Well, it has taken all of this time for COVID-19 to enter my dream state. I dreamt that I was in a crowd of people. Everything was completely normal and joyful. I didn’t know where I was at first and then realized that I was at synagogue, with my family, for High Holy Day services. I ran up to friends and clergy and hugged them, one to the next, so happy to be together. It seemed as if it had been a long time since I had seen everyone.
All of a sudden, one woman shrieked at me, “Get back! Don’t hug anyone. Why don’t you have a mask on?” She shook her head with disgust and added, “You, of all people.” I felt so shamed, hurt, and confused. I looked over at my husband and saw that he and everyone else wore masks. I clapped my hand over my mouth and nose and ran outside. My family followed. The cool air hit me and they put their arms around me. I suddenly remembered about COVID. I felt so shocked and embarrassed, having completely forgotten about it, and then I woke up.
My heart was pounding and a rush of tears followed. Calm, several minutes later, I thought about the conflicting emotions and marveled at the power of the mind to make sense of things as it pleases.
Jungian/Senoi dreamwork is one of the dream interpretation methods I was trained in as a therapist. Basically, it recognizes important symbols in the dream, archetypes, and how the dreamer assigns people to play the parts of the self to work out the emotions through the situations created.
So meanwhile, my loose interpretation in the wee hours of the morning, was that I was aware of my desire for “normal” occurrences to be normal again. The woman shrieking at me, represents the self who is ever-mindful of following the rules and striving to make choices that keep everyone safe. She shrieked at the “me” who was oblivious to what was going on, simply engaged in her own world. (I’ve felt like that in social distancing and mask wearing situations with non-compliant parties, who simply didn’t want to wear a mask or see the virus as a threat. I didn’t shriek at them and perhaps that’s the reason I assigned this woman to do so in my dream.) She added the, “You of all people,” because I hold myself to a high standard and so she needed to shame me, much as I would myself, had I acted mindlessly.
My family members had cameo roles, as themselves, providing a sense of safety and loving compassion, surrounding and protecting me while I experienced those moments of cognitive dissonance in which I had actually forgotten that there’s a pandemic. Likely, in real life, I needed to cry, allowing my heart to empty the grief, anger, confusion and sadness that I hadn’t realized had accumulated there.
After crying, I could’ve stayed in the sadness that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, but decided to revisit the joy of tasting the sweet moment of reunion with our community. Hopefully, it’s not too far around the bend from now, because, while brief, what a delicious taste it was.