What Does Murdering in Dreams Mean?
Every so often I will meet a client who feels mortified to admit they had a dream of murder and yet desperately want to understand its meaning. Like any dream I hear, my 6 Point of Entry method will work, though it seems to me, especially when it comes to murder, killing, and dying, “play on words or puns” is often most effective. Much the same as we use them in our waking language, a pun or play on words will often reveal the dream’s meaning, and also leave us smiling at the fun of it.
You may already know that whether you remember your dreams or you don’t, dreaming is an internal, problem-solving conversation that takes place between your conscious and your unconscious mind.
Further, at the surface, every dream is triggered by a very specific waking situation in the dreamer’s life. It’s about something that either happened to you, or something that you thought about the day before you had the dream. Most importantly, it’s something that’s bugging you, and the dream provides a solution.
Because the solution to the problem appears in the dream before you get it consciously, if you understand: a) how to connect your dream to the waking life situation you were discussing with yourself and b) how to recognize a solution when it comes in the form of a metaphor, you can accelerate your problem solving!
Since you get the solutions to your problem faster when you know how to understand the dream, let me begin with some typical examples of dreams on this subject using puns and play on words.
One of my favorite examples is the woman who said, “I spent so much money on that handbag, if my husband finds out, he’s going to kill me.” And next thing was her sharing a dream about how a murderer was after her! It was not that someone was trying to kill her in a literal way. The dream reflected her worries concerning her husband’s reaction to the dreamer spending too much!
Other typical expressions we use that might trigger a dream and then also help point a dreamer to the discussion at hand are, a young man recounting the story of how he slipped and fell in front of so many people said, “I was so embarrassed I thought I would die.” This incident triggered a dream in which this fellow learned he was going to die.
We can’t discuss murdering in dreams, without discussing a “feelings” point of entry.
It’s fair to imagine that dreaming of murder will probably fall into the nightmare category.
Humans are self-regulating organisms; in other words, we are always in a state of balancing. Unexpressed feelings are a common predicate for a nightmare, and are a display of our regulation mechanisms at work.
The nightmare becomes the over-reaction to your underreaction; hence, a balance is created. This over-reaction is bound to succeed in grabbing your attention, which is exactly its intention. Hopefully, the provocation in nightmares is exactly what inspires a dreamer to take the internal conversation outside to waking life.
I, myself, recently had my first “murder dream”, in which I was in jail in the cell across from the doctor who did my angiogram. My test was a very painful experience for which I suffered almost a month after. Around that one-month mark, I had a dream in which I walked out of my cell and stabbed the doctor with a bread knife!
My dream was in response to the fact that I never expressed my frustration and anger towards him. It was the holding-in that triggered my murdering in dreams. The dream accomplished two goals in one swoop. The first that I expressed my feelings to the doctor. The second, appreciating the humor with which our unconscious often sends its messages, was the bread knife. It’s appearance so cleverly pointed me to my responsibility in the whole fiasco, that being the need to be more attentive to my eating habits!