recurring dreamsRecurring dreams (those we see repeatedly for a long period) are the most important. With their help our subconscious wants to grab all our attention and prompt resolution of the issue it speaks of. The more intense is a dream, the more attention we need to pay to it. The basic idea of these dreams is a problem we are concerned for a long time or an important message that we have not completely understood but our conscious continues sending it to us until we fully get it.

Most recurring dreams and nightmares we had at our childhood and adolescent age. It makes sense because of our transition to adulthood.

These dreams are trying to tell us that we need to fix some things because they negatively affect us psychologically. These may be our behavior, problems that concern us, features of our character. The continuation of these problems without being solved can even cause unpleasant effects on our mental health. Unfortunately, the everyday stress in our lives never seems to stop.

“Bad” elements hunting us in our dreams, whether they are demons or monsters, according to Carl Jung who called them “shadows”, may represent parts of ourselves we criticize and try to eliminate either intentionally or without realizing it. Once we accept these “shadows” and unite again with these pieces of our personality, then they will stop chasing us.

In addition to general recurrent dreams Carl Jung has found that there are some recurring patterns or specific objects in dreams. Usually they repeat when a similar incident happens in our life. For each person the interpretation of these recurring symbols may be different because everyone combines it with his personal experience or perception of events.

Here are some common recurring dream motifs and their interpretation:

Pursuit or attack.

The hunter represents a part of ourselves we are afraid of. An extreme version of unacceptable part of our personality, which will benefit us if we expressed it appropriately.

Free fall.

Feel heavy, lack of support, worry about something? How to feel free, lightweight? Maybe we should ‘land’ in reality?

Car out of control.

Is life too fast? Are we losing control of things? How can we get things more slowly and just calmly enjoy the trip?

Unprepared, late, failure to test.

Feel unprepared for an approaching event? Do we worry without reason or really want more preparation to feel more confident and do a good job?

Feeling unable to speak or move.

We feel that we are trapped in our lives with no way out. It goes nowhere and we can’t act according to our true feelings.



Shame of being naked in public, although nobody seems to notice it.

In which part of our life do we feel lack of confidence and skills? The fact that others do not notice our shame means that only we see ourselves like this and usually are wrong about it.

Trapped, locked in.

When do we feel trapped/stuck in life? How to create a new perspective and explore new ways to act?

Unable to see people’s faces but knowing who they are.

This pattern may have several interpretations. It may refer to ourselves, symbolizing the search of our identity, the process of exploring our own personality.

Also it may reflect our relations with other people: feeling alone in the crowd, unable to reach understanding with other people, feeling different from them. According to Sigmund Freud, faces in dreams represent the individuality of people. Seeing the world without faces in our dreams, we deprive the others of their individuality due to our fears, lack of confidence, problems we face dealing with people in our life. It works as a defence mechanism which helps us avoid being hurt by others.

Being lost, unable to reach a destination or fulfill a task.

Dreams of being lost and unable to find the way somewhere speak of frustration. Sometimes we want something or someone to go/act in a certain way, but they don’t. It certainly brings us disappointment and frustration.

Moreover, such kind of dreams may have to do with the feeling of ‘losing’ ourselves. Perhaps, it may be connected with a significant change in our life (for example, a loss of something or someone important for us) or we just feel ‘following a wrong path’. Sometimes our subconscious tries to tell us that what we do is not what we really want from life.



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Anna LeMind

Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website Learning-mind.com. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.