Dream of the Month (April 2004)
Dr. Holloway's Comments:
Striking Characteristics: The removal of an object imbedded beneath the skin can reflect new understanding, and release of, an invasive irritant.
Many of us can recall a dream in which something surprising emerged from beneath our skin. A foreign object, an insect or worm will amazingly emerge from a sore or swelling. During the dream, we may experience disgust or relief, fear of recurrence, or elation that the source of a problem has been discovered and removed.
Skin frequently represents our boundaries: social, emotional and professional. When something in waking life gets to us, the slang description is to say that it got under our skin. This aptly describes the subjective experience of having some circumstance invade our subjective reality.
The removal of an irritant that has been causing inflammation beneath the skin may then reflect the dreamer's shift in perspective, understanding or boundaries, which effectively releases something that has been causing increasing discomfort. Things may not have changed outwardly, but the way the dreamer carries the situation, and relates to it considerably alters the lived experience. It is one of those times when a friend might say: Nothing has changed, but everything is different, and it is okay now.
If we wanted to explore the imagery further; we might theorize about the location of the irritant: the right hand ring finger. One interpretation, for example, could be the place of professional promise (ring=promise to self) (right hand=yang/professional/active). Thus, we could wonder if a work situation was getting under the skin, causing irritation unconsciously, and has been brought to consciousness and released. The onion, on the most basic level, could be a situation that has caused involuntary tears, or a situation that has many layers. There could be, obviously, other more personal associations specific to the dreamer.
The felt-sense of release, understanding, and freedom from a wound are the most telling aspects of this dream. This bodes well for the specific situation being depicted here, and it also reflects an almost spiritual skillfulness on the dreamer's part. Emotional intelligence had won the day with an otherwise baffling challenge.