Last night I dreamt that a large snake was swallowing a smaller snake. Aghast, I pulled and pulled on the smaller snake to prise it from the larger snake’s jaws. When I finally pulled the snakes apart, they both were dead.
I ruminated about the meaning of the dream and what the two snakes might represent. I decided that they might represent parts of myself – the larger snake symbolising my present self and the smaller snake a representation of past experiences or former versions of me. In trying to keep those parts of myself away from one another I lost them both. I see this as a powerful reminder that my past experiences serve to nourish the person that I am today. The message I take from this dream is that rather than try to hold areas of my experience in isolation, it is important for my growth to seek to integrate aspects of myself into the self-structure, as Carl Rogers theorised. It feels like a wholly positive and wholesome reminder.
Is this what my unconscious had intended me to take away from this dream? The answer to that is, well, unconscious. But this meaning resonated with me, and it helped me to refocus and reflect. For me, this is the value of dreamwork. Those hidden messages; whether spontaneously existent or emergent in the interpretation, they nourish and inform us. The unconscious is a wondrous place.