an emotional journey

Hi Sarah—

Your dream is a clear metaphor for the decision that you currently are evaluating: Should you settle down with your new boyfriend of 1.5 years—represented by the cabin in your dream—or should you carry on past him (going alone) to see what wonderful sights lie beyond the next hill? The path that winds to the left and over the hill represents the future. The reason that you cannot see ahead on the path is because—like all of us on the journey of life—you are unable to see the future.

The contents of the backpack that you are carrying begin to annoy you, causing you to remove the pack. Because the contents turn out to be coins, the allusion to your boyfriend’s financial problems (his debt) is unmistakable. The fact that the coins appear to be alive is yet another clue that the coins represent a living person. As you are aware, if you choose to marry your boyfriend, you will also marry (and have to “carry”) his debt burden. The water flowing over the coins represents the “emotional currents” that attach you to him.

The cabin represents the security of having a home—and of being in a committed relationship with your boyfriend. In the dream you are disappointed that you are unable to see what is beyond the next hill, but you also decide that you should be grateful that you have a place to stay. The wall that lies beyond the cabin represents a barrier to the future. If you choose to settle in this cabin, the path to the future—to the other future that you also could have had—will be blocked.

Because this cabin represents a potential union with your boyfriend, your dream is encouraging you to ask many probing questions about it: Is the cabin inviting? Is it a location full of warmth and security? Are you delighted to arrive there?

The dream makes clear that not all these feelings are present. In the dream you decide reluctantly to “settle” there (settle for what you have, instead of hoping for a better location in the future), and you have to convince yourself that you should be grateful for having somewhere to stay at all, even if it is not the location that you dreamed you would arrive at.

Similarly, when you contemplate the bag of coins at the end of the dream, you suddenly realize there is no way you could possibly carry them. Have you overestimated your ability to carry your boyfriend’s debt load, and his emotional problem of overeating, or are you simply making a decision that you want to be free of the burdens?

As this dream draws to a conclusion, you stand at the water’s edge, afraid to touch the money in the stream, because you sense that the coins might change into something else, or disappear. What is the meaning? If you examine your concerns about your boyfriend more closely, you fear that you may perceive him in a different light, or that he may become sensitive, and decide to run away.

What is the solution for this puzzling dream dilemma? If your boyfriend won’t recognize his dysfunctional behaviors and make changes to correct them, your dream suggests that the burden is more than you want to carry.

Dear Dream Doctor—

Thank you so much for your interpretation of this dream. You had it in your first sentence when you mentioned one of the choices meant “going alone”. That really hit pay dirt with me. Even though I was feeling the need to unburden myself of these problems, the prospect of “going alone” held me back. But in the dream, going alone at least meant there might be a brighter future. Settling in the “cabin” would have no real future, as the wall implies.

I can’t thank you enough.

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