Recurring dreams hold a mysterious sway over our lives. While hiding in the background, they come to the surface repeatedly, forcing us to look deeper.

Recurring dreams (those we see repeatedly for a long period) are the most important dreams in our sleeping moments. With the help of these dreams, our subconscious grabs our attention and prompts a solution for a situation in waking life. The more intense the dream, the more attention we need to give.

The basic idea of these dreams is that there is an important message, something we’ve been concerned with for a long time. We don’t completely understand the message that our subconscious is sending us.

So, what are these dreams saying?

Most recurring dreams and nightmares originate from our childhood and the adolescent age. These dreams are trying to tell us that we need to fix some things that have a negative effect on our lives. These things could be our behavior patterns, limiting beliefs, or personality traits. The persistence of these problems without a solution could cause adverse effects on our mental health. Unfortunately, the everyday stress in our lives never seems to stop.

Negative elements haunting 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 get rid of. These are either intentional or may occur without us being aware of their existence. Once we accept these “shadows” and unite again with these pieces of our personality, then they will stop chasing us.

Common symbols in recurring dreams and their interpretation:

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

Pursuit or attack

The chaser represents a part of ourselves we are afraid of and manifests symbolically in being pursued or attacked. It is an extreme version of this unacceptable part of our personality, which will benefit us if we express it appropriately.

Free fall

Falling in a dream is quite common, so what does it symbolize? Feeling heavy, a lack of support, worried about something? How can you feel free, lightweight? Maybe you should ‘land’ in reality. Falling may mean that you have lost control in waking life.

Car out of control

Is life going too fast? Are we losing control of things? How can we slow down and enjoy the journey of life? Dreaming of being in an out-of-control vehicle can mean many things, including, just as falling, being out of control. Unlike the falling dream, a car out of control could mean feeling unable to pace yourself in an attempt to control your situation.

Unprepared/ late/ missed or failed at an exam

Are you feeling unprepared for an approaching event? Do you worry without a reason or do you really need more preparation to feel confident and do a good job? Dreaming that we have missed a test or that we are unprepared can simply mean just that. We aren’t taking care of our priorities and we are not ready for what’s coming next.

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. In life, we could be facing an identical situation, or we could be in denial of this situation and our dreams are trying to bring it to us.

Naked in public, although nobody seems to notice it

In which part of our life do we feel a lack of confidence and competence? The fact that others do not notice our shame means that only we see ourselves like this and usually are wrong about it. Our dreams of being naked in public are mostly based on being vulnerable or feeling like we are vulnerable. Self-confidence plays a huge role in this.

Trapped, locked in

When do we feel trapped/stuck in life? How do we create a new perspective and explore new ways to act? Being trapped in your dream means you need to wake up! You need to be more open-minded as well.

Unable to see faces but knowing who they are

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

Also, it may reflect our relationships with other people: feeling alone in the crowd, unable to reach an understanding with other people, and feeling different from them.

According to Sigmund Freud, faces in dreams represent the individuality of people. Seeing the world without faces in our dreams is how we deprive others of their individuality due to our fears, lack of confidence, and misunderstandings we face dealing with people in our life. It works as a defense mechanism that helps us avoid being hurt by others.

Being lost

Dreams of being lost often stem from 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 kinds 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 to us). Maybe we just feel like we are following the wrong path in life. Sometimes, our subconscious tries to tell us that we’re not getting what we really want from life.

Recurring dreams, while mysterious and strange, hold great meaning for our lives, and we should pay attention to what our subconscious mind is trying to say. If you can find a way to unlock all the hidden meanings, you could possibly take better control over your present and future life. As we sleep, we could just be solving problems and making room for better decision making.

Let’s hope so anyway.

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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