THE CHASE DREAM
By MIMI PETTIBONE
Being chased is one of the most commonly reported dreams of all time. Some believe that it is actually coded in our genetic memory from a time when our survival depended upon escaping from predatory creatures. So in modern times, when a person is under stress, is it possible that these primal memories are coming up in our dream symbols? When we are under stress the fight-flight-or-freeze response is triggered in our adrenal system. This explains why we wake up with a pounding heart and covered in sweat from any scary dream, and especially from dreams of being chased.
The details of the dream story, the creature, person or object chasing us may vary between individual dreamers, but the basic theme of being chased is the same.
Our ancestors may have been running from scary animals, but the things we are running from today are more likely to be scary emotions, such as fear of not having enough money, feeling threatened by something or someone, or feeling overwhelmed by what’s going on at work or in a relationship. Even an illness or health crisis can be something that feels very literally life-threatening, and something that we are trying to run away from.
Dreams are a reflection of how we are feeling at the present moment. They are messages from our subconscious mind, knocking on the door of our conscious mind to get us to pay attention to something important that we have otherwise been trying to push aside, or have not had the time or energy to deal with. It doesn’t mean this thing is really ‘going to get you’, but simply that it feels a bit overwhelming at the present time and that it might be important to pay attention to.
If you have a dream of being chased, just acknowledging that something feels overpowering or scary in your life can be half the battle. Then taking some time to pay attention to whatever it is, dealing with it and taking care of your self in the best way possible, can help to alleviate these dreams.
Mimi Pettibone is a Hypnotherapist and Dream Interpretation expert in Seattle, Washington