I’m on a field trip with several classes of middle school students. We are attending a local theatre to watch a live performance. One boy, in particular, is concerning me. He misbehaves regularly and needs constant monitoring. I rotate between the balcony and the main floor keeping an eye on students and come upon the boy in question in the midst of a fist fight. I pull him off and give him a time out and go in search of the vice-prinicipal, who is also on the trip. None of the other adults are in sight and I find them in the lounge, enjoying their time off from normal duties. Disgusted, I rush back to find my little problem has snuck away.
I awake from this dream feeling angry and exhausted. “Am I the only responsible one?” is the thought running through my head.
Recording my dreams, and working with their messages, has been a practice of mine for some thirty plus years. One way to approach dream interpretation is by considering the story from another point of view.
We’re on this stupid field trip to see a sissy play, and I get seated next to the most annoying kid, and well, he pushes my buttons, so I hit him, and before you know it, Mrs. K comes along and ushers me out of the room and tells me to sit tight.
Mrs. K’s alright but she gets all officious like this sometimes. I am sorry to upset her, and I plan to sit like she tells me, but as soon as she’s out of sight, I spot the exit, and well – who can blame me – I’m outta there. I got better things to do than sit through some dumb play.
There is much about this kid that I recognize in myself. I was quick-tempered in my youth, and known to throw a few punches. I spent considerable time in the hall for misbehaving. I was also known to “skip out” often. Even as an adult, I would rather go off on my own than attend boring conference sessions.
So how does this relate to my life now? What part of me is feeling solely responsible, and what part is feeling like that-out-of control kid?
Dreams invite us to view ourselves honestly, by presenting current issues in story form. They help us formulate questions about our current life situations. While the messages are layered, any interpretation that inspires growth is a good place to aim.
The rewrite of the dream draws to my attention two opposing parts of self. What is missing is a middle ground. That might be represented by the colleagues, who have taken a more relaxed approach. In the dream, I find my peers in the lounge and make a snap judgment, walking away in disgust instead of voicing my need and asking for help.
I can imagine that from their point of view, anyone of them, realizing what was happening, would offer a hand.
In shifting point of view, I become aware of an old familiar pattern surfacing: “I’m the only one who is responsible; I’ll have to do it all myself.”
A little less self-righteousness and a little more asking for what I need is called for, it seems.
(V.J.’s challenge of the week is point of view.)