Our first dream question to explore this month has been sent in by Daiva – thanks very much Daiva!
Daiva writes about a dream in which she is surprised to find herself in an apartment that she knows she lives in, where the furniture is shabby and even broken. She feels she is seeing it for the first time, as it is not really hers, but somehow she should have been paying the rent. The great anxiety comes that she has not paid rent all this time, and now the amount to pay must be huge. She “blames herself” for getting into this state, feels at a loss as what to do, and then wakes as abruptly as the dream started.
Daiva, there are two primary themes that arise in this dream: neglect, and debt.
A house in a dream can represent our Self, how we organise who we are, compartmentalise our feelings, roles and responsibilities, and how we present our selves to the world – or not. You have dreamed of a place forgotten, neglected even, with shabby, broken furniture. What area of your life have you been ignoring for years now? That this dream is surprising to you, and that you have had it for a long time, implies to me that you have been hiding an aspect of who you really are for a long time now – you may have even forgotten consciously that you decided to do this long ago. But you subconscious hasn’t. It wants you to remember what you have hidden away.
The other key theme, and the main one I take from your email, is that of debt. You feel very anxious, afraid even, of what you owe. Something in your life is out of balance. Maybe the reason you have ignored this aspect of yourself, is because if you were to acknowledge it, you would also have to thank someone, or be grateful for a certain experience, that you wish had never been in your life. By facing up to this debt of gratitude, you may discover that the apartment you are in no longer feels old and neglected, and you may even discover new rooms in the place in future dreams.
It can be extremely difficult to try and address those areas of our life and pysche that we try and hide from ourselves – we are all masters at Self deceit. It takes a great deal of bravery to confront those areas that make us feel guilty, ashamed or anxious, and it can seem so much easier to try and ignore or hide that which causes us fear or pain. But this “easy” way is only easy in the short term. Over time, those issues we never faced up to will start to exert their influence, subtly at first, through dreams, then building to strange synchronicities, even accidents and illness over the longer term. That which is suppressed, like a balloon filled with air beneath the water, will always try to rise up.
But how does this help Daiva? If the thought is so forgotten, that she does not know what has been neglected and cannot recall the things hidden, one way is to work on the dream itself.
Daiav, you might like to try this: while awake, sit calmly with closed eyes and recall the dream. Imagine going back into the apartment. Visualise tending to it, fixing the broken furniture, cleaning away the dust and dirt, painting the walls, putting up new curtains. Imagine and feel the place loved, cared for and homely. This can help address the issue of neglect. Next, be consciously grateful for this home. Look around and be pleased, satisfied. Then imagine picking up an envelope, and seeing inside a receipt confirming final payment for the apartment. Nothing is owing. It is yours, you own it. You don’t need to stay here but you are responsible for it now. You can sell it, hire a housekeeper or just come back often and look after it. It is up to you. But now you have recognised it, you cannot ignore it any more.
Daiva, there is no “right way” to do most things in life, and we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to live up to expectations that are unrealistic, even damaging. It seems at some point in your life, you didn’t want to let someone down – maybe even yourself, but if you did, that’s ok, and the time now is to let go of that and realise this sense of regret is holding you back from living a full and rewarding life. We all deserve to live the best life possible – it is through doing this that we can give to the best to everyone else. So I hope you realise that debts of gratitude can be paid with exactly that – gratitude, and that while it can be a very hard to thing to recognise, it rewards us with much and costs us nothing more, and nothing less, than emotional bravery.
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