This little guy/girl is what pregnancy looks like from the inside – well, yes, that is with the light turned on. Little does she/he know the life that awaits in a few months.
But what about pregnancy dreams? Lots of people have them. So what are they about?
A woman came into my consulting room one day for her regular session , and soon into the hour, she shared a dream about being pregnant. Neither one of us had any idea about the meaning of this dream. So I suggested to her that she go home and mark her calendar 9 months from the date of her dream, so that she could notice what might have “come to birth.”
We continued to work together during the ensuing weeks and months. Then, one day, I noticed something different about her. She talked in that session about a number of things that were on her mind – some celebrations, some disappointments, some sadness and hurt and feelings of rejection. But what impressed me the most, for the first time really, was a kind of resiliency and self-confidence coming from her that sounded surprisingly new and solid — well-formed, developed. Over several years of working together, we had often discussed her lack of such solidity when it came to life’s myriad of ups and downs, the times of loneliness, and her occasional experiences of disappointment and loss. She had worked hard to know how to cope, but her childhood years of being ridiculed and emotionally neglected had not given her the inner, psychic muscles she needed to deal with such things very well.
When she mentioned, in passing, that it had been 9 months since her dream of pregnancy, it all suddenly made sense. In the midst of her struggles and her efforts to cope and change, an inner wisdom had been growing in her, mysteriously and unseen. Her psyche knew that this had begun to happen – that’s what her dream had been about! But neither she nor I could have known that at the time that she first shared her dream 9 months before.
So, we shared together in this moment of wonder and appreciation for this miracle of “inner birth” and new life — a new creation. A newfound, felt sense of inner strength had been discovered – but maybe, more accurately, had been received and nurtured to fruition. Gone, for now, was the negative thinking, guilt, and shame. In it’s place, life! Life, with both joy and sadness, happiness and sorrow. Life in its fullness.
Not all dreamwork feels this miraculous, certainly. But at the heart of the dream is the soul yearning to grow and to be alive.
“Her psyche knew that this had begun to happen….” Thanks, John, this phrase really resonates for me, as just this week I had a sudden realization of a hidden longing within, and that I had been working unconsciously towards fulfilling this longing even before I knew what it was! I had literally been cleaning out a space in my house and collecting items I needed for the art I long to create months and weeks before I realized what and why I was doing this!! Dream work helped me towards this realization in very big way, especially since I am blessed to have a spiritual director and also a counselor well-versed in Jungian archetypes and dream work! The Dream Maker is mighty and I am so glad the psyche works in concert with the Holy to help move us towards wholeness.
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Wow!! Thank you. You’ve helped so many to “moments of wonder and appreciation”.
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I can’t imagine doing anything more life-giving and meaningful. Feels like having been given a gift.
Nicely said, Sheryl. Thank you for sharing this story. Reminds me of how, when we allow Eros to come to the aid of Psyche, love and creativity begin to manifest.