A 42-year-old man had the following dream:
I recently had a dream that my house was being broken in to. I was in the kitchen, my wife and kids were in different rooms of the house. I heard a noise and realized someone had broken into our house. I moved toward the invader and started to tackle, when I suddenly realized the intruder was a woman. I woke up very confused.
Dreaming of a home invasion is a common theme. While houses or homes can represent different things in dreams, within the context of this theme the home is usually a metaphor for our private life. The invasion of the home is symbolic of feeling like our private life is being invaded or threatened by an outside force. When we look at who or what is doing the invading, we have a clue in the direction of what energy is violating the work-home boundary.
For example, if someone dreamed that their boss broke into their house, it would be very likely that matters related to the person’s job were encroaching upon their personal life. Working too many hours, thoughts of job-related stress, or even working at home – yet feeling cut off from the family or a personal life – could all be triggers for this type of dream, resulting in the symbol of a work-related character (the boss in this example) becoming the perpetrator.
Typically we think of home invaders as men, so this dreamer was particularly surprised by the fact that the intruder was a woman. By working with the dreamer and asking him some questions about what the symbolism represented to him, he made the connection to the idea that he had been considering having an extra marital affair. Our dreaming mind cares intensely about our personal relationship, love, and our connections with others. His takeaway from the dream was that while the temptation of an affair appealed to his libido, there was a deeper part of his psyche that perceived the threat to his family life that it would create. It was this part of his psyche that created the symbolism of a woman invading his home as a message to his conscious mind.
We also looked at the part of the dream where he was in the kitchen, and the rest of his family were each in different rooms of the house. To him this was symbolic of how he was not only feeling disconnected from his wife and children, but that they were all disconnecting from each other in waking life. This reflection caused him great sadness, as it had not always been that way and he longed for the connection they used to feel together.
He contemplated that perhaps this was the reason he was seeking affection elsewhere. By gaining the conscious awareness of what his subconscious mind was showing him through this dream, he decided not to have the affair. He decided instead to devote his energy to reconnecting with his family, and finding ways to bring them together emotionally and physically by spending more time together.
Somehow, if a co-worker had given this dreamer the same advice, it likely would not have landed in the same way as when it came from his own psyche. The dreamer was profoundly moved by the message he received from his own mind. Such is the magic of working with dreams.
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