Dream: Unable to find a place to sleep

I am with a few people on an outing somewhere in the US. A friend of mine, Bruce W., is leading it, and I joined at the last moment so I am not very familiar with what the outing is about. We arrive at a large apartment, and I go out to go for a walk. When I return, it turns out that the group is much larger than I thought, and most people have already found sleeping spots. The beds are all taken, and the rest are finding creative sleeping arrangements on couches, the floor, and so on. I am unable to find one for myself. Someone says she can help me, and after an elaborate process, it seems she can’t anyway.

I am with a group of people in an urban environment, and this is typical for my pandemic dreams.

We are in a city somewhere in the southwest of the US. Bruce was a good friend from Kanzeon Zen Center was kind, funny, and often the mid-point in social gatherings. He died several years ago.

I had a similar dream a couple of weeks ago where I was unable to find a place to sleep.

Why no place to sleep?

Since everything in my dream represents parts of me, it suggests that parts of me are preventing me to rest, and that makes a lot of sense. The way I respond to unhealed and distressed parts of me prevents me from resting.

When I check in with myself, I find that what I need most of all is rest. And although I rest physically, there is no real rest as long as I struggle – at some level – with my own experience as it is here now.

For many years, I used to love meditation and being with my own experience. I did it for hours a day and had to find time for it each day. It was like coming home. When an overwhelming amount of survival fear and trauma came up some years ago, this shifted. It felt like too much for me to deal with (obviously, it wasn’t since I am still here), and I got many of the symptoms of PTSD. Since then, it’s been more difficult to fully be with and allow my experience as it is. In Norwegian, we say that burnt children avoid the fire, and I can see that in myself.

I have felt ashamed of this avoidance in me, even if I know it’s completely natural, understandable, and innocent. If I saw it someone else, I would understand and feel compassion. This dream may invite me to acknowledge what’s going on more fully to myself and others. That’s an important step in allowing it to heal and shift.

Note: Before this dream, I was briefly awake and had one image from a previous dream. A man had just murdered someone. It was one of those dreams where “I” was not in it and it was more like watching a movie. It did set an unsettled tone that followed into this dream and was here when I woke up.

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