Was the dream really telling my friend to change “old ways of thinking and habits”?
In the dream…
She’s in a rowing competition.
She struggles. She seems to lack motivation. But her teammate—a younger woman in the front of the boat—rows well.
They arrive at a lake—the end point of the race—and home to a big red dinosaur.
She asks the dinosaur what else is in the lake. Suddenly, a host of creatures emerge from the waters: prehistoric animals and perhaps mythological beings.
She realizes why she didn’t want to row—she secretly dreaded this lake and its creatures. The other woman knew of the lake, and knew they needed to come here—despite the dangers.
Quite a dream, but what does it mean?
According to an online dream dictionary, dreaming of a dinosaur “symbolizes an outdated attitude. You may need to discard old ways of thinking and habits.”
Okay, that would seem to make sense. But how can the authors be so certain about the meaning of my friend’s dinosaur? They don’t know the circumstances of her life.
What if she’s a paleontologist?
What if she works in fossil fuel industry?
What if she played with dinosaur toys as a child?
What if she’d just seen Jurassic Park?
What I’m saying is: her personal life experience would influence how she sees dinosaurs. What they mean to her.
No one knows her better than she knows herself. Thus, no one can understand this dream better than she can. She created this dream, so the meaning can be found within—and not in any outside source.
Yeah, I have a few ideas about the dream…
…but those ideas tell me about my own inner dinosaurs, my own inner lake, not hers.
Actually, if it was my dream, I might not even bother to interpret it. Maybe I’d just marvel at the wonderful mystery of it.
A dream is often like the best poetry—the deeper message goes beyond words.
I envy my friend this dream. But I’d glad she shared it. I can enjoy its mystery vicariously.
© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog