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Once or twice a month I am bolted awake in the middle of the night by a dream of a prowler standing outside wherever I’m sleeping that night (home, hotel, a friend’s guestroom). The prowler is fumbling with the locks on the door to my room. Suddenly he’s inside… I hear his footsteps… he’s turning the corner… he’s standing above me… I can see his outline…I feel him reaching for me…I bolt up in bed. I’m too frightened to remain unconscious; I need to find out whether the prowler is a rapist, a burglar or even a friend who’s come to tell me something.

I’ve discovered a pattern to my “predator” dreams. They usually pop up in my unconscious world when there’s something I don’t want to face in my conscious world. Something I’m avoiding. Something I would rather run away from. The predator comes to shake me to my senses, leaving me sitting upright in my bed asking, “My Lord, what was that all about?” That’s enough to make me rummage through my mind to discover what’s inside that wants to move from periphery to the center of my consciousness. Mind you, I didn’t say that I am willing to deal with whatever it is. I just said that the startled feeling the dream leaves me with prompts me that it’s time to look at it.

Perhaps you have a recurring dream that visits you from time to time. It may be a scary dream, or it may be hilarious in the way it patches together bits and pieces of your life that, on the surface, have nothing to do with one another but on second thought have everything to do with one another. One thing is for sure: Dreams bring us messages from our unconscious. They come to tell us about the places within us that are emotionally dissatisfied or satisfied.

Explore your recurring dreams right now by journaling about them and listening for what they might be telling you.

–Renita Weems

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