Hi Brian—

You know I have to ask this question: Did you see the movie Titanic? If so, it may explain a good portion of your dream.

The dreaming mind is funny when it comes to movies. We often dream about films we see at the theater or shows that we watch on television, but typically we add our own modifications to the story line. For example, your dream is very reminiscent of the rising water scenes in Titanic - when Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCapprio are trapped below decks as the ship is sinking - but it also is not an exact replica. In your dream you are in the room, and the water is rising all around you. When death appears imminent - you get down on your knees in this water and begin to pray for forgiveness.

In most forms of art, but especially in dramatic presentations like films and live theater, there is a phrase that is used to describe the level of audience involvement. It’s called “suspension of disbelief.” When we watch a really good film or tv show - hopefully we get “swept away” by the story. We forget - to some extent - that we are watching a movie, that the characters are actors and actresses - that certain scenes could never “really” happen. Suspending our disbelief allows us to “get inside” the film and feel the emotions and drama. We root for our heroes, we want “the bad guys” to get what’s coming to them, and we imagine ourselves as the leading man or lady. Good dramatic productions involve our emotions and often are very cathartic - that is, we feel a sense of emotional release after watching them.

If you did see Titanic recently, I think this may explain a lot of your dream. Titanic was a great film, and I think everyone who saw it became emotionally involved with the characters - and with the drama of that great ship sinking. In this sense, your dream may be a simple re-telling of the story, but with you in the starring role. I think it is interesting that your co-workers were with you on the boat, and I think the fact that you survive longer than they do indicates a healthy sense of self-confidence on your part. As for the end of the dream, where you pray for forgiveness - I think that is a common response to the prospect of imminent death.

If your dream was recurring, or if your co-workers played a more significant role in the dream, it would be logical to look for possible causes for the dream that relate to difficulties in your personal or professional life. Water in dreams tends to be associated with emotions and with unconscious feelings and awarenesses. Rising water, accordingly, suggests a period of emotional upheaval. If you are experiencing a difficult time right now in your life - personally or at work - this dream may be a reflection of this rising level of emotions within yourself - and with your own sense of not being able to manage or “rise above” these feelings. If this is true, remember that the best way to manage difficult feelings and awarenesses is to always allow them to become conscious. Your feelings and emotions are a part of you. Allow them to “rise up” listen to what they are telling you, and accept that you may be having a difficult time managing them. Talk with your friends about your feelings (you’ll find that other people have hard times managing feelings also), and be sure you take concrete steps in your waking life to change whatever situation is present that is causing the feelings. You will feel an immediate sense of relief once you identify the source of your stress and decide to take action to correct it.

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