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Last night I dreamed there was an alligator (or possibly a crocodile -- I did not get close enough to check) running through the new place. He was smallish -- about as long as my leg -- but still all bitey and frightening. And he had been painted. He was now the color that we painted the hall, but I could still see his original green-brown skin peeking through, especially along his bumpy back. I kept thinking that if I could just stand on his head, I could kill him, but he kept trying to bite me and was dripping paint all over the floors.

I wonder what it means.

Replies: 3 Confessions

Here's one way of working with a dream like this that I find useful:

1) Get a piece of paper (notebook, journal, napkin, whatever's handy)
2) Think about how the alligator in the dream made you feel. Try to recapture that feeling. One thing that might help, if the dream is still fresh, is to close your eyes and imagine reaching out and touching the alligator. (If you don't mind possibly losing a dream finger ...)
3) Without thinking too much about it, jot down the first half a dozen or so adjectives that describe that feeling. (There's no precise number, so if you only come up with say, three, feel free to stop there. Or keep going if there are a lot.)

===Preferably, do those three steps before you read Step #4.===


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4) Okay, the infamous Step #4 is to look at your list, and see if there's a person, thing, or situation in your waking life that answers to that same emotional description. In most cases something will jump to mind pretty quickly -- something that matches the "emotional fingerprint" of the dream situation or object.

Example: I once worked at a company that was losing lots of money and in danger of closing. Needless to say, people were overworked, underpaid, and generally miserable.

A co-worker there told me he'd had a dream about seeing a tornado approaching his house, and the strange thing to him was that in the dream he wasn't really all that afraid or upset about it.

He asked me what I made of it, so I asked him what matched up with that feeling in his waking life: something that seemed like an approaching danger, and yet for some reason he wasn't really alarmed about it. He thought for a minute and said, "Oh -- it's the idea of them closing this place and laying us all off. I know it would wreck me financially for a while, but I hate this place so much I just can't care anymore."

So that's kind of how it works. See if there's an "aha" moment like that for you.

With all that said: just from reading your blog I have an idea of what the alligator might correspond to. But it's not good to lead the witness when you're doing dreamwork. To paraphrase Dar Williams, "It's much better if you get it for yourself ... "

Ocelopotamus @ 05/10/2007 11:23 PM CST


Sounds to me like it means you don't much like textured walls.

elavil @ 05/11/2007 10:10 AM CST


It just means you live in a crockhouse.

Kurt in Seattle @ 05/13/2007 08:00 PM CST


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