Hi, and welcome to summer. Hope you’re dreaming of s’mores and spritzes.
If you’ve been looking for a way to coax your mind into a specific dream, we read a particularly esoteric approach you might take. First, make some bread dough and think about the dream intently while you knead. Bake the bread, and for an unclear reason, it must be round. After it’s baked, split it in thirds, and take a bite of each piece. Then sleep with the rest of the bread under your pillow. That’s right. It sounds like a sleepless night of lumps and crumbs tbh, but it might be worth it for the right dream involving Jason Momoa. Let’s get to this month’s dream and our (kinda) scientific interpretation…
I have a dream sometimes that I’m wandering around a huge, dark abandoned mall and I know that I left my wallet in one of the stores. I also somehow know that there’s a policeman in the mall, but I never see him. Sometimes I hear his steps or see his flashlight. I’m hiding from him because I’m worried if he sees me picking up the wallet he’s going to think I’m stealing and arrest me. I search the stores, but it takes forever because I have to look through big piles of mattresses. And I never find it, I spend the whole dream sneaking around the mall, and then I wake up. What does it mean?
This month we’re going to try an analytical approach that breaks your dream into its component parts. Because dreams are pure invention by your unconscious, it follows that each piece of the dreamscape could have valuable insight into ye olde brain. Pick any part. The characters, the setting, the soundtrack. To paraphrase Chaka Khan, you’re every woman, dear dreamer, it’s all in you.
This can be particularly useful if you compartmentalize your negative emotions. Finding meaning in external things can be a safer way to approach uncomfortable truths. It allows you to explore without looking directly at the unpleasantness. Those are the rough basics, but if you want to learn more (respect, you overachiever), look into Gestalt therapy.
Let’s look at a couple elements of your dream and see if anything rings a bell. Like all our cozy chats, we encourage you to approach it like a bag of trail mix. Take what you want and leave the rest (the raisins, most likely).
Here’s a cutie li’l listicle:
As the narrator, you are stressed! Can’t find your wallet and tailed by a phantom threatening lawman like a low stakes Benecio del Toro movie. There’s a goal you can’t achieve and you are pretty isolated in the attempt. It’s not a particularly lofty goal, either. You’re terrified you’re going to be punished for picking up your own wallet. It belongs to you. What’s your relationship to other people’s perceptions of you? Do you live in fear of being judged or do you feel free to do your own thing?
The purpose of the quest, the wallet drives all the action, but is ultimately never seen. It’s the Holy Grail, the Heart of Te Fi Ti, the missing source of power and security. You need it back, but the search feels arduous and hopeless. It’s giving needle in a haystack. What are you looking for? Is there a piece of yourself missing? That’s not necessarily bad news. Even with positive growth we mourn lost identity.
And let’s not ignore that it’s an extremely literal symbol of money, hunny. This could be a good time to touch down with your finances.
The antagonist. Never seen, simply ~felt.~ Sounds like classique anxiety to us. Let’s consider which calls might be coming from inside the house. What blocks are you experiencing that are within your control?
We miss the mall, but this one sounds like a dusty husk of its former self, populated with joyless, fluorescent mattress stores as far as the eye can see. Which is actually quite realistic, when you think about how many brick-and-mortar MattressFirms one might see on a single city block (three minimum). Also, like, a mattress?? We get it, Captain Obvious, you were sleeping.
You could go on, if you want. Get as granular as you want. Maybe you’ll find meaning as a single linty Tic Tac in your own pocket, who knows? You don’t have to worry about how it plays into a larger narrative because not every dream is a neat little story. It might just be a delivery vehicle for one thing. Mattresses.
If you’ve ever woken up from a dream like, what the hell was that?, and would like to be featured in the next In Your Dreams, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a detailed description of the inner workings of your unconscious mind. We're dreaming of hearing from you.