may need to be broken in order for a new perspective to come in. Broken windows and broken mirrors in dreams often reflect such change. Another positive thing to break are shackles – whether these be internal through limiting beliefs, or more external ones such as breaking out of a bad relationship, earning more money to escape a poverty situation or moving to a safer neighbourhood, breaking these ties can be a step to freedom. Sometimes it can be a positive thing to break the rules, though it may often require personal courage to do so. We can have a “break through” on many levels – at work, in relationships, or the direction of life. And spiritual growth is often presaged by the pain of old ways of living “breaking down”, followed by the transformation that can be symbolised as “breaking out” such as of an egg, or a cocoon. Broken things in a dream may reflect your emotional growth and spiritual evolution.
If you dream of something broken, you may wish to look at the puns around the word “break.” Is something in your life moving too fast, do you need to “put on the brakes?” Or have you become too involved in one area of your life, that perhaps you need to “take a break” from?
You may have read in other dream dictionaries that to dream of something often means the opposite of what you may think. I do not subscribe to this as a theory, but I do think it is worth noting how the solution to the “problem” of breaking is contained within the concept itself. To break something immediately implies the concept of whether or not the thing is repairable. A broken thing is just a thing. It is not, or was not alive, so we are not talking about life and death here – resurrecting from the dead, afterall, is a feat beyond most mere mortals! But a “thing” is not dead, it is broken. That is the within the scope of human capability to potentially alter. The question is, how broken is it?
In a dream then, we should ask if the concept of “broken” is a symbol that also implies ending – is the thing broken forever, ruined, beyond repair? Why would you hold onto a completely broken thing? What can you let go of, and what is the best way to do that? Or is the broken thing in need of fixing? Is this something you are prepared to do? And that you feel capable of? Often in dreams there will be a sense of panic at trying desperately to mend something potentially lost for good. This can reflect a sense of loss of control in waking life, especially in regards to relationships, but also finances and self identity. But it is worth remembering that dreams usually work on many levels. Just as one level may be about a relationship in the waking world, on another level the dream is also likely to be exploring your own inner feelings and addressing the growth occurring inside you, even as you struggle to cope with the world around you. Dreams can be guiding you towards helpful behaviour in the outer world while simultaneously healing you on the inside…
Another way we can consider the concept of “breaking” in a dream is through the symbol of a broken bone. Now in our modern society one broken bone is rarely seen as sure sign of a permanent end to anything. Broken bones hurt, broken bones limit the ability to function fully, but broken bones usually heal with time. Broken does not need refer to an end, but it may symbolise impaired ability for a time.
Which leads us to the ideas of functionality and usefulness. To dream of something broken may lead you to question if there is an area of your life that is no longer serving you well – what is not functioning as it should? And should this thing be repaired, left to heal on it’s own with rest and care, or discarded?
And of course, dreams of broken things may encourage you to consider what is not breakable…Perhaps your relationship is broken but you heart is not; or your heart is broken, but your spirit never will be…
Broken things in a dream bring up issues of:
- loss and letting go
- control, or lack of
- repercussions of actions
- pain and healing
- transitons, impermanence
- freedom and release
- the physical versus the emotional or spiritual
The initial impression of a broken thing in a dream may seem sad, but look a little closer and you may discover a dream guiding you towards a different outcome, or supporting you through a change towards a brighter, and freer future.
You may also be interested in the following posts: