A Word on Recurring Dreams

Chances are at some stage in your life you have had a recurring dream.  This may have been a period where you dreamed of the same thing night after night, or it may be a very dominant symbol that seems to come back through-out your life at important times.
Recurring dreams are often trying to give us a wake-up call.  The message they have is so important that they insist on you paying attention, and will come back night after night until you:
  • either understand them and act upon them
  • inadvertently change your life which will also change the dream
  • or manage to suppress them so deeply that you might even stop remembering your dreams at all. 

I would suggest the final option is really not the best way to go!  Sooner or later the things you choose not to address in your life have a way of popping back up, maybe in the form of a nightmare, maybe with an illness or accident, maybe with some form of self destructive behaviour.

What repeating patterns are in your life?
What repeating patterns are in your life?

So how do you deal with a recurring dream then?  The first thing to realise is whether this is a normal dream to help you through a life transition, or whether it is the direct result of some trauma.  In the case of trauma, and repeating dreams related to this event, I would suggest that you please don’t go it alone.  Find someone who can help you and support you through this time.  Your dreams are a reflection of your subconscious mind trying to deal with what has happened.  Eventually, with time and help, you will heal, and your dreams will start to show you signs of resolution.  Your dreams can help in this process, but especially early on they can seem to be as bad as the event itself, so that it is always a good idea to have someone wise and caring there to support you as you go through the difficult period.

Many recurring dreams though, are not related to a specific trauma at all, and are simply the mind’s way of helping you make some important life change.  This can be at a transitional phase of your life, such as finishing school or university and preparing to become independent, at the start or end of a relationship or marriage, taking on a new job or new responsibilities.  Or it could be something much more internal, such as finally overcoming a long held fear, giving up a harmful habit or starting a new good one. 

If your recurring dream has come back after many years of being absent, ask your self how this period of your life is similar to when you had these dreams before.  Does the end of your relationship make you feel abandoned as you did when your parents divorced?  Does the stress of taking on a new job remind you of the nervousness you felt in going to a new school?  These kind of recurring dreams remind us how we coped with this situation last time, and give us hints as to whether we should use those skills again, or maybe try something new.  They do remind us that we survived last time, so we will be alright again this time.  But maybe we can do it even better than last time, learn from our old mistakes and have a second chance to get it right this time.
If you are having recurring dreams and not doing anything to change your life, look for ways you can.  If you keep dreaming of running from something, you might have to learn to face who or what is chasing you before this dream changes.  If you keep dreaming of crashing a car, you might need to learn how to gain better control of your life before this dream goes away.   These are just some examples, but the important thing to recognise, is that recurring dreams are urging us to do something, to wake up to ourselves and change the repeating patterns in our own life that aren’t getting us anywhere.
When you start to dream about the same thing that always appeared in your recurring dreams, but the ending of the dream changes, you are on your way to breaking the cycle.  As you grow and develop, so too will your dreams evolve to reflect the new changes in you. 
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12 Comments

  1. I don’t have a recurring dream, as such.
    But I do have a recurring theme.
    Hidden Rooms.
    The dreams, themselves, vary.
    But the image of a hidden room keeps showing up.
    This is new.
    I haven’t had this before.
    But it seems to keep coming back.
    And the hidden room is always in a place that would be impossible
    in real life.
    For example,
    in one of my dreams there was a hidden room
    on the other side of the kitchen a wall,
    which would actually be outside on our deck.
    but in my dream, the deck was still there outside,
    but so was the hidden room.

    To be honest,
    this doesn’t scare me.
    Nor do I think it’s about something I’m keeping “hidden,”
    like a secret I don’t want anyone to know about.

    Rather,
    I think it’s more like
    something new I’m to explore in life,
    something that, in my waking world,
    is still hidden from me.
    Like. . maybe take some college classes. ..
    . ..join some sort of special group or club. . .

    I just can’t figure it out. . .

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  2. Or maybe, Rubi, like a new part of your mind that you haven’t looked into before? The new mysterious world of dreams, that has been there all along, only you didn’t pay attention before…? When did this dream start hapenning? What else new did you start thinking about at the same time?
    I think you are right to not be afraid. Keep an eye out for how this dream changes as you start to pay more attention to the dream itself and other dreams as well. Will you dream of exploring this hidden room, and find what it has inside?
    I’d be interested to see how this dream evolves!

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  3. i have been having a weird recurring dream… more like a setting as well… it is always dark and i am always going up some stairs or a ladder, going up and down in a weird loop, the ppl in the dreams are always changing, but the setting is always the same, and it’s nto scary as much as i feel really bad when i wake up in the morning… and this feeling is with me the whole day… i would really like to know what it means!!!

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  4. I keep having recurring dreams of a person i know since childhood and i doing intimate things together… It’s driving me insane!! This person i know was close to me when we were young, but heading to our teenage years we drifted a part and hardly talk anymore. Can someone help me make sense of this? Is my mind trying to tell me i miss this person?? Coz In waking life i don’t even care that our relationship is estranged… i just want these dreams to stop.

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  5. Can you help me explain this one….. I have two recurring dreams that Ive had since I was a child.

    Recurring Dream #1: Uncle’s basements Hidden Secret Room

    I’m in my uncles basement (nothing like the real thing)I’m bringing a child with me to show them this hidden secret room that I found when I was a child. (In previous dreams when I was younger, I was by my self running or hiding from someone when I find a staircase which leads to a large secret scary bedroom with old furniture, a Big Canopy Bed and a HUGE bathtub/hottub) In the more recent one the staircase is not as long and I’m not running – but its still a little scary and a secret. There is a man and a woman sleeping (in seperate beds – they are not lovers) and they tell us that they are not allowed to leave, and they have to study and read all day long. Then I woke up.

    Recurring dream #2: Running away, Staircases:

    This once takes two forms, either in the employee only area of an aiport or in house.

    In the airport version I am usually running downstairs and often sliding down laundry dhoot type things. Its always grey and I’m always running away from someone.

    In the House version I always see lots of red, am running down various stairs and hiding and running through rooms (only one room per floor. I am often hiding in closets, behind doors, under beds and in bathrooms.

    Can you make any sense of these?

    Thanks!

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  6. well i been having this recurring dream (thats why i am here) and it keeps waking me up at 3:24 for 4 nights straight. i cant sleep and even dread going to sleep knowing that that dream awaits me. so i am trying to figure out what it means so i can change or do something to make it go away. but i need a little help so here is my dream. i am in maybe like a sandy area with a group of people from long ago. everyone looks like they are from Egypt, and there is a guy in a brown robe standing in front of the crowd holding a book. in front of him is a little Egyptian boy tied to a cross and he has his head bowed , eyes close, praying in some other language. the guy in the brown robe said some things from the book (every one speaks in a forign language) and he takes a match, lights it on fire and throws in on the cross with the boy. the whole things catches quickly and then the boy is screaming in anguishing pain looking directly at me. his eyes are gone and where they should be is just flames, his moth is open with flames inside screaming in such a way it hurts me. then i wake up at the same time of 3:24am every morning. i dont remember having anything big change in my life, so i have no clue what to do. please help me understand this dream i cant keep sleeping like this soon i will just stop sleeping because i cant handle this. you can email me at emmalou_778@yahoo.com if you can help.
    thanks

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  7. I have had a recurring dream for many, many years, although the situations have been different the theme is always the same, I cannot find my way home. However very recently it has started changing, two nights ago I found my way back, after many wrong turns then last night someone catapulted me through a door onto a train or plane that took me home. I am thinking these must be good omens! Maggie

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  8. I am “ASLEEP” . in my dream I am awake,, so I think I am, soon i can feel someone’s hands on me. then my body goes limp and, im still aseelp and not half awake at all, its pitch dark. sometimes I gain control and stand up with force sometimes im barely able to fight back and struggle on my bed and im pushed about sometimes i can fight back but I only beat the air (all wile still very much asleep). once I stood and corned the invisible all I heard was static like scream(still asleep) Sometimes the invisible pushes me away when I try to go through a door to help a friend or animal on the otherside of a room between us. I aways wake up able to move. in every dream it feels like a demonic presence. I know its not sleep paralysis for a number of reasons, like I can move both in dreams and as soon as I wake up, heart pounding. is this trauma dreams? Is my mind acting out? I feel really confused.

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