Fotolia_45946229_XS-420x280Have you ever had a dream with babies? If you look in a dream symbol dictionary it will probably tell you that they represent something like new beginnings, new growth, new responsibilities. But what if you have a baby with downs syndrome, like Diane’s? Or baby monsters or puppies, like a lot of pregnant women do? And what if you’ve lost your baby? OHMYGAWD!

If you look in the dream dictionaries you will find theories about what all this is about. But that’s someone else’s opinion. How do you find out what your babies in your dream mean? 

In Integral Deep Listening (IDL), you become the babies and they tell you what they think they are. When you do so, you find that what they represent is secondary to what they are for you in your life. And what that is varies, depending on who you are and what life issues you are dealing with today.

In the following dream Diane has twins! They speak as a very clear example of perspectives, points of view, realities, that are attempting to be born in and through Diane, and as such are exactly what they are called: emerging potentials. These emerging potentials understand Diane’s current life issues. They suggest ways of approaching them that fit for her, that make sense, in Diane’s life. They suggest solutions to the Gordian Knots of her life that she has been unable untie, despite being an intelligent and talented person.

Why not? Because she has been trapped in her point of view, the perspective that was shaped in her childhood and that has grown stronger, more stable, and less resistant to change as the years have gone by. She developed her waking perspective as a coping strategy to survive and grow in the conditions of her family of origin and the demands of her peers and school system.  Because it had survival value, it is not now easily discarded. Outgrowing it evokes feelings of discomfort and danger, because it was dangerous to operate outside it as a child. But Diane has clearly outgrown its usefulness in many ways. She has tried to reason her way beyond it, meditate herself beysond it, affirm her way beyond it, positive think her way beyond it, work herself out of it, and lose it in the context of loving relationships. Like some dark star, its gravitational pull has always brought her back down to the safe misery of her stuck, dysfunctional comfort.

Dreams with babies can be powerful wake-up calls to show you not only where and how you are stuck but what you need to do to get unstuck. Are you, like Diane, ever afraid that you can’t take care of anyone well, including yourself? Do you ever feel touch-starved and touch-deprived like Diane does? Like Diane, you may have wasted a lot of your life looking for love instead of focusing on learning to love yourself.

Would you like to be able to attract healthy people into your life? This dream tells Diane that if she learns to love herself she will attract people who know how to love themselves.  People who love themselves have the capacity to love others; people who don’t love themselves tend to be scared of other people, afraid that they will be hurt by them.

The first thing Diane learns is that she is dealing with neglected parts of herself. She is listening to self-aspects she ignores, loses, and neglects. She doesn’t feed them or keep them clean. She doesn’t love them. They make it very clear that this is about how Diane doesn’t take care of herself! As a result she feels helpless, vulnerable, and alone.

These babies make clear that this is a mistake of Diane’s normal way of looking at things. Not only are they perfectly normal, but they score higher than she does in qualities she needs to live a happy, balanced life: compassion, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing. In turn, they need her confidence and wisdom to raise them right.

These babies call Diane out on how hard she is on herself, all the time, and how this makes her life so painful and difficult! Do you ever do that to yourself?

These babies make some predictions. They claim that if Diane will take better care of them that they wil calm her down so she doesn’t run around all freaked out all the time. They will open up her heart to beling loving and letting love come into her life. They will help her calm down, relax, and get peaceful! The babies tell Diane that by taking care of them she will grow in her ability to love and nurture herself.

Read this interview as if it were for you. Read it as if this is a wake-up call from your future self that is wanting to get your attention and support to be born within you today, NOW.

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious and scared, with too much to do and not feeling effective about prioritizing my to-do list and executing it effectively.

2. Feeling afraid that I am going to fail at what I am trying to do right now with my music and career, and that my life is going to fall apart.

3. Feeling lonely and isolated, not having any romantic/physical companionship in my life, and that I don’t have time for it with everything that I feel like I have to do.

Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand. 

I was pregnant and ready to give birth. I was living in a messy flat alone. There were people clearing it out because it used to be a work office. I thought there was something wrong with the pregnancy because my belly was too small for that stage of pregnancy. There were people there clearing out the office. My friend Laurie was in the dream. I felt my underwear get wet, and thought my water broke. I looked down and there was only a little blood in my pants like I was getting my period. I thought that was weird, that maybe I got it wrong and that I wasn’t pregnant. I kept trying to get someone to take me to the hospital but nobody would. So, in the middle of this messy place, I felt something: I lay down and the next thing I know, with no pushing, two babies slipped out of me at the same time. They didn’t cry, and slowly started to blink. I wasn’t even sure if they were alive. They looked like maybe they had Down syndrome. My mother finally showed up and she was running around and busy. And then she just left. And the flat was a mess, and the babies hadn’t been cleaned up, and nobody had taken us to the hospital. And I realized I was alone and I needed to take care of them, and then I couldn’t find them in the mess of the apartment. I started freaking out and called my Mom, and at first she didn’t even want to come over, then I finally convinced her to come over, and I was still looking for the babies, and I couldn’t find them, and then I woke up.

Why do you think that you had this dream?

Part of it is that I had to go to the bathroom, and often I am sleeping and my bladder is full, I have a pregnancy dream. Also, my house was a mess, and I was watching a TV show where the baby had Down syndrome, and I feel very incompetent in my life, like it is fall down around my ears on a regular basis.

What questions would you like to have answered about this dream?  

Why do I keep dreaming about being pregnant? Why did I lose the babies? Did my babies really have Down syndrome, and if not, why did I think that. Why was nobody there for me to help me in this dream? Why was I so abandoned? Why did I lose my babies?

These are the characters in the dream, beside yourself…

The babies, my mother, my friend Amy, the workers, the messed-up office.

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be

The babies.

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are this or that character in your dream and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say

Babies are you a character in Diane’s dream, yes?

Yes

Babies, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing in this dream?

 We are the children she never had. We need her attention. We need her to feed us. We need her to take care of us. She ignores us. She loses us.

Babies, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

We are not strong. We are helpless. We are sweet. We will be strong one day. But right now we need Diane to take care of us.

Babies, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

We are totally helpless. And we are broken. And dirty, and hungry. We need to be fed and cleaned and loved and taken care of

Babies, what aspect of  Diane do you represent or most closely personify?

We represent how she doesn’t take care of herself. And we represent how helpless and vulnerable she feels. And we represent needing to be taken care of.

Babies, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

We would be healthy, fat, clean, fed, in a warm crib in a nice home and Diane would have plenty of means to take care of us, and she would be competent and capable, and she wouldn’t lose us. We would be warm and cozy and happy.

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

(Character), how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: We are neutral. We have no confidence yet, or lack of confidence. We don’t know what that is.  

Compassion:  We are a 10 in compassion. We have full compassions for everyone, because we are pure love.

Wisdom: We are neutral because we are newborn. We don’t know anything yet, but we could be wise, we just don’t know yet.

Acceptance: We are a 10. We are totally loving and accepting of everyone because we are pure love.

Inner Peace: We are both a 2 and 10. When we are hungry or tired or we don’t feel well, then we are a 2. When we are fed and slept and feel good, we are a 10.

Witnessing: We are a 10. We see everything, we take in everything.

Babies, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

We would have to be a grown-up to score 10s in all of these things. And we’re not grown up yet. So, ask us when we’re older.

How would Diane’s life be different if she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

She would be more compassionate, accepting and have inner peace. She would not be so mean in her head to other people or withdrawn, because she wouldn’t feel so disconnected. She would be more accepting, because she would accept herself first and foremost, then she could accept other people. She is so hard on herself, all the time. She makes her life so painful and difficult.

If you could live Diane’s life for her, how would you live it differently?

We would have her take better care of us, and we would have her calm down, and stop running around all freaked out all the time. We would open up her heart to being loving and letting love come into her life.  We would have her calm down and relax and try to get peaceful, because she creates all this agitation in herself.

If you could live Diane’s waking life for her/him today, would you handle her/his three life issues differently?  If so, how?

1. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious and scared, with too much to do and not feeling effective about prioritizing my to-do list and executing it effectively.

I would give her a big hug first. She really needs to be touched and hugged. This is part of what has her all stressed out. She is really touch-starved and touch-deprived. She needs to break down these walls that have her separated from being close to someone.

2. Feeling afraid that I am going to fail at what I am trying to do right now with my music and career, and that my life is going to fall apart.

I would sit down after the daily 3s (meditate, workout, vocalize), and work up this life plan list and this to-do list. She is avoiding the life plan list because she is afraid she can’t do it. But she needs this to figure out her prioritizing on her to-do list.

3. Feeling lonely and isolated, not having any romantic/physical companionship in my life, and that I don’t have time for it with everything that I feel like I have to do.

She needs a vacation. And even if she can’t afford to go away, she needs to make vacations for herself that she can afford, somehow, even if she is here. She is not doing enough nice stuff for herself, and she is not being kind enough with herself, and she is not being nurturing enough with herself

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of her life?

1. Nurturing and being kind with herself

2. Opening up the walls that have her shut down from letting people get close to her.

3. Stop beating herself up and working herself up into anxious states

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Diane to imagine that she is you and act as you would? 

I’m not sure. We are babies, and I don’t think she should act like a baby. But she could be sweeter, and more cuddly and nurturing and loving.

Why do you think that you are Diane’s life? 

We are here to show her that she doesn’t have to live the way she is living. We are a wake up call for her to take better care of herself. And to be softer and more loving. She doesn’t want to be dirty and damaged and discarded. These are her fears and she creates these situations in her life. She needs to be sure to meditate well every day, and really keep that up.

Diane had this dream because…

She is totally unresolved about this issue of children. She has not made her own personal peace about if and how she wants to do this. Instead she keeps herself in a pit/hole, separated from the world and people, so that she doesn’t have to deal with it, and the issue stays unresolved and hanging over her head and psyche all the time. 

She lost us because she thinks she can’t be a good parent, or a responsible, nurturing person. She thinks she is a basket case and that she is incompetent.

We don’t have Down syndrome, we are just newborns. She is afraid that if she was to try to have a baby at her age, that the baby would have Down syndrome.

Nobody was there for her because she has isolated herself so much now, that nobody can be there for her. She is missing compassion for other people. Instead, she judges everyone all the time and finds time lacking, but this is in the same way that she finds herself lacking. So, she only does to other people what she does times 10 to herself.

She feels so abandoned because she has created this isolated situation for herself where she feels abandoned. In truth, her parents are there for her, and she is not really alone. It is her fear and anxiety that make her feel so alone.

She lost us because she got into one of her anxious fits, we were easy to find, she just started running around like a chicken with its head cut off, which she does a lot, this is fed by her huge anxiety, which she hides from other people, or so she thinks, and she tries to push it down and away, like it’s not really there, when it really is.

She is afraid that she can’t take care of us. And she still has this dream of having a baby, even if she isn’t sure that she can physically do it anymore. But she is afraid she can’t take care of anyone well including herself. But the thing is she sets herself up to fail when she acts this way, because realistically she is an extremely capable person.

How is Diane most likely to ignore what you are saying to her?

She is really seeing right now that she needs to really step up and do this therapeutic work if she wants her life to work and get better. She hasn’t done the follow through in this work; she has just looked at it, but not completed it. This is what she does a lot in life. She doesn’t complete things. And this is a problem. Her doing the follow through on her therapy work would only help the rest of her life improve.

What would you recommend that she do about that?

She needs to sit down and do her life list and then use that to help organize her time. She also needs to work on calming down and relaxing. She needs to keep doing her breath work, and find more ways to work through letting go of her anxiety and getting to a more peaceful, healthy place. Being touched by another person would help that a lot too.

Babies, you are imaginary. Why should Diane pay attention to anything you say?

Because we are constantly in her dreams, so clearly we are important to her. And we are a part of her. And if we are a part of her, then we have some idea about what would help her.

Thank you, character! Now a couple of questions for Diane:

What have you heard yourself say?

That I need to open up, relax, do my life list, do my therapy work for real, and relax, and stop beating myself up, and I need to take better, more nurturing care of myself.

If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Calm down. Figure out a way to calm down. Find more tools to do this if the breath work isn’t enough. Do more cognitive exercises from you book. And be mindful about the Internet time and how you use that to soothe/avoid your anxiety vs. doing something that would really help your anxiety. Hanging out on the internet only makes things worse: you go into the victim role, then you beat yourself up in the persecutor role, and then you don’t do the things to take care of yourself and the cycle continues.

Make a list of the recommendations in the interview. Read them over before you go to sleep. If they are action items, check them off if you’ve done them. If they are variable qualities, score yourself 0 – 10. Play a game: see what you can do to raise your score half a point.