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Coping with Repetitive Dreams

dreamNot everyone is a “dreamer.”

However, I am.

What I mean is, I have always had exceptionally vivid dreams. In fact, sometimes the dream-me can pack in several different dreams in a single night.

Often (and increasingly as I get older) I also have repetitive dreams.

While I do realize here that scientists are moving ever closer to understanding the possible biological nature of the human dreamscape, they are not moving quite fast enough for my liking.

So instead of continuing to wait, I have chosen to adopt a different strategy for dealing with my dream life, and especially for dealing with repetitive dreams, and most especially for dealing with repetitive disturbing dreams.

I’ll give you one example of a repetitive disturbing dream I am having frequently right now:

I am back in my anorexic years. My family life is in shambles. My folks and I are at continual loggerheads. I want to die and I also want to live, and I have no idea how to accomplish either. I wake either right before or right after my parents and I have the “argument to end all arguments” and I am leaving the house with nowhere else to go.

That is the dream, in a nutshell. I’ve already had it two nights this week alone. 

But this morning, feeling frustrated with the continual dream-time return to a period of my earlier life I am soooooo glad is over, I remembered a tactic that sometimes works to end these repetitive dream cycles.

I asked my younger dream-self, “What do you need from me? How can I help?”

She answered me right away (this too is typical when I use this strategy – I never have to wait long for a very clear, succinct answer).

What she needed from me was to hear me – my current self – say “thank you.”

She also needed me to list specific things I was thankful to her for – including her dogged persistence in believing (on my behalf) that someday the painful days would finally be over….and would be worth waiting for.

Finally, she needed me to let the old emotions go.

The anger, the rage, the fear, the hopelessness, the depression, the blame and shame and guilt – she needed me to allow those feelings to pass up, through, and out of my present-day system so that both of us could finally find peace.

Once I did all of those things, her instructions ceased.

I felt reconciliation flowing to me from that period of my life and from my earlier self.

Then I fell back asleep and awoke rested.

Today’s Takeaway: Do you have vivid and/or repetitive dreams? Do you have any strategies for decoding or dealing with them? What do you learn from witnessing your own dreams? Do you have a relationship or an “understanding” with your dream life?

Dream image available from Shutterstock.

Coping with Repetitive Dreams

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Songwriter. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2014). Coping with Repetitive Dreams. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Jun 2014
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