Today was a very rare gloriously sunny- and dare I say actually hot! – day in England. So much so that I had ventured out to buy a pair of garden shears and a stiff broom to tidy the garden before my terrier, Oscar, became forever lost in the shamefully flourishing undergrowth. Well, gardening seemed like a good idea at that moment . You see, I do have an admirably skillful tendency to be able to avoid gardening; it is either too wet, too cold or too hot ( I ended up telling myself the latter today) Lucky that I do live in England because my calling on the climate as an excuse not to garden rarely is an exaggeration.
Whilst carrying my purchases homeward, full of good intentions, I received a telephone call from someone I very close with. “So, what was your dream about me…?” they asked. Well, I suppose if one does insist on texting that one has had a dream about someone, that someone is pretty likely to want to know what it was they got up to in your unconscious. So, I explained all about my favorite red hat, and then their turning into a combination of themselves and the artist “Prince” (this bit did not impress too much…) whilst “Raspberry Beret” played in the background, and that I had then surprised my self in my dream by my own “artistic performance”. “Look at you! Having your own mansion dream and going into new areas!” they very rightly analysed.
A couple of weeks ago I had discussed a dream with this person, which they had had. They had described being in a large mansion house, with many rooms. I had excitedly explained that in Jungian symbolism dreaming of a house represents the space we live in, inside of ourselves, our inner world of thoughts, feelings and experience. For all of us our inner world has familiar old rooms, in which we spend so much time that they are comfortable – our comfort zone – but a little tired and jaded. These rooms are like a comfy sitting room, furnished with a great big old sofa, and wallpaper we’ve had up for too many years. We know everything is a little bit worn and frayed around the edges, but we feel reluctant to make any changes. What if we don’t like the new colour scheme? What if we buy a new sofa and find it’s not quite as comfortable in its unfamiliarity as the old one? Being stuck in attitudes and views on the things we might quite like to change but are our “comfort zone” are perhaps a bit like these rooms. Faded and tired relationships, jobs, old stuck patterns of behavior can become comfortable in their familiarity.
If we stay in these comfortable rooms we often do so to avoid other rooms we rarely venture into because perhaps they give us the shivers. They are unfamiliar, maybe feel a little colder because we have never allowed our self to spend enough time in them to warm them up, get used to the new atmosphere, to make our mark. Trying anything new in life can be symbolized by fear of entering these rooms which we so often keep the door closed on. Or, maybe we have had a bad experience in the past, so going into these areas leaves us chilled. Intimate relationships, getting back on the horse after that fall, speaking at a conference when last time we froze with anxiety, the list is endless… Sometimes we fear going back in there so much that sadly we put padlocks on and throw away the key. Limiting our living space, limiting our lives.
And perhaps, inside of ourselves, as there might well be in a large mansion house, there are as yet undiscovered rooms. Things about ourselves, our personality, our wants and needs and desires that we truly had never even dreamed of…