an emotional journey

I would appreciate your insight into this memorable dream, which I keep thinking about but still don’t think I’ve gotten the “ah ha” that I have really figured it out.

I am wearing a light backpack, hiking alone on a path in the woods on a gorgeous sparkling day. I am moving along quickly, going just slightly uphill, and feeling invigorated, enjoying the crisp air. I come to a sparkling, clear shallow stream flowing from a lake just up ahead on my left. The path goes straight through the stream and I walk right across it. On the other side of the stream, I suddenly become annoyed at some sort of commotion going on in my backpack. I stop and put my hiking stick down so that I can loosen it and shake it off my back, and I let it fall to the ground.

In that same split second, before I turn around to figure out what the problem in my backpack is all about, I have a fleeting thought that if I go to my left, by the lake for a short while before going right, over a hill, I can continue on what might be an even longer, more blissful journey through continually beautiful places.

This flight of thought is suddenly overshadowed by the appearance (straight ahead) of a cabin with a steep tall mound of earth that forms a wall right behind it. I saw a place like this in waking life many years ago. I reluctantly decide to stay here and forget the other path, but wonder what might have been ahead. I decide to be grateful that I have a place to stay

The awareness of my backpack creeps in to my mind and I look back, but instead of seeing my backpack on the ground, my eye is caught by the incredulous sight of a bulging fishnet bag of gold and silver coins glistening in the stream. The clear water is pouring over the bag in the sunlight, the coins changing from silver to gold and back as if it were alive. I associate this with my boyfriend. I am a little tired after my journey and smile at the irony of the situation. There is no way I could carry that bag! Plus, if I touch the coins they might change into something else or disappear.

So I stand still, as if to say, just look at that!

Background: I am divorced (7 years) with two daughters in school, a good job, and a boyfriend of 1 and a half years. The thing I am struggling with the most right now seems to be whether I really love my boyfriend enough to continue a romantic involvement, or if I want to go back to a less serious level of involvement with him.

I haven’t had too many long-term relationships with the opposite sex, but I really can’t think of any reason I wouldn’t be ready for a commitment at this point. On the other hand, I couldn’t commit to my boyfriend now because he seems to have a recurring pattern of getting in and out of heavy debt. Right now, even on a doctor’s salary, he is carrying a 60K loan that will take 4 yrs. to pay. Along with the overspending is the overeating issue. He needs to lose 90 lbs. But besides all that, I wonder if the real issue is that my feelings are just not strong enough to think of hanging in there until the debts are paid, etc. etc. I feel I need to handle this situation as carefully as possible.

—Sarah, Age 47, Divorced, UK

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