“It’s a horrible dream and I have it ever so often,” said the dreamer. “I am in my childhood home and I go to bed when then the trouble starts. I hear sounds from outside and I realize there are no walls in my room. The house is wide open and I know a man will enter and harm me. In that moment I wake up with my heart beating like a wild horse and very afraid.”
It is not the first time I have heard a dream like this. Being chased or attacked is among the most common dream themes of all times. And women more often than men find themselves threatened by a hostile, male stranger. Quite often the dreamer wakes up before she faces the guy, just like this young female dreamer.
She had no memory of feeling or being assaulted in real life, neither physically nor verbally. And that supported my hunch that her dream was about a powerful energy she had repressed to fit in during childhood. The location of the dream is her childhood home.
There is always the possibility that the monster in your dream is a repressed part of yourself that is surfacing from the unconscious where it has been relegated to a life in the shadows. An unwanted, not accepted aspect of you. And that is exactly what this dreamer discovered when she decided to face her villain.
Jack Sparrow is a pirate. To the dreamer he is someone who does not give a damn about conventions. He is cheeky and charming and sails the seven seas. He does as he pleases and takes what he wants. He is everything the good girl is not. But they have one thing in common: They are not bad people. “Jack is a villain,” the dreamer said, “but he does not harm others.”
My young dreamer was pleased to finally meet this male aspect of herself. A kind-hearted rover, who cherishes freedom and questions the rules. And this kind of powerful archetype is what you run the risk of connecting with when you start listening to the unconscious. Chances are that you will enjoy it. And if you take time to integrate the archetype, the process will lead you to live with more integrity.
Dream work is one way to transform scary, precious energy so that it becomes a resource in your life. Feeding Your Demons is another. Whether you choose one or the other (or both), you will be blessed with the freedom of accepting yourself as you are without having to suppress, judge, cut out, or in any other way be aggressive with yourself.