No matter where your dreaming mind places you, the setting of your dream not only sets the stage for the storyline, but is also a major clue as to what real life issue the dream is about.  You see, where you are in your dream is either directly connected to where you are in life, or it is directly connected to a certain area of your life.  In fact, the location or setting is one of the first symbols I look at when analyzing a dream because it pinpoints the area of concern for the dreamer.  After that, evaluating all the other components of the dream fills in the blanks and reveals the entire message.

The following dream is a perfect example of how important the setting of a dream is. This is from my nationally syndicated newspaper column The Dream Zone…

Dear Lauri,
I dreamt I was at a military boot camp with my parents and an ex boyfriend from years ago. I had to complete a course which was a strange non military like maze through buildings with lots of other people there I didn’t know. I was the first to finish and I fell and landed with my face in the mud.   – Jeanna 37, Auberndale, WI

Lauri: A boot camp is all about getting seriously disciplined and inline. In which area of your waking life do you need to – or have been – more disciplined and militant? Diet? Exercise? Finances? Anything like that? It seems that you are doing a pretty good job but despite that, you may be upset or depressed, hence falling into the mud.  Let’s talk about that ex. Was he your first love? If so, he represents the passion and excitement you want and need in your life right now.  We dream of our first loves when our current relationship gets a little too routine or when we are going through a dry spell.

Jeanna replies: I am working on the diet and exercise, and I am definitely depressed.  I have an unhappy marriage.  My husband isn’t home much and when he is I don’t get to exercise or follow my own schedule.  I turn into a b#@ch when he’s around because I don’t like it when he’s home. And yes, the ex in my dream was my first love.

Lauri: I believe your dream is showing you that you feel your life is difficult to maneuver through right now but yet you are still managing to do so even though you face many obstacles to your happiness. Stay disciplined. It seems to be working for you.

Jeanna replies: Thank you!! That all makes so much sense!!  When I woke up I was feeling really confused and thinking what in the world was that about? I am going to work on being more disciplined with my diet, exercise, chores, schooling, taking care of me.  As for the hubby, well I’m going to take care of me first and then I’ll deal with that!!

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“I could not wait to tell you how much your online dictionary has helped me.  I have been having a series of scary dreams. Every morning I was able to peace them together with the dictionary and I now am CERTAIN that my dreams are telling me I have to get out of my relationship. It’s a scary thing to do, but having this clarity is so empowering! Thank you, thank you… THANK YOU!!!!!!!”   – Marcy, Huntsville, AL