In doing DreamWork Dream Interpretation, there is a very important principle that you will use often in doing your own DreamWork or working with others on their dreams. That is the principle of Born in Dates (BID) or the born in the dreamer date. When a symbol in a dream, particularly a person in a dream, is younger than the dreamer, that symbol was “born” in the dreamer at an earlier time in the dreamer’s life. For instance, if the dreamer is a mother and dreams about her daughter, the dream symbol represented by her daughter was born in the mother at the time of the daughter’s birth. If the daughter in the dream is twelve years old, the symbol in the dream was born in the mother twelve years before the dream.
These BIDs can be very import dates for the dreamer. Often, whatever was happening around the BID contributes greatly to the theme of the dream and what Inner Wisdom wants the dreamer to know. Let’s look at a real-life example of how BIDs can be a catalyst for a complete breakthrough in doing DreamWork, Dream Assignments and DreamWork Dream Interpretation.
A Story (true) – In 2012, I was teaching a live class on DreamWork Dream Interpretation. We asked anyone who wanted to work with us on their dream in front of the room to put their name in a hat. We drew at random Beth’s name (not her real name) and she was excited to be chosen to work on her dream. We set the ground rules for working in front of the room, one of which is that if the dreamer gets into a part of the dream interpretation that is either too emotional or something she doesn’t want to share publicly, we stop the process and finish the dream privately, one on one, or the dreamer may elect to stop the process altogether.
Beth’s question to Inner Wisdom had to do with how to get on with life after a recent divorce with her husband, who she described as a “reasonably good guy”. In the dream with her was her 10-year-old daughter, who was a central player in the dream. In the dream, Beth and her daughter were hiding in a small corner of a room hoping the ex-husband wouldn’t see them. Beth was so afraid she was having trouble breathing.
In the Distillation Process, it became apparent that Beth’s ex-husband was an authority figure (Authoritarian Mind) who looked down on Beth and tried hard to control her and keep her small and afraid. In the dream, Beth’s daughter grabs her hand and leads her out of the corner and outside into the light where Beth feels like she can breathe again (end of dream).
I asked Beth to sit quietly and take a few deep breaths. I told her I was going to ask her a question and I wanted her to tell me the first thing that popped into her mind. I requested that, when I asked the question, she do her best not to think about the question in any way but simply tell me the first thing that came to her. She agreed. I asked, “What happened in 2002?”
After a slight hesitation, Beth responded that it was in 2002 that her daughter was born. We could see she was struggling a little bit and starting to get emotional. She then gasp as a powerful realization hit her and she shared with the group, “It’s also the time when I found out my husband was cheating on me–with my best friend!”
There was a collective “gasp” from the group as everyone was starting to feel what Inner Wisdom was trying to tell Beth. The big issues in Beth’s life were in some way tied to this incident in 2002. The dream went on and Beth became clear on the guidance being offered by Inner Wisdom and, importantly, the right actions she should take to begin resolving this decade old issue that had been running her life in many ways over a 10-year period.
Often a dreamer won’t know exactly how old the person in the dream is. The dreamer might describe the symbol as, “The little boy in the dream.” When you ask how old the boy in the dream is, the dreamer will often say she doesn’t know. Ask the dreamer to close her eyes, take a few deep breaths and, without thinking, give the little boy the first age that pops into her head. At that point, we can rely on this age for the purpose of the BID.
Sometimes with a BID, the dreamer will go back to the appropriate date and realize that the BID is really referring to another date. For example, the symbol in the dream is five years old. The dreamer goes back five years and realizes that BID is really four or six years ago. This is fine. Inner Wisdom knows what’s best for the dreamer, and we must trust that Inner Wisdom is guiding the dreamer perfectly. Whether you’re working with your own dreams or coaching others in working with their dreams, trust the process.
In my next and probably last article on DreamWork, we’ll do a little DreamWork Dream Interpretation.