Exhausted and frantic Emma runs for her life. She can feel the stranger literally breathing on her neck as she runs into an abandoned building and down a flight of stairs in frenetic haste. She can feel the cold rail as she grabs for it to not lose her balance. She suddenly stumbles down one stair as she loses her footing and miraculously finds herself back in step with the stairs. The stranger gets closer and closer and she can intuitively feel he has a weapon and will harm her if she stops. Gasping for air as he gets closer and closer, he grabs the back of her shirt to pull her in for the kill. Just then she wakes up in a sweat with a start. Emma has experienced the global, common and well-known dream imagery of being chased. This imagery is experienced by people of all ages and in every culture all around the world and has existed in the mind of humanity since the beginning of time.
Research and applied work on dreams and dreaming have revealed dream imagery to be directly connected to the dreamer’s waking life in some way. Paradoxically, being chased in a dream is both a global theme and a very personal one, at the same time. The imagery is common in that it’s often experienced by many and will manifest itself over and over again but the “message” is deeply personal to the dreamer alone.
One person being chased by a stranger may reflect the fear and anxiety of a new boss at work with a connection to someone who is literally “breathing down your neck”. Another may dream of being chased by a wild creature which can be linked to a childhood event that is now recurring again for that dreamer; “a predator” perhaps. In another instance, the perpetrator may be a relative or friend, indicating a direct message that this person is trying to harm the dreamer in waking day in some way. The work of the dreamer is to be aware of the imagery (e.g. don’t ignore it) and then slowly begin making the connection to waking day events.
Chasing dreams are a straight-forward survival mechanism so once a dream has been acknowledged the message or meaning will be realized in order to avoid mistakes or damaging events in waking life. Though the meaning may not always be obvious upon waking, after a few days or weeks the meaning will be manifested. If the dream is ignored and the message is extremely profound for the well-being of the dreamer, the imagery will recur. The dreaming mind is one of the greatest protection mechanisms for each and every person and will not let up if the dreamer is in eminent peril. So being chased in a dream is a very simple mechanism for alerting a dreamer of the potential for being harmed, which can be completed avoided or minimized, by simply heeding it’s message.
Dr. Teresa L. DeCicco is the author of numerous scientific articles and the books “Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Emergence of a Spiritual Being”, “The Giant Compass: Navigating The Life of Your Dreams” and “La Bussola dei Sogni”. See more of her work at www.teresadecicco.com