Like being attacked, the dream of being chased, of running away from something or trying to hide is one of the most common as well as distressing dream themes. It is not uncommon after waking from a chase dream feeling stressed, anxious, or even exhausted as though we actually have been running all night! These dreams may involve long and complicated plots moving from location to location, or they may have just an intense feeling of needing to get away. You may be running, using transport, or seeking places to hide. All of these other elements give different clues as to your emotional state and what the thing is you are running from. Look at the other symbols to help piece together the meaning.
Being chased in a dream may occur when you feel under threat in waking life. These dreams may deal with the idea of being prey – perhaps if you feel you are being taken advantage of, financially, emotionally or in a work environment. Or to be chased in a dream may relate to the deep need to “run away” if it is the only means to end an intolerable situation. This may happen if you feel “stuck” in someway, or completely misunderstood. Chase dreams can also arise from things we wish to avoid, and may result from guilt or denial. Of course there is no way to really flee what we are feeling inside, but the the result we seek then is to escape, to feel freedom.
Also similar to attack dreams, chase dreams can be confronting to deal with. They often ask us the questions:
- What are you running away from?
- What do you not want to face up to in your life?
- Where are you feeling under threat or under siege in your waking life?
If these questions were easy to deal with, they would not have reached the stage in our dreams where we feel panicked, so don’t worry if these questions are difficult to answer at first. Learning to confront our fears, to face up to people or ideas that we find threatening or demeaning, or to admit our own bad habits and self destructive behaviour is one of the most difficult aspects of self development. How can we learn to be brave and strong when we feel intimidated, threatened, guilty or afraid?
The good news is, you can start to address these elements in the same way your dreams do – symbolically. As you work with your dream, you can “train” your subconscious, eventually becoming strong and certain enough that you can act in real life as you do in your dreams, and claim back your own personal power. Try the following exercises:
- Write a conversation with the person or thing that is chasing or following you, it doesn’t matter if you never actually knew what it was in the dream. Write it like a script or dialogue, letting the words flow freely. This will help you “face up” to your assailant
- If this dream is because you feel guilty about something, write your self a letter. First, one explaining why you did what you did, and how you feel about it, then another, to forgive your self and recognise that you can’t change the past, that making a mistake does not doom you forever, and that everyone will be better off if you learn to be happy and strong. Read these letters out loud then destroy them.
- Make a sculpture or drawing of your chaser. If it still looks scary and intimidating, draw or sculpt something on it that makes it look funny or ridiculous. Tell the person or creature they have no power over you any more.
You will know when this dream work starts to take effect as the chasing dreams change – either you will face the one who chases you, you will dream of getting away, or the chaser will change into something positive. And as these changes take place in your subtle, subconscious mind, so too should you feel a renewed sense of freedom, confidence and strength. Chase dreams invite us to stop running, to face our fears and recognise what is good and healthy for our life.
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