I have a fear of lions.
This fear does not stem from an actual encounter with a lion, but rather due to a reoccurring dream I have about lions.
In my dream I am being stalked by a lion.
No matter where I go or hide, he always finds me.
Around every turn, through every door, he is always there waiting for me.
It is impossible to escape the lion that is following me. I try everything imaginable, but the lion is still behind me.
The lion is never aggressive or attacks me, but I always present watching me, knowing he can get me any time he wants.
This dream is so real to me that it manifests this fear in real life.
Whenever I am at Como Zoo, for example, in the back of my mind I am always afraid that the lion will escape, and as I am fleeing the zoo I will round a corner and there he will be, staring at me and waiting for me.
Not many people know about this dream or my fear of lions, but it is a dream that I have had since childhood.
Most dream interpretations say that to dream of being chased by a lion represents that there are aspects of myself that I am running away from. That I want to change my life, but I continue to choose a path of destruction instead.
Another common interpretation of this dream is that being chased by a lion can also indicate feelings of aggression and anger that I may have towards others in my life. If I have been locking up these emotions inside, they will often find their way out through my dreams.
I am the first to admit I do not put much stock in these dream interpretations. They are written so general and vague that the reader can find a way to apply their ‘meaning’ to their life in some way.
At the same time, there may be some truth to this that applies to my life.
In the past I have been very self-destructive, using drugs and alcohol to excess to numb the internal pain I was feeling.
It was easier to numb and run away from my pain, than it was to confront my demons and deal with them.
Throughout most of my life, I have felt inadequate, unwanted, and unloved.
I would find ways to sabotage any success I was having in life to fit the narrative I had created in my mind.
And there lies the problem, what I was feeling inside was not reality. It was a manifestation of my internal fears about myself that I allowed to become real.
I was stuck in a self perpetuating negative feedback loop where through my actions, I would create a reality that fit what I believed about myself.
Like the movie ‘Inception’, I was stuck living within my own dream that I lost the ability to differentiate what was real and what was the dream.
Even though my mind created this fear in the first place, maybe my mind also sent me that lion at night to warn me that I needed to change the path I was on.
My dreams of lions have faded.
As I have grown comfortable and confident with who I am, the lie I had told myself for years has faded also.
No longer do I rely on others for acceptance or approval.
I know who I am, what I believe in and stand for, and I love that person.
My fear of lions still exists, and every once in a while that lion that haunted my dreams for so many years makes an appearance.
But he is never stalking me or chasing me.