I Had a Dream Last Night…

This is another post for y’all as therapists, thank you very much. Today, we’re doing dreamwork.

I had a dream last night
What a lovely dream it was…

~~ John Sebastian

I love John Sebastian, but the dream in his song was not actually the kind of dream I had last night. My dream was not lovely at all.

I dreamt I was teaching a Mindfulness Self Compassion Meditation Course, just like I was talking about in my post. There were a bunch of people I knew – people I used to work with – taking the class.

We got to this one part, and instead of a warm exploration of the material, people were looking at me funny and not engaging in the discussion. And I realized, with a touch of dismay, that I wasn’t sure the way I was doing it was the way I was supposed to be doing it. But it was clearly falling flat.

Then this one woman, who I had always liked (in real life), said, “This is one of those times when, if you didn’t know what you were doing, it would have been better to ask for help than to try to wing it.

And I realized that some of the people taking the class were really there to judge how well I was teaching it. And – you can imagine – I just felt sick. But then it was time for lunch, and we were all supposed to go to lunch together. I thought we were doing one thing, but then one of the other women I knew, (who was also on the judging committee) said, “So let’s take a quick break and then we’ll meet at the restaurant we agreed on.”

And I realized I didn’t know what restaurant. Instead of asking, I went to my room and got my workbook so I could look at the next activity, and then I got lost in the hallways and there was something about the elevators and the stairs and…

…suddenly, we were back in the room for the workshop to continue and I realized we were supposed to have brought an aromatic tea to drink, and I just had coffee. I had forgotten all about the instructions about the tea.

That’s where the dream ended, or all I remember anyhow. If I were still seeing JM the wise therapist, he would have some twist of an interpretation that would put it all in a different perspective. But I think it’s pretty basic.

It reflects my anxiety, of course.

But, I forgot to tell you, there was a part of it where the judging committee meets and says things like, “Well, she has the potential to do this well, but she just didn’t plan and prepare well enough.” “This has been a problem with her before. She gets off to a good start, but doesn’t follow through.”

And I feel like that’s true. Pleading guilty, thank you very much. But I don’t feel the overwhelming, paralyzing shame that often comes with that recognition. I just feel a sense of commitment to doing the work I need to do and following through. That’s pretty exciting.

** For my wordsmith friends: Spellcheck does not recognize “dreamt” as a word. I was taken aback – I had to go google it and make sure it hadn’t become obsolete in my lifetime. But no. It is still an acceptable way to express the past tense of dream. Sometimes I use “dreamed” and sometimes “dreamt” and in my mind, it’s very clear which one “feels right” in a specific situation.

But I don’t know what the rule in my head is. For example, I would say, “I never dreamed that would happen.” But “Last night, I dreamt.” I don’t exactly think the other way is wrong, I just wouldn’t use it. Was there a rule about it or is it just random? Enquiring minds want to know… but I don’t want to research it. Could someone else just tell me? Please and thank you. 😉

11 thoughts on “I Had a Dream Last Night…

  1. “Dreamt, (verb) a simple past tense and past participle of dream”. Feel free to use as you wish Olivia! My amateur interpretation of your dream makes it sound as if you are stressing due to chasing a deadline that is fast approaching. Take a deep breath, clear your head, and then kick it’s ass. You’ll likely find that it was easier to complete than you thought

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Roz, I am definitely putting a lot of stress on myself. There’s a lot on riding on my ability to launch my business and actually make money. But yes, I can do it… Like the little engine that could, right? 💜


  2. I’m going to leave my 1 cent’s worth – i’ve had dreams like this before… and a lot of the time my anxiety was centred around fear of failure. Not so much that i wouldn’t make the deadline or anything time-line related, but that i would be totally irrelevant or unable to deliver the thing that was expected. So either I would be off topic, or my lecture would be pitched at a totally wrong audience, or something that would lead people to think I was completely incompetent.

    But that’s just me.

    Also, Grammarly says :

    Dreamt and dreamed are both past tense forms of dream. Dreamt is more common in Britain, while dreamed is more common in other English-speaking countries, including the U.S. Dreamed seems to be more popular than dreamt when talking about sleeping, but when dream has a hopeful, literary sense, dreamt might be used.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that is absolutely what it is for me, Fondles. The fear of failure, of being seen as totally incompetent. Yep. Exactly.

      It’s not just you.

      And thank you!! That’s what I was looking for!! I knew there was some fine-line distinction (although hmmm I don’t know that I’m distinguishing it correctly…) But thank you so much! Grammarly, huh? I might have to get that…



  3. Fascinating dream, definitely insightful about your anxieties! And I agree with your usage of “I never dreamed”/ “Last night I dreamt”. I would use them that way, too, although I’m not a knowledgeable grammarian so I couldn’t tell you exactly why. It just feels right.

    Liked by 1 person

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