Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat or breathing heavily, saying to yourself: “I just had a dream of someone trying to kill me and my family.”?
This is probably one of the most traumatic dreams anybody could have. After all, the nighttime vision that you had doesn’t just involve someone trying to kill you.
Most people could agree that such a dream can be very traumatic, especially if you see the weapon. You can feel the tension and suspense.
In fact, some people even dream of hearing ominous and fear-inducing sounds in addition to someone trying to kill them. It’s as if this mental image has some sort of soundtrack.
Maybe they’ve seen one too many horror movies. But on top of that, there is this added layer that is sure to grip anybody emotionally. The dream involves someone trying to kill you and your family.
It’s one thing to be threatened with death. It’s one thing for somebody to try and kill you.
But when your family is involved, all bets are off.
And it’s no surprise then that when people have a nighttime vision of someone trying to kill them and their family, they blank out. They just wake up all emotional, fearful, and maybe anxious.
But pretty soon, they forget about it because there’s a point where the image of someone trying to kill, not just yourself but for everybody you love, activates some sort of emotional and psychological breaker switch.
This is what makes this type of dream so complicated. While people can recover from all sorts of situations where there is some sort of killer instinct or a killing possibility, this type of dream image is hard to unpack.
Someone trying to kill you and everybody that you love or somebody close to you impacts your subconscious mind in a very pronounced way.
Your subconscious mind may indeed be showing something to your conscious mental faculties, but the emotional payload may be too strong.
After all, we’re dealing with a member or a few people from your family. To say that this cuts close to home is to put it lightly.
The General Sense of This Dream
So, how do we unpack this? How do we make sense of someone trying to kill someone you know who matters a lot to you?
It’s All About Your Family
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that this is not a typical murder dream.
I think you know what I’m talking about. It’s a dream where you get shot or somebody lunges at you and tries to stab you. That kind of dream might even involve you being chased around by zombies or cannibals.
When you’re in that type of situation, you are emotionally engaged and you’re frightened and anxious, but you know it’s a dream. You’ve been through a rough emotional roller coaster, but it’s still a dream.
There’s a sense of relief that you get. It kind of washes over you like a nice, hot shower after you do something strenuous.
This, however, involves your family. This involves people you’ve trusted with your emotions. This involves people who you fear you’re going to be separated from.
There’s a lot going on here because the moment there’s a family member involved, your protective instinct also comes into play. This is not just a neutral sign of harm and anxieties that you may be feeling.
The Good News: It’s Not a Prediction
Now, before we get into the heavy meaning of what this dream symbology usually points to, I just want to make it clear that when you have this type of emotionally draining, subconscious experience, your non-waking or nonconscious mind is not predicting the death of yourself or your family.
Let’s just get that out of the way.
Sure, you may have seen them get killed. You may have heard the screams. You might have even felt a lot of fear when you see the knife or the trigger being pulled.
But what’s happening is that your mind is using the fear of impending death and what it means to draw your attention to the state of your relationship.
Pay close attention to the person you’re with when you dreamed of someone trying to kill you or your loved one. Also, pay attention if you dreamed of a death in the family.
This is not a typical death. We’re not talking about cancer or any disease that takes months to progress. We’re talking about somebody who had their life snuffed out of you.
Usually, when you see a killing play out in front of you, your mind races for one answer after another. It’s very easy to give in to this toxic stew of emotions and fear.
Believe me, fear is chief among them. It is after all a terrifying image.
But it all boils down to your family relationship. So, let’s start there.
Blind Spots in Your Relationship with Your Family
When you’re unpacking this type of dream, you know your subconscious is telling you that there’s something fundamentally wrong with how you process issues with your relationships, or you are completely ignorant of a reality in your relationships that others can see but you’re blind to.
None of these situations is good.
Become More Aware of How You Process Others’ Influence on You
A lot of people tend to become the people they surround themselves with. As the old saying goes, birds of a feather flock together.
Have you ever noticed that your successful acquaintances or friends tend to hang out with each other? Similarly, people who have a certain outlook on life tend to form groups.
Maybe they make more money. Maybe they see themselves presented with more opportunities. Maybe they just have a better personal outlook on life.
Whatever the case may be, pay attention to these connections. You may be the type of person who is lucky enough to be connected at some level or other at varying levels with different groups of people.
If you are, then you are in the best position to know that attitudes are infectious. In fact, one of the most common pieces of advice that mature and successful people give to others who are trying to move up is to hang out with people you want to become.
This is the reality of your situation and if you’re not conscious of this, seeing somebody trying to murder you and your family members in a very enclosed space should be enough to wake up your sleeping mind.
You may be unaware of this because of the dynamic I’m going to describe below.
Pierce That Bubble
When you are in a bubble, everybody looks and sounds the same. One of the most annoying things about social media is that you have to be very careful about the content you choose to “like.”
Maybe you clicked the heart icon or the thumbs-up icon or something else. It doesn’t matter which because the moment you do that, you trigger the algorithm of the platform you’re on, and pretty soon the content you are exposed to starts fitting a certain pattern.
This is not an accident. Facebook and other platforms are learning what you prefer and what you avoid or choose not to see. The same applies to your relationships, your attitude, your preferred feedback from the Universe, and everything else.
And unfortunately, most people are not conscious of this. They think that this is reality. But in truth, there’s a lot you’re not seeing because you have allowed yourself to be blind to it.
This is all a question of habit which starts off as a choice. This is learned behavior.
And if you understand this, then you can see the context in which your not-so-conscious mind is trying to communicate to you. Your interpretation of your reality seems, shall we say, less than ideal.
And it’s already having an effect on your health or at least on your interpretation of reality to the point that it may be getting in the way of you living up to your fullest potential.
Be Conscious of the Outcome You Desire
Now that you are aware of what truly is going on, the next question that you need to answer is:
“Am I happy with what I have? If these are the way I’ve laid out the cards in my life and these are, shall we say, the ‘reality sunglasses’ that I choose to see my life through, am I happy?”
Now, the answer to that, of course, should not just involve stuff that is one foot or even ten feet ahead of you.
Instead, you have to ask yourself:
“What do I value? What do I find important? Where do I see myself? Who do I want to become?”
The list actually is quite endless because it impacts everything. I’m not just talking about your health. I’m not just talking about your mindset, your psychology, your spiritual dimension. I’m talking about everything.
So, give yourself time to look at your life with, as Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, wrote, “the end in mind.”
Imagining Your Funeral
Imagine yourself about to be lowered into the Earth during your burial. How would you like people to remember you? Looking back on your life from that vantage point, what kind of life would you like to have led?
Obviously, I cannot supply that answer to you. This is a question that only you can answer.
But you have to be conscious about this. This has to be part of your daily search for meaning.
And this is what’s so terrifying about this type of dream imagery because perceiving that someone is trying to kill you or end you and somebody you care about brings a lot of your doubts, half-baked ideas, casually learned bad habits, and everything else front and center.
So, start there! Start with what kind of life you would have liked.
It might turn out that you may also like some other outcome, and if you honestly feel that, then you would have put your foot in the metaphorical door that would allow it to for greater and deeper levels of self-awareness.
Do Not Be Afraid to Open the Door to Full Self-Awareness
Aldous Huxley is often quoted by a lot of people who take psychedelic drugs. It’s easy to see why.
To paraphrase what he said: When the doors of consciousness are opened, the endless possibility of the human experience becomes visible.
We’re able to perceive what we’re truly capable of when we strip ourselves of conventional ways of seeing ourselves.
What Am I Talking About?
I’m talking about how you’re taught to look at your life. I’m talking about the values that were handed to you. I’m talking about the values of the people you surround yourself with that are reflected back to you.
You have to look past that.
And with this question in mind, you would be able to see just how wide a set of values are out there. You can choose from them, and then from there, you can then see the end in mind.
How to Determine Your Values
Is that something you can be happy with? Is there something better that you would like to strive for?
How much would it take to get from where you are to where you’d like to be? What do you have to sacrifice?
Would you be happy with who you will become?
Fear is a big part of all of this, but for us to become that someone, we have to ask these questions.
This might seem theoretical right now, but it has already played out in your life. What makes it kind of tragic is that you’re the last person to be aware of it.
Can you imagine how much better your life would be if you were more conscious of your choices?
Can you imagine which of your frustrations you would destroy if you just practiced a little bit more self-awareness?
This is one of those kinds of dreams.
Be Mindful of the Ultimate Death
There are many people walking around this Earth with tombstones in their eyes. They’re dead within because they chose to live out somebody else’s life.
Maybe your parents or even grandparents had visions for you. Now, I understand that you love them, but we are aware of what you’re giving up when you choose to live your life in the service of the pursuit of somebody else’s dreams, ambitions, and hopes.
People do this all the time and they do it with their eyes closed. They do it blind and they wonder:
“Why am I unhappy? Why am I less than fulfilled?
I have all this respect; people look up to me. I have all these diplomas on the wall.
I’m making all this money. I line in the nice part of town. I drive in an awesome car.
But why am I not happy? Why am I a hollow person walking around numb to the Universe?”
If you were to ask me, people with full bellies can afford to think this way.
But think of it from another perspective. If the highest point of your existence is just to go from day-to-day, are you really living?
This goes back to the hierarchy of meaning.
In the 1940s, psychologist Abraham Maslow came up with a pyramid of human existence. It is made up of several steps.
The base, of course, is all about physiological needs: the need to eat, the need to pay your bills, the need to have shelter. Sex is also part of this level.
And then on top of that is safety. You need to be secure so you can plan ahead. With it, you can dream without somebody killing you or stabbing you in the back.
And then, on top of that, is a sense of belonging.
What he’s getting at is that even if you take care of your lower needs, there is more to life.
And you really cannot say that you are really living to your fullest potential until you reach the point in the pyramid called self-actualization.
A key part of that stage is self-awareness — precisely the stuff that we’re talking about right now.
Sadly, a lot of people are content to live on their bellies like worms or snakes. They’re just looking from one payday to the next; one big room after another or a nice car to drive in, but they stay stuck at the bottom of the pyramid.
At the end of the day, what really matters is this:
Have you really lived your life according to what you consciously chose?
And it’s all up to you. Be aware that the worst thing you can feel before you pass away is that you haven’t really lived life.
You wasted it playing it safe. You wasted it focusing on your drives, and I’m talking about food, money, sex.
But There’s So Much Out There
Never underestimate the spiritual nature of your total being, and I’m not talking about religion because religion in of itself can be twisted and become a parody of its real inner truth and value.
So, you have to be careful there. It’s easy to confuse the wrapper with the substance because there’s a lot of richness in religion.
But in broad terms, I’m talking about the spiritual aspect of your life, and when you see yourself in a dream about to get killed or about to suffer death, or worse yet, to see your loved one about to die because someone is trying to kill them, pay attention.
Your subconscious and by extension the Universe is trying to send you a lesson, and it can lead to a personal breakthrough that might just give more meaning and shine a bright light on many other areas of your life.
In fact, this can be a breakthrough moment for you. It doesn’t matter whether you are only 18, or you’re in your mid30s, or even mid50s or 60s.
What’s important is you have reached this stage.
Dream Example #1
I woke up. It was a bad dream. I was dreaming that a masked man is trying to kill me together with my whole family. The feeling was unusual, I want to wake up immediately because I don’t want that kind of feeling.
I was in our home together with my family when I notice a man roving outside our house. It was odd because the man’s face is new to me. Never seen that face before, and it was suspicious to me, the way he looks.
I did not inform my parents because I knew they do not have any problems with our neighbors or other people. I went inside our house and joined my family to watch a movie like we always do after eating dinner.
After a few moments, a man with a mask entered our house with a gun and declared to kill us if we try to shout.
My eldest brother was in his room and had no idea of what is happening outside. My brother is hard-headed and has a reputation of being a bad boy in the family, he confronted the man.
The man pointed the gun at my brother and told him to raise his hand if he wants to live. My brother had nothing to do but follow what the masked man is saying.
The man is robbing us, then grabbed my mother’s hand and told her to get her bag in the room and hand it over.
Frightened, my mother immediately followed the man to avoid further argument. The man was scary. We can’t do anything but follow him. It was one of the terrifying moments I had dreamed of, and I want to end it immediately.
The masked man asked my mother to get her bag and hand it over. He did not stop in the bag. He also told my mother to hand him all her jewelry.
We are trying to think of ways to take the gun in his hand, but it is dangerous. We cannot put our lives at stake. Money will come and go but not our family because family is everything.
That is the only thing in my mind during that moment. I told my brother and other siblings to relax and follow the man’s order to avoid problems.
The man immediately left our house after getting what he asked. The safety of my family is paramount.
We are still grateful because none of us got hurt. We could have wrestled with the man, but we did not do it. I do not want my family to get harmed and injured. It was the best and wise decision we made.
The feeling is unusual. Though it was a dream, the thought of seeing your whole family in danger is disturbing.
It was a relief when I woke up knowing that it was a dream. I cannot even imagine if that kind of situation happens to my family in reality. I paused for a moment and returned to sleep.
Dream Example #2
This kind of dream brings out the hero in me as I save people, just like in a Marvel movie, and it is fair being an MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) fan.
This dream began with the news of terrorist attacks all over the country flashing on television. Apprehensive about the attacks, I with the help of my sister, was trying to block and seal all possible entrances.
We turned off the lights and were going to check the last place, the terrace door. I asked my sister to stay back while I climbed the stairs and found that the door was wide open.
It was frightening as the terrorist could have easily used it to find a way inside the house. I mustered up the courage and continued to climb the stairs until I had a full view of the terrace.
I was shocked to find men clad in black outfits landing on the terrace through a chopper that was silent as a grave.
My legs and arms froze for a while, disabling me from quickly locking the door. I regained consciousness just before a man in a strange black mask was about to enter.
I closed the door in the blink of an eye and rushed down. I grabbed my sister and ran to the ground floor where all the members were already waiting. I was running breathlessly, shutting all the doors behind me.
By the time I reached the ground floor, I realized my sister wasn’t there with me. I was scared to death. I had no time to speculate on the possibility of danger, as I had to save my sister without compromising the safety of my family on the ground floor.
I asked my family to equip themselves with all the possible weapons/tools in the house and call the police for help.
Quietly, I went to the first floor, fearing that any noise could attract the attention of those well-equipped terrorists.
I was carrying a Taser gun and a small knife yet was terrified at every step I took. I had not found my sister when I heard someone approaching the stairs. I was almost prepared to use the Taser gun but was glad to find it was my sister.
Tears were rushing down on her cheeks and on seeing me, she grabbed my arm and indicated I should run downstairs. I wasn’t prepared for the sudden rush and tripped on the stairs.
Before we could stand back on our feet, two men in black face masks grabbed us and took us to the terrace and the other three of the men went downstairs.
I panicked as my family was in grave danger and I was helpless at that moment. I knew that using my taser gun or knife, which had not been detected by them yet, could be detrimental to my sister as well as my family downstairs.
I did not resist, but my sister resisted, following which they used more force on her. It was unbearable to watch her being pushed and dragged, yet I was waiting for the right time to make a move.
When we were just about to reach the terrace door, I could hear sirens and so could those two men. Their attention shifted to the noise of the approaching police, and while they were confused about where to take us, I got the chance I was looking for.
I threw the taser gun towards my sister and sliced the throat of one man with the knife smoothly.
My sister was not quick enough to act and the other man was about to shoot her when I pushed him and my sister electrocuted him with the taser gun.
Now we headed downstairs together as our family was still in danger. My heart was racing due to the apprehension of the presence of those evil men at any step.
Surprisingly, as we reached the ground floor those three men were being arrested by the police.
My parents were smart enough to call the police in time. Finally, everyone was safe and I could breathe a sigh of relief. An adventurous dream indeed it was.
Dream interpretation and symbology have fascinated me ever since I read Freud’s classic, “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Ever since, I have explored Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist as well as Jungian psychological ideas about the meaning of dreams. Thanks for joining me in my exploration of the amazing intersection between our conscious waking world and the rich expanse of our subconscious-the home of our intuition, instincts, and hidden potential.