A common theme in dreams involves finding yourself naked in a public place. This is a really important clue about how you see yourself in society, or what we call the “collective” in dream speak.
Clothes in dreams generally represent your persona. The adaptations we make to be in society; the personality that you wear for other people. It is how we choose to portray ourselves in front of others so that we feel accepted. In dreams we take notice of the style of the clothes. Are they dated? Do they fit well? How do you feel as you wear them? What are they made of? Are they the colors you would normally choose to wear? Those descriptions are what we call signifiers in dreams. Adjectives are important clues about what the unconscious mind is trying to communicate to you through your dream.
Most of the time you don’t really notice what you are wearing in your dream, which is fine; unless remarkable, the clothes are just part of the wallpaper of your dream, not really important and not a part of the message your unconscious mind is trying to communicate.
When the clothing is ill fitting or badly dated or inappropriate we then understand that this is what we call a “wobble” in the dream. A wobble in dream speak is something that is obviously out of place or not normal that your unconscious mind (or UM, as I call it) has placed in your dream to get you to pay attention. So if you are wearing a tutu and are not a ballet dancer then that would be a wobble. The color indicates the mood of the dream. Pink would be a feminine aspect and red would be emotional and most likely mean anger. Was it age appropriate? These descriptions indicate what time in your life you are reviewing. Is it too tight or too loose? If tight, this might mean you feel constricted or constrained; if loose, that you have diminished in your capacity to fit into the “ballerina” role of your past.
If you find yourself in a parade as I once did, walking comfortably out in front of a throng of people with bold messages written on your body, then this is great heads up that you are making a declaration of independence from the human collective. Because you don’t need to put on any personas at all and in fact you are “wearing” your personal message to society on your own billboard – your body. Your UM is telling you that at this time in your life you are comfortable to inhabit the skin you are in without adornment, without adjustments to your status in society.
But say you are only half naked? Then you have to pay attention to the “exposed” body part. The breasts being bared could mean a mother complex, which is everything that you thought your mother expected from you (which is why we call it a complex), or it could mean that your nurturing traits are being highlighted. For men, this may be less of a nurturing aspect but more a sign of being informal. Pantless? Genitalia feeling the breeze? Then there is definitely a sexual or gender issue being displayed. The crucial aspect of any dream is how you feel in it. Confident? Ashamed? Found out? Normal? Then that is what your UM is trying to tell you about what you are processing. Feeling comfortable with baring your breasts at a luncheon only means that you are confident in your nurturing/mothering capacity, not that you are trying to vamp the waiter. When you find yourself starkers at a charity benefit and are trying to dash around covering yourself with tablecloths, that may mean that you feel that you need to cover up your true self because of an issue that has come to the “table” of your life.
Someone else prancing around like a streaker from the 70s? In most dreams, everyone in your dream is a different aspect of yourself. Those other people are just components/programs of yourself that represent adjustments that you made to be who you are in the world. So if another person in your dream is naked, ask yourself what three traits or characterstics come to mind when you think of them. Even if you don’t know this person, what is your impression of them? Those three characteristics are the part of yourself that is being displayed without persona, coverup, or masking. This is common when you dream of the collective (your society) and all or some of your components are naked at a swimming pool. The swimming pool represents your unconscious mind. It just means that one of more of your programs/components is showing themselves for what they truly are, because the adjustment/masking of a persona is not needed anymore. The unconscious mind is saying to you, “See this? This exposed part of yourself? Look at it and see it for what it is.” This is when the conscious mind, the awake one, can then make decisions about whether this part of you is actually a desirable trait that you want to keep in your unconscious mind. This is a truly amazing opportunity to work in tandem with your unconscious mind about choosing what you carry around in your UM. Think of it as a sort of showdown. A part of your UM is saying, “Yeah this is your adaptation, see me for what I am, up front and in your face. Now what are you going to do about it?” When you have this type of “acting out” by one of your programs, it’s a sign that you are about to choose how you operate and decide if this program still serves you. If it doesn’t, you can consciously begin making changes in your unconscious makeup. This usually means that component/program needs to go; otherwise, it may end up running the show — your show.
A friend of mine was raised each summer in a naturist community, so the significance of being naked in their dreams would be much less a proclamation of self-esteem but more of a statement of status quo. As dreams are very uniquely crafted by our individual unconscious minds we ALWAYS look at who is having the dream. What may mean a particular thing to one person may mean something quite different, or nothing at all, to another. That is why a good dream analyst is always asking questions like a good reporter. What time of day is it? Where are you? Who are you with? Do you know these people? If so, how would you describe their character to a stranger? All those answers help reveal what the dream is about. My book Dream Analysis Handbook explains how to successfully understand the true meaning of your dreams and can help you learn how to do it for others as well. Most books will say that one thing only means one thing… and that is just flat out wrong. We are all uniquely affected by the world we have passed through and our unconscious minds, like snowflakes, are unique, and so too is the meaning of our dreams.
However, there are certain common themes in dreams that generally can be interpreted correctly in a broad sense, such as being naked as a jay bird at a pool party. You are just enjoying your natural self in your conscious state as well as your unconscious mind. Good on you.
You can learn more about dreams in my book Dream Analysis Handbook, you can look up what last night’s dream meant, because Dreams Speak to us all; we just need to know the language.
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