Q: Every month or so, I have this dream of a blond woman yelling at me. I wake up feeling horrible! I’m scared to ask, but what does this mean?
A: Well, as I happen to know you’re a brunette, this may just be what’s known as a shadow figure for you. I’m glad you asked! This kind of image in a dream can tell us a lot about an aspect of our character, of ourselves, that we are not able to see clearly. The unconscious mind is like the back of our bodies, a part of ourselves that’s nearly impossible to see well on our own, and dreams are like those lovely full-length bathroom mirrors that help us see what we can’t see easily. I say it may be a shadow figure for you because it represents an opposite of how you define yourself (blond versus brunette), but is still an aspect of you (she’s showing up in your dream, in your unconscious mind). Shadow figures are also generally the same gender as yourself, as opposed to contra-sexual images that represent other aspects (we’ll save that for another time).
It is very helpful to get to know characters like these that show-up in our dreams, especially when they are showing-up repeatedly (and causing distress). I would encourage you to take some time, when you’re alone and not rushed, to write or draw and describe her. Use your imagination and write down everything that comes to you. What is she like? What is her story? Why is she yelling at you? What is she feeling? You’ll be amazed to discover what you know about her, and what you learn will begin to show you what her appearance in your dream is trying to tell you. You’re in conflict with her, that’s clear, but it may not be all bad. Conflict can often lead to greater union in the end, which may be what this part of you is seeking.
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