A middle-aged man who was on a journey of self-growth through psychotherapy dreamed that a house was being built. It was a large house with workers all around, many on the roof hammering boards and shingles into place.
Personal growth is a construction process. We are building a new home for our soul, a new way of being in the world. New windows, new vistas, new perspectives. New rooms for the many parts of our personality. It is a new structure for the personality, an expanded space for an expanding consciousness.
This is the essence of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, a sprawling estate of 160 rooms, built by Sarah Winchester, heiress of the Winchester Rifle Company. She kept adding rooms, redoing and restructuring her mansion like an artist painting over one picture to create another. Each new room was a way to express and explore a different part of her personality, a mood, or a healing image. Her mansion was a personal exploration and expression of her unconscious.
A female client dreamed that she entered the house she grew up in. She decided to empty her mother’s closet for her mother had died some fifty years before. She discovered a small room behind one wall of the closet. In the room she found a casket with a doll in it wrapped in plastic. She decided to work with the dream images imaginatively and came to experience that the doll represented all of the emotions of love and sorrow she had for her mother but which had been wrapped up and unprocessed for many years.
An old man, a former building contractor, kept having dreams of building homes and business spaces. But in each dream he was always given new blueprints for additions to the work he had just done. There was always more building to do, one more project to be completed. He wondered why he kept having these dreams.
This is the nature of the psyche. Like the shell of a snail, it keeps expanding until it dies. There is no fixed end. Each new development makes further developments possible. Consciousness grows, the personality grows, the spirit grows. We become more whole.
Perhaps you have had dreams in which you are exploring a large but unfamiliar house, finding rooms you didn’t know were there. The house is a symbol of your psyche, or total personality. Get to know it, furnish it, live in it. Allow yourself to grow and embrace all that you are meant to feel, remember, and be.
Copyright © Andy Drymalski, Ed.D.
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