I have had a reoccurring dream for quite sometime--since childhood, really. Sometimes it occurs in places I know and sometimes places I've never been. Sometimes it involves people I know and sometimes, often times, I'm surrounded by strangers. Either way, it's always the same dream.
In this dream, a group of people are always calling to me to come play with them in a swimming pool (last night, it was in Greece overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and it was glorious) and despite the fact that I normally would never just jump into a pool, I do so willingly and happily. We play volleyball or splash around a bit, enjoying the refreshing, cool water until I realize I have a
little huge problem.
100% au naturel.
I momentarily freak out trying to remember what happened to my clothes. I had my clothes on when I got into the pool, where did they go?? I wrap my arms around my body doing my best to cover the essentials and hope that the ground swallows me up. However, when I look around, no one seems to notice.
I splash around a little and even keep playing and no one... and I mean not a soul, seems to notice my appalling display of public nudity.
I'm always curious to know if when I reemerge from the pool if I'll be clothed, but I've never made it that far... stupid alarm clock. Anyway, it really got me thinking about what this could mean and if I'm right, I think a lot of people experience this same issue:
To me, the water signifies a new environment and the fact that I always dive right in without hesitation implies spontaneity, which, as a planner, sometimes stresses me out.
The absence of my clothing evokes a feeling or fear that an insecurity or vulnerability will be revealed before I'm ready and I could possibly be ostracized for it. To me, the whole dream is a metaphor for a subconscious fear that while I'm enjoying life and continually moving out of my comfort zone, I may encounter some element of the unknown and won't know what to do when I'm thrown into a new environment. What's worse, I'm apparently terrified that someone will figure out that I don't know what I'm doing and call me out. But, like I said, no one ever even notices.
While as a child I couldn't get over the fact that Dream Nicole was exposed in public, as I've matured I've come to realize that it's not the actual nudity that makes this dream so memorable. It's the fact that even when I feel most vulnerable and afraid, people probably won't notice if I'm just confident enough to realize that I belong there just as much as anyone else, regardless of my feelings about myself. I bet the same goes for you!
Maybe you spend time actively thinking about your fears, rather than dreaming about them, but so many of us are afraid of looking like a fool in given situation that we're afraid to leap and end up spending our lives poolside.
Dive in. The water is perfect.