“I feel things are coming together,” a client told me recently. “Something is speaking to me and I want to hear what it is saying.” This young man was working on his dreams in psychotherapy. He faithfully recorded them and through his therapy worked to understand and learn from them. Over time he observed patterns and repeating themes in his dreams. Gradually, he gained a fuller understanding of what his psyche was trying to communicate to him. He observed a progression in his dream images and themes based upon his own development and in response to the changes he was making in his life.
One of the things that makes working with your dreams productive and meaningful is the way they connect you to a source of guidance that transcends your conscious mind. Working with your dreams helps you become conscious of the fact that you are not alone in this world. You come to see that there is a force that is paying attention to you and offering you feedback. It brings guidance and directives every time you sleep, and even when you are awake through signs and synchronicities. This force has an opinion. It has expectations and an intimate knowledge of who you are, what you are capable of, and what you are meant to achieve in this lifetime. It is your coach, your teacher, and your healer.
Working with your unconscious and learning from your unconscious brings you face-to-face with a power greater than yourself that is concerned with you as an individual. This helps you realize that your life has significance, that it is of concern to the universe. You have a place, a calling. You are needed and you’d best do your part, play your part. It plots your path, notes your progress, and spurs you to new challenges, accomplishments, and maturity.
Another client spoke to this reality when reflecting, “My life changed when I stopped saying ‘I am by myself’ and started saying ‘I am with myself.’” This was her way of acknowledging and honoring the fact that there is more to her than her conscious mind and identity. She recognized a guiding force, a center of wisdom and awareness, that seeks to develop her potential and point the way to her destiny. This autonomous, powerful, and most intimate Other speaks to each of us individually if we stop long enough and care deeply enough to listen.
Copyright © Andy Drymalski, Ed.D.