On Alaivani, I have shared with you the power of dreams. I have shared to specific dreams and linked the symbolism in them to my real life. I believe dreams tell us things about our lives and possible action plans to better our lives through symbols, methaphors and abstractions.
I have been meeting a ‘dream guru’ for the past two years, who has been teaching me this through intrepreting my own dreams. Since, I have some idea of dream interpretation, I will attempt it here in relation to Elizabeth’s dream in Eat Pray Love (page 146).
“But now Swamiji was in my dream, standing beside me on the beach in all his power. I was terrified. He pointed to the approaching waves and said sternly, “I want you to figure out a way to stop that from happening.” Panicked, I whipped out a notebook and tried to draw inventions that would stop the ocean waves from advancing. I drew massive seawalls and canals and dams. All my designs were so stupid and pointless, though. I knew I was way out of my league here (I’m not an engineer!) but I could feel Swamiji watching me, inpatient and judgmental. Finally, I gave up. None of my inventions were clever or strong enough to keep those waves from breaking.
That’s when I heard Swamiji laugh. I looked up at this tiny Indian man in his orange robes, and he was veritably busting a gut in laughter, bent over double in delight, wiping mirthful tears from his eyes.
“Tell me, dear one,” he said, and pointed out toward the colossal, powerful, endless, rocking ocean, “Tell me, if you would be so kind- how exactly were you planning on stopping that?”
Waves, or any type of water, in dreams symbolizes emotions. It’s no wonder she’d be dreaming of her emotions when she was struggling so much with a recent divorce, a broken relationship and the rocky start of a new one (with God, that is, in the meditation hall). And, of course, she wants to stop her emotions from taking her over, or possibly, simply facing them. That takes courage and also it may, for her, initiate a true grieving process and a signal for time to move on without guilt, shame, blame, and the other emotions keeping her back from expressing her true nature. The metaphor, “building walls to keep others out,” is relevant here. Though she sees building the wall in the dream as keeping the water out, in fact the walls are keeping her divorced from her own self, her own emotions and admissions.
I also challenged Swamiji’s presences in this dream. Of course, she’s in the ashram, and it’s ‘Swamiji’s’ ashram, so he symbolizes his presence in her life at that time. But, I had a gut feeling that swamiji’s presence symbolizes none other but herself (Elizabeth). In this dream, she is arguing with herself (her higher or more practical self) to ‘just get over it,’ but her ego has built walls to avoid spiritual and personal growth.
The color orange is telling. Yes, most of us attribute orange to the robes of swamijis in India, but not everyone may dream in color, so this is significant. Orange symbolizes friendliness, and an outgoing nature, and expansion of interests. So, she only is standing on that beach symbolizing her higher self, foretelling a life full of new adventures and being open to new possibilities, relationships and self-exploration, if she can only face and deal with her emotions.
The other part of the dream that is telling is the emotion that comes up in the dream is fear. The feelings dreams leave us when we wake is also equally important. It is surely scary to face yourself- admit shortcomings, or even for some, and the successes. Admitting such things forces us to take action to change for the better, and that process can be the scariest of all!
What are your thoughts on this dream? I have you had dreams like this? Think about how they reflect your life and if there are any changes you can make.
I find it interesting that also, that I am posting this on Halloween. A day associated with the possibility of facing ghosts and the dead. What ghosts (broken or strained relations, secrets, denied feelings, repressed thoughts, etc.) do you fear facing? If you have anything that is ‘eating you up side’, rather than trying to build a wall around yourself, keeping yourself limited, ‘tricking’ yourself, why don’t you ‘treat’ yourself to breaking down the walls, letting the water in and learning to swim though these, as they will pass. [And, you will surely survive!]
Part 6: Blogging Through a Book: Eat, Pray, Love
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