How we think of ourselves is something that seems to be very important in dreamtime. I say this because so many of my dreams and those of my friends, students and colleagues who have shared their dreams with me note the theme of personal identity, or the loss of it, showing up in dreams—especially when we come to recognize our unique symbols or the commonly occurring symbols for this event.
I have to admit it was a long time before I recognized the symbol for what it meant in my dreams, even though I had the dream repeatedly over many years. In the dream I would lose my purse or have it stolen, usually by a bunch of bratty kids. I was aware enough to realize these nightmares usually occurred when I was worried about finances so I just assumed that’s all there was to it. Having the dream repeat over a period of time should have clued me in that I didn’t fully understand or appreciate the dream. Here is a typical dream:
I go through a tight place but make it through. I realize I don’t have my purse. I go back to the tight place and see a lot of women have left their purses here going through this tight place.
Going through a tight place evokes the feeling of going through the birth canal, the transition to a new level of being or awareness. At the time of this dream I was just about to undergo a major spiritual event, a kundalini awakening. After doing this, I would realize I don’t have my purse. At the time, I had just come into an inheritance so money wasn’t an issue. So what did the purse mean? Sandra A. Thomson in Cloud Nine: A Dreamer’s Dictionary notes that it is related to identity. The purse holds one’s identity in the form of ID cards such as a driver’s license or passport. Going through such a major transition would cause me to lose the way I look at myself, my identity—which indeed happened to an enormous degree. The kundalini awakening had me undergo such physical, emotional and spiritual changes that I no longer recognized my “old self” on any of these dimensions. However, eventually I was led to experience the fact that at the core I am a being of energy and light, able to receive and transmit healing energy. I was being transformed. What a new spiritual identity! The dream was telling me that it wasn’t just me but there are many other women who experience this loss of identity when undergoing major transitions. The many women could be other women or other parts of myself. As it turned out, I ended up making many changes which totally changed my waking life identity as well. I left my career in IT consulting, moved to Hawaii, and became a writer, educator and life coach.