Dear Cynthia: I dreamed my ex-boyfriend came up to me at a wedding and explained to me why he broke off our relationship (something he actually has yet to do). I was satisfied with his explanation and at peace.
However, I have been happily married for 10 years and have not seen my ex for nine years. I do think about him periodically. What could all this mean?
Dear Reader: It seems that your dreams of your former boyfriend are a wonderful gift from your unconscious mind, bringing you peace and closure. Unanswered questions, especially those about relationships, can plague us for years. Some never go away. Since often there is no real way to get them answered, they can live in our subconscious mind, often resurfacing when something even vaguely reminds us of the person or situation. A movie, a song lyric, news from a friend can pull this old, unsolved mystery from its file in our mind and bring it front and center.
Since the explanation you received was satisfactory, accept it and stamp that old file closed. Chances are there will be no more dreams of Mr. Ex.
Dear Cynthia: Lately I have been dreaming of missing trains, losing tickets and getting lost. Help!
Dear Reader: Each of these dreams could reflect some anxiety you are feeling. Missing trains and losing tickets could represent fear of missing opportunities, of not feeling organized or of being distracted by other things, thus missing what is important. Being lost may point to a need to slow down, pay attention and organize. Perhaps you are especially busy lately, with many obligations and no time to relax and organize your thoughts. Do you have a hard time saying no when asked to help out?
You're feeling overwhelmed, and your mind is saying, "I want a time out!" A little time to journal your feelings and get in touch with what is going on inside should solve the problem.
Behavioral therapist Cynthia Richmond's column appears every other Monday. To contact her, write to In Your Dreams, Southern California Living, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053; send a fax to (213) 237-0732; or e-mail her at email@example.com Please include your hometown and a daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 100 words and cannot be returned.
In Your Dreams should be read for entertainment purposes only.
Cynthia Richmond explains children's dreams on our Kids' Reading Room page every Wednesday.