A Story of Parts.

“Part of me wants to stay, part of me wants to go. I’m stuck! How can I resolve this predicament?”

It’s in our everyday language: “There’s a part of me that doubts my ability,” “I’m equal parts creative and intellectual,” “The scientific part of me wants more proof, the intuitive part of me feels this is the right path to take,” “I’m partly extrovert, partly introvert – it depends on the situation.”

Sometimes it’s enough to have a sense of wonder and compassion for the diversity of the various parts that make up our whole, to be softer with ourselves for our indecision, grateful for the nuanced perspectives our differing parts offer.

At other times it can be helpful to get to know these parts more deeply, to see where they’re coming from, and why, and to explore grounds for productive negotiation between seemingly opposing parts.

Ah, and then there are a multitude of parts that exert their influence from the depths of your unconscious mind, parts that you have shut out of your conscious awareness but that linger powerfully below the surface, wriggling and writhing, impatient to find expression. An example might be repressing your anger to the extent that you no longer consciously feel it, but you suffer the chronic stress or ill health that repression of emotions can cause. Getting to know these powerful parts can be a lifesaver – literally – opening the way to a less stressful and healthier future.

You can get to know your parts, conscious and unconscious, through your dreams.

They may appear as dream characters (a scientific type perhaps representing your scientific part, and an angry individual perhaps representing an angry part of yourself) but look beyond the people in your dreams!

Many of the other symbols in your dreams may represent various parts of yourself.

That dream metal cog stuck in the mud might represent a part of yourself that’s stuck, that keeps going round in the same old circles, feeling like a cog in a machine.

That dream rescue helicopter breaking apart in the air, falling to the ground, might be the part of yourself that keeps trying to rescue others, not attending to your own maintenance, in danger of falling apart.

You get the picture.

One of many ways to get to know a part of yourself is to see things from its perspective; here’s how it’s done with a dream:

Let’s take a simple example. You dream you are walking through a field when you see a plough. It appears to be disused or broken. You walk on by, but something about the plough haunts you. On waking, imagine retelling the dream but from the perspective of the plough. The retelling might go something like this:

“I’m sitting in a field, wondering what to do. I could be ploughing the earth, preparing the ground for seeds, plants, and wonderful nourishing harvests. But I can’t do it alone. I need a tractor to pull me along, to lead the way, so I can do my job. Ah, here she comes, walking through the field; perhaps she knows where the tractor is. But no, I can see she thinks I’m useless, she’s passing me by.”

If this were your dream, and your retelling, you might learn that there’s a part of you capable of doing amazing work that would be very nourishing for you, but you are dismissing this part as useless. Now you understand this part a little more, ask yourself what you can do to work with it, to give it drive and direction, to engage this disused part of yourself for a nourishing outcome. You might identify the situation and the remedy and put it into action. Interpreting the rest of the dream can help throw more light. You can also help shift the situation energetically by applying dream alchemy*: reimagine the dream but this time see a tractor coming along to hook up the plough and get to work. Fast forward, in your reimagining of the dream, and see a plentiful harvest. Dream alchemy helps to reprogramme your unconscious mind (rewire your brain): in this case, to get these two parts of yourself working together.

When your parts resolve their differences, and work together, magic happens. The whole is more than the sum of its parts, after all.

* You can learn how to create the right dream alchemy for a dream in my Dream Alchemy course.

There are many other very effective tools and techniques that you can use to identify your parts and resolve issues. You’ll find these along with the other treasures you need to interpret your dreams in my How to interpret your dreams step-by-step course.


Jane Teresa Anderson's Books

Jane Teresa Anderson

Graduating with an Honours degree in Zoology specialising in developmental neurobiology from the University of Glasgow, dream analyst and dream therapist Jane Teresa Anderson has been researching dreams since 1992, and developing and teaching dream alchemy practices that shift perspective and reprogram unconscious limiting beliefs. Jane Teresa is a multi-published author (her latest book is BIRD OF PARADISE), and appears frequently in the media on television, radio, and in print. She is also host of the long-running podcast, 'The Dream Show with Jane Teresa Anderson', and offers her online study and certificate courses through The Dream Academy.