Stampeded By  My First Love

This dreamer was writing a feature story for a local newspaper on dream work. She asked me about recurring dreams. I suggested that a recurring dream is often representing an issue that is unresolved in the dreamer's life. I asked if she knew someone who had recurring dreams. She said that she had experienced a recurring nightmare since childhood.  I asked if she would like to work on the dream as a way to experience dreamwork first hand. She reported the following dream:


"In the dream, I am standing on a path in a beautiful meadow. It is a summer day and the meadow is full of beautiful flowers. A number of horses are grazing in the meadow. They suddenly stampede in my direction. As they bear down on me, I fall backward on the path. I awake from the dream just as the horse’s hoofs crash down on my face." 'That was when my parents got divorced and they sent me to my grandparent's horse farm."


“Are you aware of yourself in the dream now?”


“How old are you in the dream?”

“Oh, I’m four years old.  I didn’t realize that.”

“What was happening when you were four and feeling that way?”

“That was when my parents got divorced and sent me to my grandparent’s horse farm.”

“What are horses for you?”

“They are my first love.  Ohh!  I see.”  (long pause).

“Let’s go back to the dream. Can you see yourself there now?”


“What’s happening now, in the dream?”

“I  see the horses stampeding. I feel the terror. I’m falling backward as the hoofs come down on my face. I jump out of the dream. It is just like when I dream it at night."

"Okay, let's go back again. Only this time, stay in the dream. Don't wake up. If you can do anything differently, what do you want to do?"

"In waking life, I am an expert rider. I could wait for the horses to ride by and grab one of the horses and pull myself up on it's back. I might be able to save myself.”

“Go there right now.  Do you see it?”

'The horses are bearing down on me. I reach up and grab a mane of a big chestnut horse. I am pulling myself up on his back. Wow! I feel on top of things for the first time. I feel his power beneath me holding me up."

“What do you want to do now?”

"I want to ride off. Oh! I didn't realize how much anger I felt toward my parents for leaving me."

“What happens in your first love experiences?”

Every time I come close to a first-love relationship I feel stampeded and crushed, just like in the dream."

“Can you see how you can respond differently now?”

“Yes, I do.  It feels so much different at this moment.”