When someone begins a conversation with “I had the craziest dream last night” I typically look for the nearest exit.
A friend from work, let’s call him Matt because that’s his name, told me he had a dream about me. I ignored my instincts and asked to hear more. It wasn’t because I cared about his nonsense dream but because I wanted to tell him what the dream meant. The only punishment for someone who has the audacity to explain their dream is to provide an unsolicited analysis of it. I don’t know what my penalty is for writing about someone else’s dream.
No matter, onward!
The dream went like this: I told our mutual work friend that I was sick of Matt not being available. My complaint was that he was “always late and rarely in the office” and I didn’t want to work with him anymore. Matt became upset and pleaded with me to continue to work with him to which I said no. He woke up feeling hurt. It seemed so real to him but he was relieved it was just a dream.
Funny enough, the day he told me about the dream I had joked with him about being late to a meeting. My joke is what instigated his telling of his dream in the first place. I regret the joke because if I hadn’t made it maybe I wouldn’t have had to hear about his dream and then eventually write about it.
Matt didn’t know why he had this dream. Perhaps it was a scene from another life he lived or brought on by a strange piece of fish he’d eaten. In my opinion (and my opinion is very important) most dreams are a manifestation of guilt.
I work remotely most days and am only in the office twice a week. Matt is my partner on several projects. Our relationship is vital to the success of the work. I would never tell Matt or confide in anyone that I didn’t want to work with him. I enjoy working with Matt. So why would I behave that way in the dream? Then it hit me. I picked up the phone and called Matt around 10:30 that evening.
After he stopped whining about me calling him at such an hour I gave him my analysis.
“Your dream is your guilt. It is YOU who complains to our friend that I’m never there. It is YOU who doesn’t want to work with me anymore. It is YOU who have made me upset. This is your reality, but you feel bad about it. You don’t want to hurt my feelings yet not telling me is eating you up inside. Your subconsciousness made you the victim so you would understand what it feels like when someone talks about you behind your back. Your brain spoke to you in this dream to make you realize how petty you’re being about my presence in the office. You know deep down that I am doing the work whether I’m in the office or not. Your dream decided to punish you for your careless and hurtful thoughts. You should be ashamed of yourself. Stop projecting your bullshit on me!”
Needless to say, Matt was awestruck. My dead-on explanation plus his overwhelming guilt stunned him into silence. I thought I heard him whisper, “thank you.”
That night I had a dream. Matt was there begging for forgiveness. Even in my dream, he felt guilty. I accept your apology, Matt.