At every stage of life, our dreams offer insights into our state of mind and emotional progress. Even nightmares can offer guidance and suggest next steps for peace of mind.
I’ve always enjoyed my dreams and appreciated the “inside information” they’ve brought to me over my lifetime. As I scoot past the “golden years” and into the realities of old age, my thoughts and moods linger on the joy of being alive and the beauty of life itself. Many of my dreams seem to reflect this. They’re lovely.
On the other side is the unavoidable anxiety of knowing the end is approaching. I don’t dwell on this, but instead try to always look on the bright side of life.
Anyway, I’ve been lucky - I haven’t had many nightmares, but this recent dream fits that description:
I’m in my car and I’m coming up to a stop sign. I step on the brakes, but the car doesn’t slow down. I press harder on the brake pedal, but no response. The car keeps rolling forward. It even seems to be picking up speed! Now I’m pumping the brakes, but it’s no use! I know I can’t stop in time.
Then, I’m in the back seat of the car. I can’t even reach the steering wheel now and we keep rolling forward. Then someone climbs into the backseat with me. He’s menacing. He has a rope or something like it twisted between his hands and he’s going to strangle me! That’s when I woke up, thank goodness!
Not Fair to Get Nightmares Now!
Dear Not Fair,
It’s wonderful to hear of your lifelong enjoyment of your dreams. Your experience will bear out the power of a dream’s metaphors to express complex emotions and circumstances with only a few images.
Your thoughts of what the future holds may have triggered the images of this unpleasant dream. In keeping on the bright side of things, you try to avoid thinking about the inevitable. So, your dream plays out the feelings you suppress in your waking life.
In your dream, you’re frantically trying to slow your forward progress. The stop sign you’re approaching suggests a threshold you’re bound to pass. And as you’ve said, you cannot stop advancing, no matter how hard you try! Adding to the feeling that things are out of your control, you find yourself in the back seat, unable to steer or even reach the brake pedal.
Then, bringing overt fear, a grim reaper-like character has joined you in the back seat with only one thought in mind. It’s an unpleasant, but straightforward scenario.
It does seem unfair that you should have to face these fears in your dreams. To remedy this, you can bring those thoughts and concerns into the light of day. Consider talking more openly with a trusted friend or counselor. Your family members may be more adept at listening and understanding than you would think. You have the capacity to deal with the coming phase of your life with dignity and grace, Dear Dreamer. Your dreams will reflect your new approach to the future.
Sweet Dreams to You!
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