Dream of the Month (August 2002)
Dr. Holloway's Comments:
Identifying Characteristics: Ghosts in dreams may represent concerns from the past haunting us once more.
Essentially this is a dream about a close encounter with something fearful. While attempting to clarify your own thinking (vacuuming upstairs), you run across a source of anxiety that is shocking in its intensity. A young version of a ghost implies that you may be grappling with the effects of an old issue that has recently appeared in a new guise. Fears powerful enough to create discomfort often arise for what we consider good reason. Yet understanding our responses to fear may be one of the best and most viable avenues through which to stabilize a transition or support our healing. Your recognition that this must be a dream bodes well for your ability to see through illusions and transcend circumstances that might seem impossible at first glance.
When dreams seem to mock us, either by exaggerating conditions or making fun of our behaviors, there may be a kernel of wisdom imbedded in the uncomfortable presentation. The ghost who mimics your shock and fear is possibly a clue that it is time to take what psychologists would call “counter-phobic” measures. That is, either seek objective support regarding your concerns, or move slowly but surely in the direction that you would choose to if it weren not for the anxieties that hold you back. While this is hard and admittedly irritating advice, the dream does not show you grappling with insurmountable odds; it shows your process interrupted by a short dance with a phantom.