Jungian interpretation of a migraine-free dream
Did you expect the therapist to go anywhere else with this prompt? I suppose I could have though of Freud, but I’ve never really been a fan. It’s Jung’s mystic view of the dream as a reflection of the Self that has fascinated me. While I’m no Jungian therapist, I did stay awake long enough in grad school to get the basics.
According to Jung, the interpretation of a dream is very personal. It is in our dream life that we confront four unconscious parts of ourselves and begin the journey toward wholeness.
- The Shadow represents those disowned parts of ourselves. The Shadow isn’t necessarily “bad” as much as it embodies truths about us that we have yet to acknowledge. Undesirable traits exist within The Shadow, yet this “dark side” isn’t evil.
- Anima/Animus represents the traits within us that are more common in the opposite gender. For example, on the journey to wholeness, a man needs to recognize and embrace his gentleness — a stereotypical “feminine” trait. On the other hand, a woman may need to embrace assertiveness.
- The Sage Within represents the cumulative wisdom and power of all who came before us. It is the recognition that we are not here in isolation, but that we are all part of a greater whole.
- The Unconscious Self represents that inner spirit, our intuition. Sometimes referred to as “true self”, it represents us in our unadulterated state, without ego or life experience.
According to Jung, becoming whole involves discovering and embracing each of these “inner selves” and assimilating them into conscious, balanced awareness.
Migraine and headache disorders leave us with a lot of time to sleep, dream, and contemplate. We think about what we can’t get done, what we’re missing, and the fallout from one more migraine. We also dream about the moment when the pain subsides and we are finally free again. And, yes, we dream of what life might be like if we never had to hide in the dark with ice packs surrounding our heads.
But what if I suggested that migraine holds a bit of your Shadow, your Animus, The Sage, and your Unconscious Self? What if you stopped thinking of migraine as an enemy to be conquered and embraced it as part of your unclaimed Self?
Have you ever stopped to hold a virtual mirror to your internal self? We all have a list of attributes we’d like to keep hidden. Migraine tops that list for most of us. What if you made peace with migraine? Can you embrace migraine as a friend? Sit and listen to your brain. Find out what it needs. How can you best live together in harmony?
A dream come true doesn’t have to mean no more migraines. It starts with learning how to love and nurture the migraine in you.
Don’t take my word for it. Here’s somebody who is living proof that embracing a life with migraine is possible.
The 2014 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Dreaming of a World without Migraine and Headache Disorders. The 2014 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of American Headache & Migraine Association.