LOST IN THE FOREST
A woman in one of my dream groups dreamed that she was lost in a vast forest. She became confused and lost her bearings, and then when she tried to find her way out, she wound up going more deeply into the forest. Soon everything looked the same and she had no idea which direction would lead her into the clearing and back to the home.
(1) Impression: She believed the dream was showing her sense of hopelessness about something.
(2) Action: The dream showed her attempting to find her way, and that what she did actually drew her more deeply into a state of confusion.
(3) Feelings: She felt anxious and ultimately somewhat panicked.
(4) Symbols: She had no fear of the woods, and in fact loved being outdoors. We concluded that the forest was a symbol of feeling lost in some way. When we discussed where she felt most lost in her life, she revealed that she was feeling forced to make a decision about her aged mother, who lived across the country. She and her siblings lived out West, and wanted to sell their mother’s home and move her to be closer nearby.
Their mother refused, exclaiming that she would die if they moved her away from what was familiar. The dreamer felt more confused all the time, wanting to keep her mother calm and happy, but agreeing that she needed to be nearby where the kids could offer more support. The more she tried to think her way out of this mess, the more her thoughts contradicted one another, leading her into a maze of confusion.
(5) Gift: People of strong intellect may feel trapped when an emotional or nuanced situation fails to yield to the power of logic. Typically this woman was able to literally think her way out of the woods with most problems life offered, but this time, she found that over-thinking was making matters more confusing. When I asked her to consult her heart center, the place where she felt her emotional truth in her body, about what should be done, she grew quiet, and then said simply: We have to move my mother.
This she did then, in the next month, with a greater sense of clarity and trust, despite her mother’s reluctance. The house was sold, the whole family rallied to help, and her mother joined her in a nearby retirement community. Contradictory to her predictions of death-by-disruption, her mother soon made many friends and even fell in love with a man who lived in the community. No amount of thinking could have predicted this happy resolution, because some corners we turn in life are part of a larger adventure than is measured by deduction and planning. This dreamer now has the benefit of both sides of her brilliance, her precisely trained logic, and her wonderfully free and creative intuition.
It is an ongoing privilege to explore the profound landscape of dreams with students and clients. I wish you luck in decoding your dreams.