Dear Natasha,

For ten years, the same violent nightmare has been waking me up. What can I do?

Dear Restless,

Believe it or not, most nightmares want to help you. The good news is that once you understant the root of your nightmare and take whatever action is needed, the nightmare will cease.

Nightmares can be categorized into three main types. Reasons for them vary and sometimes overlap:

Single nightmares, bad dreams that occur only once, can be caused by

*your subconscious warning you to do or not do something

*your subconscious fears, whether real or not, about your current or a future situation

*negative reactions to food (I’m serious!)

Whatever the cause of your nightmare, you would be wise to pay attention to the literal or symbolic interpretation of the dream and take preventive action. You can follow the numbered steps below to assist you in interpreting the dream.

Recurring nightmares are caused by your subconscious trying persistently to get your attention. The nightmares are like messengers surfacing from the depths of your subconscious and knocking on the door of your conscious mind to wake you up (‘scuse the pun) ito a deeper truth. For example, when we are hurt, we get angry and then feel guilty for the angry thoughts. We then expect to be punished for those angry thoughts and fear the punishment we think we deserve. Your violent dreams, then, likely mean that repressed and unexpressed hurt/anger/guilt feelings are lying unprocessed in your subconscious mind. Excavating the root emotion, and reconciling the emotions around the event will set you free, and the nightmare will cease. Forgiveness of self and others is often the answer. However, you may need assistance in interpreting the symbolism of the dreams to help you access those deep emotions.

Psychic nightmares are caused by psychic attacks by low-life spirits that materialize in our dream state to scare us. Psychic attacks can involve “spinning” the feeling that you are being lifted into the air and spun around and around, unable to put your feet back on the ground. As in the previous story, children, especially more psychically sensitive children, are often vulnerable to low-life spirits who just love to mess with their energy while they sleep. Adults can also be susceptible to these opportunistic entities. Usually the low-life spirits attach to people who are:

*psychically opening up but still untrained and therefore vulnerable

*choosing fear over love

*experiencing a hole in their aura caused by:

-a lack of groundedness after giving power away to someone or something

-violated boundaries as the result of abuse

-co-dependency that has left them with no boundaries

-addictive behaviors and substances used to numb pain

-depression that covers a suppressed anger or a chemical imbalance

The psychically vulnerable can visualize themselves and their beds enveloped in a bubble, pyramid, or tent of white light before they go to sleep at night. Surrounding oneself or a child with light is a good protective measure against nighttime psychic attacks. And just to make sure, also invite the angels to come and watch over you or the child while you sleep.

So, dear Restless, though most of us rarely give credence to our dreams, the longer we ignore these messages the more intense the messages will become. The repetitive theme in your recurring nightmare can provide you with the learning that will set you free.

The following process will help you bring your dream to your waking state, consciously identify the message of the dream, and then take the necessary action. Once you are back in your power, the dream will no longer have any power over you.

1. Identify at what age the dream began.

2. Search your mind for the event or the fear that might have triggered the angst.

3. Write out the whole dream as you first experienced it. List your feelings throughout the dream.

4. Divide the dream into two parts:

a) the situation, for example, I am walking down the road.

b) what happens in the situation, for example, a bear starts chasing me.

5. Role play each character or object in your dream. For example, if you are the bear doing the chasing, what is your motivation? What message is each character (object, event) communicating to you-powerlessness, guilt, anger, hurt?

6. Ask yourself what you are really afraid of in the dream? How does it relate to something in your past or present life?

7. Imagine how you would re-write the ending in this dreamed sequence of events so that you overcome your fear and emerge the victor.

8. Rewrite the dream. Repeat the original beginning, but rewrite the ending the way you want the story to end. For example, I turn to face the bear and realize it is my best friend dressed in a costume having fun.

Now, having stepped into your power, you are the victor. Your dream antagonist’s aggression-which represents your fear in the dream-has evaporated, and you can experience peace.

Continue to let your dreams be your guides.