In part I of this post (see below), I talked about how sharing dreams can help us make deep and interesting connections with people we might otherwise not "get". In dreaming, we can also find guidance about how to proceed with relationships we already have; our dreams can show us how to handle interpersonal challenges that we might otherwise blunder our way through, with negative outcomes.
On November 11, 2002, I had the following dream ("A" is the woman I had then been dating for about 6 weeks):
"Shape the Words, Shape the Worlds"
A and I are stretched out luxuriously on a sofa in a black room. We're talking as we touch each other and snuggle. Our energies are expanded and mutually harmonious. At one point in our conversation, a piece of interpersonal conflict comes up and our energies contract and cool. We then simultaneously speak aloud words describing the point of conflict. The word-concept takes physical form in the air in front of us. As we discuss and chew it over together, it changes shape accordingly. When we reach a point of understanding and resolution, the shape takes on a harmonious form and we release it out into the world, where it will become a part of our common reality. This process is repeated as we discover other places of contraction and/or misunderstanding. The entire dream is immensely satisfying.
There are areas of difficulty and conflict in any relationship, no matter how felicitous and juicy your connection with that other person. Too many people approach relationship as if the paramount issue is to avoid conflict. I believe that it is crucial to acknowledge the areas of disagreement, even to expect them. What is paramount is *how* we approach the places of disconnect. In "Shape the Words" I am given a gift which affirms that belief -- "Be ready for you and A to knock heads, but when you do, hold your heart open, talk and feel your way into the conflict. Hold the conflict up to the light, turn it over and delve into it together, examine it and then speak from your heart. If you keep at it in a caring way, you and she can transform and release it instead of holding on to your separate positions and letting it fester and remain a catching-point that prevents the deepening of the relationship."
Such nuggets o'wisdom are laced through our dreaming all the time. Sometimes they're specific to one person or situation, sometimes they're more general (say, a reminder to hold your own against people in your life that tend to try and roll right over you). But we cannot make use of this help and support unless we're paying attention. Keep listening always.