As the song says, “You can’t always get what you want.” Delaney’s dream of a restaurant and a crowded staircase expressed his frustration at an unwelcome situation. However, the dream also reminded her that she had the strength to go through her difficult circumstances and ultimately remained lucky for the many positive aspects in her life.
I was in a restaurant. It was not a sit down restaurant, but a counter where you place your order and they bring your food in a bag. They were sorely understaffed and a huge number of people were waiting.
A large staircase was going up and people were camping on the stairs. They would spend hours there, even spend the night there. I found a place on the stairs with a big wide step and thought I could lie down comfortably and sleep.
I also thought about how overflowing the bathrooms were – they would run out of soap and you couldn’t flush the toilet, it would be like using a latrine. I thought it would be a perfect environment to spread the disease.
I began by observing, “You are in a frustrating situation in the dream, but you find a ‘big, wide step’ on which to wait and even sleep. It’s like finding something to get you through a long wait during what feels like an overwhelming situation.
“Can you imagine a recent experience where you tried to find some comfort or space while waiting or feeling overwhelmed?”
Delaney clicked quickly, “An instructor is taking a leave of absence for the fall semester, and our department chair has put out a call to the faculty. Those of us who could stepped forward to give him lessons. I’m taking an extra class.
Using his dream language, I asked, “Would you say your department will be ‘severely understaffed’?”
Delaney exclaimed, “Exactly! And I feel ‘overwhelmed’ about teaching an extra class. Especially because the class will take place during what would have been my lunch break. Just like the restaurant where people have to go get food, I’m going to have to eat a sandwich while I run from course to course!”
I observed, “So there’s a wait until you can feel satisfied with your usual workload?”
Delaney replied, “What disappoints me the most is that I had planned to have time during the semester to do my research, and now I have to wait. I think I’ll get through the semester reasonably ‘comfortably’ as long as I put my research ambitions on hold – again! I did this last year and now find myself having to wait again. »
His words prompted me to ask, “How do you think overflowing toilets relate to your situation?” For example, you say the toilet would back up and you couldn’t flush it. you don’t want the job?
Delaney confirmed, “I told my president that I would prefer not to take the job, but that I would if he couldn’t find anyone else to cover this class. He tried his best but couldn’t find anyone else in the end, so I agreed to do it.
“It’s not really a matter of holding back my feelings or not expressing myself.”
Not ready to give up, I insisted, “I’m still thinking about your description of how the bathrooms are overflowing and how the toilets would be clogged.” You calm down a little by finding a wide step where you can rest in relative comfort, but you are still, ultimately, about to embark on a job you don’t want to do.
I ended by adding: “Although it seems that you protested somewhat, you did not say no outright.”
Delaney conceded: “It’s true that I didn’t complain like I could have, but I’m sure I’m doing the right thing. The colleague who is absent has experienced a very serious life crisis.
“While I’m disappointed that my chair couldn’t find someone else, and I anticipate feeling overwhelmed at times, I also know that I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t step forward. . On top of that, I’d be putting my colleague in a horrible position. When I think about her situation, all I can focus on is gratitude for my own life situation.
What we can learn
What does a dream offer you when you are frustrated with not “getting what you want?” Your dreams may offer a rehearsal.
In a sophisticated and anticipatory way, Delaney’s dream created a scenario that reflected her tension and worry about feeling “overwhelmed” in an upcoming situation. When the event happens, she will be better equipped to handle it since she rehearsed the emotions beforehand.
Her dream also reminds Delaney how to get through this undesirable situation as comfortably as possible: make space, take care of yourself, and wait for the situation to end before taking on additional projects.
Finally, this dream, by presenting a frustrating situation with some possibility of improvement, serves to remind Delaney that the frustration is temporary – she just needs to wait – and that she is lucky in the most important aspects. important in his life.