Illustration by Jody Hewgill

Every Wednesday I get to dissect a sex or relationship dream for my friends at  Em and Lo: Sex, Love and Everything In Between  This week’s dream is from a woman who can’t stop dreaming about her ex…

Some background: My long-term boyfriend cheated on me and I broke up with him. It was the most upsetting thing that ever happened to me and I’m still not fully over it, but it was over a year ago and I’ve tried really hard to move on.

However, I’ve recently been having really vivid dreams about him. In them I’m in bed and lying in the same position I’m in; he comes into my room, seeming agitated, and after hesitating for a long time, lies down behind me and just holds my hand.

In the dream I am only pretending to be asleep while he does this; I feel annoyed and affronted that he has had the nerve to get in my bed and plan what I will shout at him when I ”wake up” — but I stay where I am and feel like I don’t want to move. It’s so real that I sometimes think he’s actually there. What’s my subconscious trying to tell me after all this time?   – Caroline

Lauri: Your dream is showing you that, in fact, you haven’t moved on at all. Notice how in the dream you don’t move, you stay in the same position. Your dream has given form to where you are emotionally: There has been “no movement” towards healing or closure, and your “position” on the matter has not changed. You are probably stuck in the mindset of a victim and can’t see past the loss you are feeling; you did say, “I stay where I am and feel like I don’t want to move.”

Your dream is showing you that the choice is yours as to whether you remain where you are in misery or actually make an honest effort to move forward toward healing. In the dream your ex is always behind you; this is your dreaming mind trying to tell you that he is behind you in your past and you need to start looking forward. The pretending you are doing in the dream is the pretending you are doing in real life. You do need to “wake up” and realize what you are doing to yourself.

Everything that you are saying to him in your head in the dream, I want you to write that all out tonight at bedtime right before you turn out your light. You have internalized your pain for far too long and now is the time to get it out of your psyche and onto paper. Take up as many pages in your journal as you need to. Get it all out, curse-swear-scream it all out as you write, get all that pain out.

Once you have exhausted yourself, go ahead and rip those pages out of your journal and toss them in the trash. This is symbolic of ridding yourself of the useless pain and frustration you have been holding onto all this time; it is worthless to you, it is trash. Then turn out your light, go to sleep, and see what kind of dream you get tonight. I’ll bet you’ll have a dream showing your progress! I’ll also bet you’ll wake up feeling a lot better and ready to take on the future. Remember, it is impossible to move forward when you are holding on to what is behind you.

Caroline replies: Thanks so much for this. It all makes such a massive amount of sense – I actually kind of cried a bit when I read it because I know it’s so true! I’ve tried a lot of different things to get past what happened, but I’m going to try your advice before bed and see if it helps. If any more positive dreams happen I’ll let you know! Once again, thank you so much – you’ve really clarified in my mind what the problem is and now I feel able to take action and solve it.

Your dreams are a built-in healing mechanism.  If you are trying to move on from pain in your recent past, let your dreams show you the way!!  Grab yourself a copy of one of my books and you’ll easily understand your dreams every morning and get a HUGE edge in life.

“Lauri – the books are great – especially when I have a dream that is confusing or has a lot of symbolism. Or just plain busy. Like one of those dreams you wake up from tired because so much was going on.”   – Dakota Sky – member of  The Dream Zone Experience, a free bonus you get when you purchase one or both of my dream books