The Dream: Trapped in my stifling negative inner dialog

Trapped in my stifling negative inner dialog unable to breathe, move, or escape I force myself to wake.

I do myself great harm with this unrelenting waking narrative of self-criticism and thus cut myself off from the sacredness of my soul.

The wisdom of “Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” is fundamentally a directive to do no harm to the sacredness of life, including oneself. I spend far too much time chewing on my shortcomings and insufficiencies and too little with my strengths and resourcefulness. “I am sufficient”, though I don’t yet fully agree with that statement, I do know that at my core I am whole. However, my expectations for how to realize the fact of my wholeness gets in the way of my acting sufficient.

So I feel trapped, trapped in my own judgments and self-criticisms, feeling as in the dream paralyzed, breathless, and unable to move or escape the negative narrative.

The dream is also saying to me “How do I transmute these leaden thoughts into the golden core of my real self”? In the dream I see what I have sunk into and I pull myself out and awaken to my real self, my real life. “Be mindful” says the dream.

When the mask is removed

The nightmare:

I’m sitting on the floor in some strange place I’ve never seen before. It’s like a tunnel or underground bunker/cellar. A man comes out of nowhere and reaches behind my neck and rubs something on it. Why am I being targeted, what are they going to do to me? I know that I will soon be unconscious, so I slash his throat and start to run off to find some place to hide.


Do I not feel safe from my own inner dark side, my own unconscious mind? Do I need to protect myself? Am I letting myself become too vulnerable? Do I need to pay better attention to the darker parts of me? Do I need to focus more on the brighter aspects of myself and avoid burying myself too deeply into my darker aspects? Am I killing myself, my psycho-emotional self i.e., my self-esteem? Do I need to be more positive about myself and reign in the self-critic? What am I running from?

The underground is often symbolic of our unconscious mind trying to communicate with our conscious ego self through our dreams. Death in dreams is often referring to the end of something or the ending of a way of being. Being threatened often comes from feeling vulnerable or helpless.

Running away and trying to hide is an avoidance response to some action, danger, or event. Being myself, what some would call the authentic self, often results in me worrying about being rejected. But keeping the crafted persona or the mask on can be stultifying and limiting. 

The slashing of the throat could be about regretting a communication and wanting to cut off communication or the fear that some communication has threatened me or should be ended in the future. The throat or neck is the connector between the intellect and the body or heart. Slashing it severs the communication between heart and head, the fearful thoughts and the loving heart. Out of the fear of being rejected this what the head wants to do.

Recently I shared with a group of men parts of myself that I know are not necessarily acceptable or embraced by most people and after having hit “send” I almost immediately regreted having made myself so vulnerable and began to beat myself up for having shared so deeply. I tried to center myself but found that this wasn’t working. I read and reread the message I sent out trying to convince myself that this wasn’t a giant mistake. It wasn’t working either. The dream seems to be a response.

This kind of dream often shows up when I make myself vulnerable or spend too much energy criticizing myself and worrying if I’ve presented myself with too much information. When the mask comes off is a very scary place to be, freeing, but scary.

*some of these image interpretations come from Morpheus Speaks: The Encyclopedia of Dream Interpreting