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Dishwashers and Love

I enjoy interpreting people’s dreams. Armed with no training other than a deep interest in people, a love of Carl Jung, access to internet, and a strong affinity for analogies, I like to leverage what I do have into interesting narratives that sometimes strike a chord (even if only with me!).

This was one such interpretation, and one where I didn’t lean on the internet tool (since “dishwashers” seemed too modern to have much depth in interpretation beyond what I might be able to pull out).

Anyway, a friend had had a dream about her and her shadow emptying a dishwasher. And here’s where I landed:

Dishes are like the parts of ourselves that love. They start out perfect, shiny, clean. And we use them in a way that gives us so much pleasure, and sustains us.

But when we’re done, they’re a mess. And we can’t use them again right away. Doing so would sully the next meal. And the longer we try to keep reusing them, the dirtier they would become, soon even rancid and dangerous.

So we need to put our dishes in the dishwasher. And as we go through a period of renewal, all we can do is wait (or work, if you’re a handwasher!). Time is the key component, even if there’s a numbness in the meantime…

But eventually we can empty the dishwasher. And the dishes, those parts of ourselves that love, come out clean and sanitized, ready to be used again, in joy and connection and sustenance.

But one key component is to know that our dishes are reusable. Even if sometimes we feel like our plates are made of paper, and after we eat they can never be used again; or if we feel we’ve broken our dishes in the process of messy eating — they’re more durable than that, and may just need the “heavy wash”.

And the shadow helping my friend empty the dishwasher? Sometimes we empty the dishwasher too early, and make a mess—but sometimes we also leave the dishes in far longer than we need to, in the fear of what they look like. And in that case, I feel its often our shadows, the dark parts of ourselves, that become the helping hands in saying “It’s time to put these puppies back to use.”