December 21, 2005 

"We are not only less reasonable and less decent in our dreams ... we are also more intelligent, wiser and capable of better judgment when we are asleep than when we are awake." —Erich Fromm

Dear Dream Zone, I dreamed that a tree had fallen on my house. I knew I’d have to leave the house because the foundation was moving away from the side of the hill that it was positioned into. For the first time in my life I would have to file an insurance claim. I knew the house was a total loss. —Grisela 55, Naples, FL

Lauri: Houses in dreams symbolize the self, your state of mind, and sometimes even your body. Since your dream house is in need of some repair, is there any part of you—emotional or physical—that is in need of repair? Trees in dreams mean family. Is there an emotional or physical issue that was somehow caused by family? Just as you have to give up your house in your dream, what do you have to give up in waking life? What do you have to leave behind? The insurance claim symbolizes the insurance you have in your friends and family. The strength they provide you is what you need to call upon right now. The message of this dream is that despite what you have to give up in waking life, you've got a strong enough support system around you to compensate for it. When one door closes another one opens.

Grisela replies: Your interpretation was on target and very helpful. It makes perfect sense that trees represent family. At the time of the dream, I was sick with a cold I caught from my grandson, which turned into acute bronchitis. Also, I was thinking about moving closer to family since I am single and getting older. The dream has helped me to make that decision with confidence before someone has to make it for me down the road.

Fascinating Dream Fact: In Scandinavian folklore, it is said that the soul leaves the body and explores the world. The experiences are remembered by the sleeper as a dream.

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