Want Wanted Wanting

Wanting is a primal drive which through socialisation we may crush, and thereby lose contact with what we want or need. In doing so we may also lose much of our decisiveness and creativity.

Wherever the words ‘want’ or ‘wanting’ appear in your dreams, it suggests urges or desires you may not be acknowledging strongly enough in your conscious life. Sometimes the urge may be misdirected, as wanting to be loved by someone who has proved often they are incapable of love. But the urge is till there to be loved, and some other source of love should be sought.

When it is a ‘don’t want’ in the dream, it is helpful to change it to a positive. ‘I didn’t want to go with my mother’ could become, ‘I wanted to do my own thing.’ This gives an open channel for the urge to express, rather than a suppression.

Example: ‘I still want him all to myself. We never touch or kiss or anything in the dreams, and I want him to, but would never let on I wanted this. I am a bit coy in my dreams.’ Pauline B.

Pauline is dreaming about a past lover who she has tried to forget, but when we underline the ‘wants’ we see how strong her feelings are. Looking at dreams in this way helps us define what our desires are and what we might be denying in ourselves. But also, Pauline has not realised the difference between waking life and dream life. This happens with the morals we live by, which may be necessary in waking life, but we try to make them fit to our much bigger and freer dream/inner life, and that causes conflict because the two worlds are completely different. So, in dreams about sex we do not have to live by the same small moral world often necessary in waking life. In dreams, we experiment emotionally and sexually, so dreams often stand in place of actual experience. In doing so we expand our mental and emotional life without any danger or consequences. Through dreams we may experiment with new experience or practice things we have not yet done externally, because Pauline does not have to be coy in her dreams.

Example: ‘The older man still wanted something from me. I didn’t want to be involved with him at all and yet had to be polite etc. so he wouldn’t hit out at me/us. We needed some kind of contact with this man, I leaned forward and kissed him on his face and drew back quickly as I didn’t want to give any more than that, I had a fear that he would want more.’ Sandra O.

Sandra had divorced an older husband and was living with a younger man. The complication of her ‘wants’ is shown in the dream. When it is a ‘don’t want’ in the dream, it is helpful to change it to a positive. ‘I didn’t want to go with my mother’ could become, ‘I wanted to do my own thing.’ Because what we want is complex and often in conflict, our dream characters may want something which we oppose. But as her dream is a complete reflection of her, the man who she says might hit her or wants more from her, is simply a reflection of her own fear of men or of openly wanting more or actually saying no, maybe to do with her father.


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