Sometimes a dream may appear negative when you first express what you’ve experienced such as:" I am in a gymnasium with homeless people . . . "exactly the words I spoke into my recorder the other morning. But as I continued to listen to the recording I was able to accept the dream as encouraging rather than telling me yet again my raging issue is my finances. Well, “consciously” I suppose it is, but was the unconscious kindly compensating for this unbalanced opinion?

In this dream I was "giving out blankets to people as we co-operated with each other to make room for everyone to sleep in the gym comfortably." I recorded "We are all smiling and helping one another. Everyone appears to have a job and everyone is working together to be of assistance to anyone who needs something." I could see myself greeting and checking in with people as I walked around.

Then a scene change and a new element entered the dream. "I am talking to the people in charge. We are preparing for graduation. It will be a great party. I have a really pretty skirt to wear later." Maybe this was an emergency shelter after a hurricane and not home to the homeless? No matter. There would be a graduation! A reason to celebrate, to move on to a new phase of life. Never mind that it’s been a hundred years since my last graduation . . . CLothing in a dream often has to do with persona and attitude, how one presents oneself. New clothes can show social or economic development. My son is here. He’s smiling too . . . it may be a rehearsal: "Already, people are festive; I hear music."

So, okay, I thought later. Yes, there’s The Bigtop Tarp and I’m in a crowd of people wearing long, raggedy raincoats but we’re all happy waiting for the Big Show. Even my ego state in the dream is happy. True, it’s quite possible to look at a dream and see how the ego has misread the situation. (Dude, you’re in a gym with homeless people!) But the prevalent feeling is joyful, excited, anticipatory; this is the feeling I awoke with. And had there been nothing else in the dream, the sorry state of things would be something to consider.

The little (or not so little) addition of my son's appearance was another validation for me that the dream was auspicious. In “real” life, my son in his own words said to me not too long ago that he is having the best year of his life. Happily married, but he is also passionate about a new direction in his financial life. Whenever I see him in a dream, which is fairly frequent, I need to remind myself my dream-son represents an aspect of myself. Our children usually stand as symbols for our plans, ideas and projects, so in this case, his presence bodes well. I have several writing projects in the works.

It’s always important to note the ego’s point of view and in the inter-active dream process of image work, I would make certain this dreamer described and felt the sense of “homelessness” completely before moving to the ego alternates, or ego-alien, my son being one of these, the crowd of homeless representing a huge energy as well. But they’re happy homeless. And those people in charge, also alien to my ego-- they know that we’re graduating. All of these viewpoints stand for the many subjectivities in my psyche.

The unconscious offers up gifts, or sometimes . . . just compensates for excessive conscious worries and tries to bring balance. And dreams do exaggerate. Still, I’m gratefulfor the twists in this dream and I look forward to exchanging my gymnasium blanket for a mortar-board!

Author's Bio: 

Deborah DeNicola’s memoir "The Future That Brought Her Here" was recently released from Nicholas Hays/Ibis Press and is currently in the second round of a contest online for Next Top Spiritual Author. A second full collection of poetry, "Original Human," is is forthcoming in 2010 from WordTech Press. Deborah edited the anthology "Orpheus & Company; Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology," from The University Press of New England. Previous books include "Where Divinity Begins" from Alice James Books and three award winning chapbooks, most recently "Inside Light "from Finishing Line Press. Among other awards, Deborah has received an NEA Fellowship. She won The Packingtown Review’s Analytical Essay Award, and the Santa Barbara Poetry Contest in 2008 and is included in The Best of The Net 2008 Anthology. Her poetry is published widely in journals and online.