I keep having dreams that I’m back in the house I grew up in, and I discover all of these extra rooms and higher floors, and walls full of windows, and I start to have all kinds of ideas for how to make the house more stable and welcoming and beautiful, and then the dreams introduce obstacles: my father still lives there and I can’t afford to buy him out, or the house is under attack and there are bombs hidden in the basement/attic/bathrooms/backyard, or there are random people living behind secret doors and eating all the food in the house.
Dream interpreters tend to say that houses stand in for our bodies in our dreams, and I can see how that could be one explanation, especially given all of my health issues and my endless wish to be healthier and feel more secure. But I think the dreams are about more than my body. I think they’re trying to tell me something about my self, or my soul, because what I really want is to feel like there’s more light coming into my life, and more of a sense of possibility and security, and the obstacles to reaching those goals just refuse to go away.
I’ve been watching this new show called “The Way Home,” on the Hallmark channel, about a teenage girl who time travels, through the pond on her grandmother’s property, and finds out what her mother’s family was like before their big tragedy changed them. And the idea that I could go back to my childhood, or even my mother’s childhood, with everything I know now, and fix the past, is enchanting, and, of course, frustrating in its impossibility. But changing the past isn’t really what I want. I want to feel like I belong somewhere in the present day, and have ownership over my identity, and feel more completely myself, instead of still feeling so fragile and unfinished.
I want to wake up in the morning and feel secure in my goals and values, and look in the mirror and recognize myself as a specific person and not just a blob (though that last problem could be because I sometimes forget to put my glasses on before looking at myself in the bathroom mirror).
I think the dreams are trying to help me figure out how to get to a better life, and also trying to remind me of all of the work I’ve done already, building my internal structures, and breaking down walls and raising ceilings, despite all of the obstacles that have always been in my way. I just wish the dreams could be a little bit more prescriptive sometimes, like, telling me which directions to go in, or maybe writing my novels for me so I won’t have to break my head over the plot points ad infinitum before I can even get a draft on paper.
It would also be nice if I could have transcripts of my dreams already written out for me when I wake up, because trying to remember all of the details before they disappear is an impossible task.
But maybe the dreams can’t really tell me more than I already know, which is that houses and selves don’t just renovate themselves overnight; it takes work, and time. And if I keep doing the work, and breaking through my internal walls, and searching for the hidden bombs, and defusing them, I will eventually get to a good place. Wherever that may be.
If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out my Young Adult novel, Yeshiva Girl, on Amazon. And if you feel called to write a review of the book, on Amazon, or anywhere else, I’d be honored.
Yeshiva Girl is about a Jewish teenager on Long Island, named Isabel, though her father calls her Jezebel. Her father has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with one of his students, which he denies, but Izzy implicitly believes it’s true. As a result of his problems, her father sends her to a co-ed Orthodox yeshiva for tenth grade, out of the blue, and Izzy and her mother can’t figure out how to prevent it. At Yeshiva, though, Izzy finds that religious people are much more complicated than she had expected. Some, like her father, may use religion as a place to hide, but others search for and find comfort, and community, and even enlightenment. The question is, what will Izzy find?
Houses can represent your state of consciousness, and different rooms can be different dimensions of your consciousness. Wanting to create a bigger or cleaner or better house is an excellent spiritual message of readiness for a higher level of spiritual awareness. Often dreams of such transformational positive energy can invoke the dream Censor, a part of your mind that will want to keep you at a current state because protective of that… to prevent change even though that change is positive. So confront ting the obstacles or intruders or finding ways around them can help. Even contemplating while awake, imaging the new house as you would like it to be can help get beyond the Censor.
That is so helpful! Thank you!
It is lovely to ‘hear’ the optimism in your voice.
Keep on keeping on – Maybe the direction is really clear – Maybe it’s in the direction you are already moving…
Thank you! I hope you’re right.
yes, I believe you’re right and the dreams are signs of hope of the possibilities for what is yet to come
I hope so!
I also dream about houses ❤️
The childhood home allegory is powerful. It seems that your interpretations are spot on. You have a realistic view of your past in relation to your present.
I watch that show too. I pray for God to remove your obstacles.
My dream houses always have hidden staircases leading to worlds of attic space (storage is always an issue in our house) and closets full of clothes I’d forgotten I had (I never have the right thing to wear). It’s always disappointing to wake up–unlike the dreams where I’m back in school (often as a teacher) and don’t know where my classroom is or haven’t cracked a book all semester!
I have those school dreams too! I can never figure out where I’m supposed to go or what the homework assignment was.
I hardly ever remember my dreams, but I like the thought that they give hope. Here’s hoping.
I have always been a vivid dreamer, and can usually remember them in detail for some time after. Some make more sense than others, but interpreting them is not something that has ever really mattered to me.
Best wishes, Pete.
I don’t have these sorts of dreams but my husband does. If he isn’t sitting exams, getting lost in a house or having a travel nightmare he is generally awake.
Rachel, I am with you. I think the dream of an old home is a metaphor for comfort and protection. Maybe when times when were at the best. Keith
I used to love my strange house dreams because I, like you, realized there were deeper meanings, if I could just understand them. Hoping you can remember more of them, as that’s always been an issue for me. (I did used to keep a pen and pad by the bed so I could write them down if they woke me.)
I used to be better at writing the dreams down as soon as possible, sometimes writing blindly in the dark because if I took the time to turn on the bedside lamp I’d lose it all into the mist.
It seems a lot of us have dreams about our old houses.
I had a different interpretation of bombs. As I started reading, I thought the bombs were a means to eradicate past hurts and bad memories. My thought process was instead of searching for the hidden bombs and defusing them, let them explode. But, I know nothing of dream interpretation, it was just my initial reaction.
That’s so interesting! Thank you!
I’ve had dreams of the house I shared with ex partner. In my dreams, it is shabby, filthy, and badly in need of decoration. As soon as I think that, it’s been renovated and not the house I remember at all.
Wow! So interesting!
Dreams can be fascinating.
Well said — it takes a lot of work to find our way. I been at it 65 years and I am not even close. Hang in there and you will get your house built to your satisfaction.
That would be awesome!
I wish I could send the light of positivity your way
“It’s me, hi, I’m the one who ate all the food.” So cute. I think dreams tell us what we already know, but sometimes we need a wake up moment…So to speak, lol
Totally agree! It can be hard to hear our own thoughts during the day, with so much competing noise. Dreams are a chance to really listen to what’s going on in our own minds.
That’s what I like to think ❤
I have renovated several houses and have renovated myself many times – I think I’m on Wayne ver7.2 at this point. We are constantly changing and growing, and accumulating wisdom; that is the human condition. Yet, it’s when we take the time to consider and direct that change, even a little bit that we are really able to become who we want to be rather than just who we end up being.
I always enjoy your posts, and loved Yeshiva Girl, but was wondering when we can expect the next novel.
Thank you! I wish I could say the next novel is coming soon, but it will still be a while.
Dreams are so interesting! I used to have dreams that there was an entire wing of rooms we didn’t know about just though a door in the closet (wouldn’t that have been nice!) when things felt claustrophobic.
I love that!
I’m saddened reading your anguish, but you invariably use it to end up at a better place. Embrace those dreams; I’ve rarely been aware of mine–let alone able to ponder their meaning. I always wish I could.
Thank you! I wish that for you too!
I always find you’re posts entertaining and somehow comforting, Rachel (especially those doggie bits!). Thank you.