In a recent dream, our national conversation becomes a personal conversation…
Consider the dream…
I’m in a large spacious hall, talking to a helpful bank employee. As we part, I touch her lightly on the shoulder—a spontaneous act of appreciation.
But I’m shocked at myself. What have I done! She could take this wrong way.
But no. She doesn’t seem to give it any special thought.
Farther on down the hall, I meet and talk with another woman. Again, the conversation is friendly, but nonsexual. As we part, I touch her shoulder.
Once more, I’m alarmed: you idiot—you’ve done it again!
But this woman hardly seems to notice the gesture—just like the bank employee.
First, let me say: I’m not an aggressive man. Never have been. Nor am I the touchy-feely type. I might touch a dog on the shoulder. But that’s about it.
Maybe the message is: in light of recent harassment stories, I’ve become paranoid.
However, the touches in the dream may not represent actual physical touches. After all, you can “touch” a person with a verbal expression of genuine warmth.
I’m often concerned about someone taking something I say the wrong way. This dream is showing that worry in high relief. And also telling me: relax.
In the dream, both women are emotionally healthy. I know that on a basic intuitive level. On that level, I know they won’t misinterpret my warm response. If I’d picked up a different vibe from either of them, I would’ve been more reserved.
Actually, they might’ve thought me weird if I hadn’t expressed appreciation. That’s the irony: a cool, aloof response is more likely to be misconstrued.
The dream is saying: trust yourself—your instincts are good ones.
Yes, even at this late date, I’m learning about human relations. But I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad—from what I see in our news, many of us still have much to learn.
© 2018, Michael R. Patton
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