One of the Best Dream Symbols I've Read About in a Very Long Time
Dream for Analysis:
This is a pretty detailed dream and I think I may know what the meaning is, but wanted to ask to be sure. First of all, I am a wife and mother in my 50’s. My 2 sons and 1 daughter have all moved out of the house. My husband works long hours and I’m left alone most of the time. My sons and their wives don’t come around much at all. Maybe 1 time a month. My daughter is in college 3 hours away, and used to come home every weekend. But she got a boyfriend who lives in her college town and she only comes home about once a month now. Each time she and my sons come over I tell them just how lonesome I’ve been for them and how empty my life is now. It seems to make them stay away even longer. I always tell my husband how down I am, but he doesn’t have any answers. He doesn’t even talk to me much anymore. He works, then comes home and reads the paper. When I try to tell him how I feel, we end up arguing.
I just wanted to give a little background info to let you know how lonely I am because I believe the dream’s meaning is tied to this sadness. My dream was very vivid and colorful, making it even more griping and intense. I felt all of the emotion just like it was real life. My family was all together at our home. My sons, their wives, my husband, and our daughter. Her new boyfriend was there too. Each time I sat beside one of these people they would either walk away or get up and move. Suddenly, in the dream I was wearing my nightgown and I instinctively pulled part of it up to my nose and realized it smelled bad. My gown smelled like dirty laundry or something. I started crying and kept saying, “I smell bad!” over and over again but none of them looked at me. They all kept talking to one another. I cried and told my husband, “I will change my gown, please don’t let anyone leave. I’ll put on another gown!” But he just looked past me then walked away.
I woke up with a profound sadness and (disturbingly) an overwhelming feeling of being unloved. Worst of all, I can’t shake the feeling even though the dream was two nights ago. Please help me because this dream is a black cloud over an already bleak life. – Katharine
Reading this dream made me nearly as sad as the dreamer, herself. There’s just so much sadness and discouragement in the words that I could practically see the dark cloud she spoke of myself. Below is my dream analysis for this particular type of dream:
Katharine, it’ll probably come as a surprise to you but the dream doesn’t really have as much to do with your husband and children as it has to do with YOU. I can certainly see how you’d think the dream depicted your family members “staying away from” or “avoiding” you, but the actual dream interpretation goes much deeper than this. The good… make that great!… news is that this particular dream is a perfect example of being able to use our dreams to improve the real world in which we live. Your dream is handing you a golden key to unlock the door to more happiness, peace, and contentment!
The fact that you, yourself, smelled the nightgown in your dream and realized that it was causing others to stay away from you is beautifully symbolic. I believe that, deep down, you realize that when you tell your husband and kids how miserable and unhappy you are that you are, in effect, pushing them away. This realization may be so deep down that it’s your subconscious doing the realizing!
Here’s the thing: People are DRAWN to people, places, things, and situations that make them happy. People, places, things, and situations that make them:
- feel good about themselves
- feel good about life
- have fun
- in the end… people, places, things, and situations that they can’t wait to return to because they brought about so much happiness!
In your own words, you say that you tell your husband and children how “empty” your life is and how unhappy you are. Apparently you do this at just about every available opportunity. With all the respect, compassion, and genuine concern in the world – I have to ask you this: Why would anyone be DRAWN to that? The answer is they wouldn’t! They’d be PUSHED the other way and would even come to dread facing what must feel like guilt trips and depressing encounters.
Your subconscious mind is alerting you to this situation in your dream. I have to tell you, I get SO excited when I hear about dreams like this because – for one thing – dreams utterly fascinate me and when they are so DEAD ON like this one, it just blows my mind. Dreams and the subconscious mind are simply amazing. Also, I get excited because this type of dream proves what I’ve said all along – dreams have the power to change our lives for the better – IF we listen to them!
When you smelled your gown in your dream, the gown was symbolic of YOU. It was on you, just as your sadness, loneliness, and, perhaps, bitterness are on you. When you brought it to your nose and realized it was BAD – you knew it was the cause of everyone being pushed away. I even love the fact that you referred to the smell as being like “dirty laundry.” What do we often refer to bad things people keep talking about? Their dirty laundry.
This is your subconscious mind telling you that what you’re “wearing” in your day to day life is, in fact, driving everyone away.
I suspect that the arguments between you and your husband have gotten so out of hand that your marriage is on shaky ground. The fact that you plead to him in your dream (promising that you’ll “change” – literally!) tells me that the two of you may be nearing a breaking point. When we actually cry in our dreams, it always means serious, serious business.
On my self help blog (Self Help Daily), I frequently write about how to cope with empty nest syndrome because this is a subject women (and many men) battle as their children grow older, get jobs, boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. The waves of emotion can tear families apart if you aren’t careful. You aren’t alone – this is something a lot of people deal with. Just know that when you tell your loved ones how sad (lonely, empty…) you are over and over again – you are pushing them further away.
Your dream just sent you a powerful warning and I’m hoping you’ll take it to heart. If I were you, I’d plan a big family get together. Let your daughter know you’d love for her new boyfriend to get to know the rest of the family. Cook out, bake lasagna, or simply go out to your favorite restaurant. Whatever you do, this time wear something better than a “smelly gown” (frown, sad countenance, bitterness, anger…). This time put on your best! Wear a smile, give out hugs, ask everyone about their lives, jobs, school, etc. Smile more, frown less. Laugh more, cry less. Talk TO your loved ones and not AT them.
Basically, create the type of environment people can’t wait to enter, hate to leave, and can’t wait to return to.
Your wonderful dream has just handed you a life changer!
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