Wondering what that crazy dream you had could possibly mean? Don't let it keep you up at night—our in-house dream analyst Layne Dalfen, author of the Have a Great Dream books, is here to help you make sense of it all. In a twice-monthly column for Oprah Daily, Layne draws upon her decades of experience to explore what a reader's dream is trying to tell them.
I dreamed that I was on a plane. The flight attendant approached me to say that I was unloved, and then asked me to leave the plane. Next, she tried to push me out the door while the plane was in flight! As she did, I tried to convince her that I’m lovable, and have a kind heart.
In the dream, I felt sad, alone, and upset, as I know I am lovable. I have a very blessed life, and I’m grateful for my friendships, family, and career, so I honestly don’t know where this stemmed from.
Dear In Flight,
This dream is pushing you! Your nightmare tells a story about someone saying that you’re unloved, while you don’t push back at them. Instead, you protest by trying to convince her that you're lovable and kind-hearted.
Since we haven’t spoken, I can only venture to say that if you’re a person who is uncomfortable in the face of anger, it makes sense for you to have a dream in which you don’t “push back” when negative emotions are coming at you.
If you’re feeling anger toward someone else, it’s possible that you’re trying to will those emotions away as soon as you wake up—while reminding yourself of your blessings and gratitude, just as you did in your letter. Is there a recent instance in your waking life in which you felt anger towards someone you’re close to?
On the other hand, if this anger is coming at you from an outside source, you might be trying to comfort yourself with reminders of the times when you do feel blessed and loved. I want to point out that these two situations, far from being mutually exclusive, are likely to be linked together.
Turning toward the image of being pushed out of the plane, try to think of a recent situation in which you felt “pushed.” Was someone you love rude to you, or did they perhaps behave in a way that makes you feel unloved?
We may sometimes feel attacked by those we’re close to, even when the “attacker” may still love us deeply. In fact, looking at the plot, if you want to narrow down who might have been rude to you, you could begin by looking for a person in your life who is normally helpful and accommodating—like a flight attendant would be—who has behaved in a completely unexpected way towards you.
Here's an alternate scenario. Ask yourself, “Is someone I love attempting to push me to do something I don’t want to do?” And even, “Is the situation I am feeling pushed into ‘up in the air’ right now?” Your dream’s imagery may be attempting to point that feeling out through a play on words.
The most poignant part of the dream is how, when the attendant tries to push you from an airborne plane, the only defense you put up is “trying to convince her that you are lovable and have a kind heart.” If this happened in waking life, your response would be much more forceful! In this dream, your healthy unconscious mind is begging you to push back big time.
So, in whatever way you’re being “pushed”—whether someone you care about is being rude to you or making you feel unloved, moving you to anger, or urging you to do something you don’t want to do—this dream is telling you to take the focus off your blessings for a moment and emphatically stand up for what you want and need. This is an example of what I call a “rehearsal dream.” It sets the stage for you to react by creating such a horrific situation, it almost leaves you no choice but to respond.
Let me leave you with a final thought. All the characters in your dream represent the different parts of you. You’ll always identify most strongly with the character in the dream who represents yourself—in this case, the person being pushed out of the plane. But the other parts of the dream were also created by your mind; for example, your flight attendant is another part of you. Further, it’s the flight attendant who is presenting the solution to the dream.
In your waking-life situation, adopt some of the flight attendant’s “pushiness” into your own response. As represented in the actions of the flight attendant, you’re literally pushing the over-accommodating part of yourself away when you stand up for your own needs.
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