Yesterday I left a party around 12:30 in the morning, walked over to my car, and saw a man with a gun sitting in the driver’s seat.
I turned and ran.
Fortunately, this was a dream I had last night, not a real experience. Unfortunately, the dream didn’t end there. I ran and ran until I realized that the man wasn’t chasing me, and then I chased after him to find out who he was so I could report him to the police. Then he chased me and shot at me, then I chased him again. And so on. It was exhausting.
The point: When I encounter fear or antagonism in dreams, I run. I choose flight over fight.
When I was a child, I often dreamed of burglars breaking into the house. The vast majority of those dreams involved me opening my second-story bedroom window, crawling out onto the parapet, running into the woods, and covering myself in leaves to hide from the robbers. Yes, the impenetrable defense of leaves. That’s what I chose.
Are dreams representative of real life? I don’t know. My theory is that dreams reorganize your thoughts in the same way that a defragmentation of your computer sorts out all those bits and pieces that your brain hasn’t fully processed.
I think perhaps that these dreams could be applied literally to my life. I have an unnatural paranoia that someone will break into my condo, just as I have an unnatural fear that I will be robbed on my street. My plan for those situations? Run. (I’m fast.) Perhaps my dreams are reinforcing that plan.
What about you? When you experience antagonism or fear in dreams, what is your reaction? Fight, flight, or something else? How does that apply to the way you live your real life?