Nothing is as terrifying as seeing an angry lion chasing you. Dreaming of lions chasing you should concern you. You are not having an ‘ordinary’ dream.
You don’t have to look straight into its eyes to figure out what it wants to do to you.
All sorts of things raced through your mind and they all have one thing in common: certain death.
So if you’ve been dreaming of lions chasing you, you would easily be forgiven for thinking that something bad is going to happen in your daily waking life or that you’re going to be facing some sort of challenge.
After all, you wouldn’t be suffering from this type of recurring dream for no good reason.
You are absolutely correct, but not for the reasons you might expect.
General meaning of dreams about lions
If you are dreaming of lions, you are in the process of coming to grips with the power, strength, and magnitude of your emotions.
A lot of people may not think of themselves as particularly emotional people.
In fact, most of us would like to believe that we are rational and logical individuals.
At least, this is the story that we tell ourselves.
But in study after study, researchers have found out that people often make decisions based solely on emotional impulses.
Maybe they look at a Facebook ad or maybe they see something pop up when they do a search on Google.
Whatever the case may be, they buy primarily based on impulse.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
When asked to explain their decision, they come up with all sorts of rationales and logical-sounding explanations.
This is the human mind at work.
But the truth is, we are hostage to our emotions.
That’s how strong they are.
When you see yourself being chased by lions in dream after dream, your subconscious is trying to communicate to you that you are finally waking up to the side of your personality.
You’re finally understanding that when you make decisions based on emotions, the results are usually not optimal.
At best, you’re settling for cents on the dollar.
At worst, you really hold yourself back, or possibly even sabotage yourself.
Now it’s easy to say that we should master our emotions.
It’s easy to say that we should always respond to reality based on our highest values.
All that stuff is easy to say.
But you are what you repeatedly do.
And if you think about something traumatic that happened to you, how many times you were cheated before, or how many times you felt betrayed, and a decision comes up, you can be counted on to be swayed by emotions to make that decision.
Similarly, if you’re trying to think clearly about your day-to-day duties, responsibilities, or work, it’s easy to get thrown off track when somebody mentions somebody else’s name.
Maybe this person hurt you or broke your heart.
Maybe this person stole money from you.
Whatever the case may be, just the mere mention of that person’s name is enough to trigger a mental image of that person harming you.
Do you see how this works?
If you’re like most normal people, this has happened to you several times.
This is how people operate.
And when you see lions chasing you, your subconscious is telling you that you are waking up to your emotional decision-making and pretty soon, you may be able to control this aspect of your personality.
You may be able to rein in your stronger instincts so you don’t feel like you’re always giving in to an underlying emotional response.
Does this mean that there is absolutely no space for emotions in your life?
After all, emotions are your gateway to the unformed, the chaotic, the inspired, as well as the limitless reservoir of intuition and inspiration locked within you.
Emotions are crucial, but you have to deal with them in the right way.
They have their time and space.
On the other hand, if you were to let your emotions always get the better of you and you find yourself always giving in to your feelings, you probably will not live the kind of victorious, successful, and happy life that you feel you deserve.
How can you?
Either you are a victim of the past or you are a slave of future worries.
Neither of these situations is good.
You have to get your emotions under control.
And if you’ve been dreaming of lions chasing you, you are definitely on the right track.
What does it mean to dream of being cornered by lions?
If you find yourself with your back against the wall and you are surrounded by lions with their bared fangs ready to strike, your subconscious is telling you that you are finally understanding the true nature of your mindset.
A lot of us like to tell ourselves comforting stories like how much in control we are, how logical our decisions have been, or our ability to not be swayed by other people’s strong emotions or warped influence.
But these are personal fairy stories.
You know it, everybody knows it.
Because you are probably mature enough to understand that if you want to truly know somebody, pay attention to what they do repeatedly.
You can safely disregard the stuff coming out of their mouths because what they do on a day-to-day basis exposes them to the world, naked as a child.
As an ancient Greek philosopher once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.”
You are your habits.
You can talk about a good game.
You can even cite the Bible all you want.
People can see your true colors when they see you take action in certain situations time and time again.
When you see yourself surrounded by lions in your dream, your subconscious is trying to communicate with you in a very blunt way.
You are a reactive person.
This is who you really are.
You’re not a proactive person.
You’re not the person who desires certain good things and plans out a framework with a complete timeline and to-do list to match each timeline.
That’s the Hollywood version of how people should plan and go after their dreams.
No, you’re a reactive person just like most people.
You know what you want or you have some vague idea, but you wait until the last minute.
You wait when all the chips have fallen and the House of Cards has disintegrated and when your back is literally against the wall.
Then and only then, you’ll find the inner strength and conviction to do what you should have done a long time ago.
Your subconscious is framing the danger of seeing yourself surrounded by these ferocious beasts to let you know that you don’t have to wait till the last minute.
You don’t have to wait until everything is on the brink of collapse.
But unfortunately, we have all sorts of duties, responsibilities, and obligations that we feel rob us of so much of our time from doing the things that we should do.
We should all lose weight, we should live healthier lives, we should be making more money, we should be educating ourselves, the list goes on and on.
But we’re so focused on what we need to do just to get from one day to the next that that “should-do” list gets swept aside.
And pretty soon, it’s out of mind.
And then we find ourselves with our backs against the wall.
Your subconscious is telling you that you’re sick and tired of making life decisions this way.
Now is the time to be more proactive.
Now is the time to be guided by your highest values and your biggest goals daily.
So how do you go about doing this?
How do you live a more goal-oriented life?
When you wake up, just write down your three biggest ambitions in life.
And underneath it, quickly outline what the big goals are to achieve those things.
Do this everyday.
I’m talking about writing it.
I’m not talking about typing it into your Microsoft Word or LibreOffice writer onto some digital file.
You have to manually write it because your body and your mind have to sync up at least for that time and space during one point in the day.
Preferably, you should do this in the morning.
And once you’ve written it out and you’ve read it thoroughly, crumple the paper and then do it again the next day and then the day after that.
If you repeat this, your goals become part of who you are.
And pretty soon, you are able to knock out some items on that list and you’re able to scale up.
That’s how you get away from the sense that you can only unlock your personal superpowers when the rent is past due and you’re about to be evicted, or your child is sick and you need to come up with the money, or your partner has already slammed the door behind her and is gone.
You fill in the blanks.
Which position would you rather be in?
Be more proactive.
You will only thank yourself for it later on.
What does it mean to hunt a lion?
What if the roles were switched?
What if you are the one who is going to be hunting a lion?
What if you are the one who is going to be the source of terror for these symbols of strong emotions in your life?
This is a very powerful image.
It indicates purposefulness, intentionality, and planning.
In other words, you are beginning to overcome your old mental programming and you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
You’re sick and tired of always being the guy asking, “What happened?” instead of being the person who makes things happen.
There are only really two major groups of people in this world: those who have things happen to them and those who make things happen.
I’m telling you, if you’re a person who is waiting around for things to happen to you, you better accept what you get.
And let me tell you right now, what you’re probably going to get is not going to live up to your expectations.
Either it’s too little, too late, or you feel that you are just being exploited and you have to settle for chump change.
Well, the truth is if you let things deteriorate to that point, beggars can’t be choosers.
You have chosen to be a beggar.
I know that sounds crazy, but that’s the kind of result people get when they choose to let things happen to them.
Are you going to choose to be the one who makes things happen?
Are you going to drop out of school and basically settle for whatever job you can get?
Or you’re going to finish school and take one crappy internship after another until you claw your way up to the job that you feel you deserve.
There are always alternate paths.
Don’t think for a second that you’re some victim that the universe has decided to crucify with all these crappy results.
If you are frustrated with whatever you have, it’s because of a choice you made at an earlier point in time.
I know this is a bitter pill for a lot of people to swallow and I can definitely agree with your discomfort with this.
But until and unless you get out from under the shadow of waiting for things to happen to you, you won’t have much control over the direction your life is going.
Do you see how this works?
And when you see yourself hunting a lion, you are turning the corner.
You are flipping the script.
The roles have been reversed.
Now, you are taking action.
Now, you are harnessing your strong emotions so that you can focus on a goal and push it all the way to its logical conclusion.
That is power.
Does this mean that you’re going to achieve success the first time you try to do this?
Of course not.
Just like with many things in life, the first few times you try to do it, you’re going to stumble.
You’re going to fall on your knees, you’re going to scrape your knees and possibly bleed, and it’s going to suck.
But pretty soon, you’ll get the hang of it.
And at a certain point, the moment you get knocked down, you know you’re going to bounce back up because you know that there is no other way to respond to that.
You’re sick and tired of being knocked down and staying on the ground.
That’s what you’ve been doing all along and what do you have to show for.
Do you see how this works?
What does it mean to dream of a caged lion?
A lot of people would think that given the immensely negative consequences of emotional decision-making, as well as powerless living, seeing an otherwise menacing lion caged is a universally good sign.
On the surface, this is a step in the right direction.
At the very least, your subconscious is telling you that a sense of self-control is beginning to wake up in you.
This is definitely a plus.
But it’s one thing to put a lion in a cage, it’s another to keep it there.
Because if you just put a lion in a cage and do nothing else, pretty soon, that lion would die.
It would need water and food.
It would also need some type of exercise.
And no, I’m not talking about it chasing you around.
That’s not exercise, that’s suicide.
So what your subconscious is telling you is that it’s one thing to desire higher degrees of self-control and self discipline.
But for you to fully cage your inner lion, you have to have a system.
This is where habit control and positive habit development come in.
This is also where cognitive behavioral therapy might be useful.
You might also want to consider adopting some sort of mindfulness or meditation practice.
Whatever the case may be, you have to have a system of establishing higher levels of self-control.
Otherwise, you’re just going to be in limbo because you know that it makes a lot of sense to keep your emotions under proper control.
But if it’s just some fanciful notion in your head or some random item on your to-do list, nothing good is going to come out of that.
You have to plug it into a framework or a system of personal change and improvement.
What does it mean to dream of a lion attacking someone else?
When you see a lion go after and possibly maul another person in your dream, your subconscious is basically reminding you, like most people, suffer from Schadenfreude.
Schadenfreude is when you feel a guilty sense of pleasure when bad things happen to other people.
I’m not talking about strangers, although that is the most common case of Schadenfreude.
People feel really guilty when something bad happens to their sister, brother, or their father and mother.
Well, it’s not because you don’t like them, at least for the most part.
It’s because this response is seared into your DNA.
Think of two cavemen thousands of years ago walking through a vast grassland and all of a sudden, this saber-toothed tiger comes out of nowhere.
One of them is going to end up on that tiger’s lunchtime menu.
One of the cavemen assumes a running position.
The other caveman, in disbelief, cries out behind him, “You know, you’re not going to outrun him!”
The caveman who started sprinting answered back, “I know, I just need to outrun you.”
That kind of thinking ensured the survival of the human species.
If you are not constantly comparing yourself to other people with levels of misery and bad luck, chances are you may not take action that can ensure your bloodline makes it to the next generation.
A lot of people feel guilty about this.
In fact, a lot of people feel conflicted.
Does this make me a bad person?
You have to get in touch with your Schadenfreude and understand that this is part of who you are.
Your judgment of it might be warping you to the point that you’ve become the person you’re trying to avoid.
You’re trying to avoid becoming a person who racks up bad karma by wishing evil upon others.
So stop playing tag with your sense of guilt.
Instead, try to cope with Schadenfreude by channeling it into some positive direction.
You won’t be able to let go of it entirely, but you can at least channel it so its energy can lead to something positive for the people around you.
Maybe if you sense you’re feeling Schadenfreude, give something to somebody.
Be a channel blessing, be generous, smile more often, listen to people even though you don’t have the solution.
You’d be surprised as to how many people are not really looking for an answer.
They just want somebody to be physically there and actually listen to them.
That’s how you get out from under the long shadow that Schadenfreude casts.
But if you are doing what a lot of other people are doing, pretending it doesn’t exist, then it’s going to get under your skin deeper and deeper.
What does it mean to dream about a wounded lion?
You have to understand that a wounded lion is still a very dangerous animal.
In fact, its wounds make it especially dangerous.
While it’s true that any animal that is backed into a corner and has sustained injury can probably be counted on to unleash one final attack, a wounded lion is also dangerous in another way.
It’s extra dangerous because of your sentimentality.
You may be thinking to yourself, “It’s already wounded. How dangerous could it be?”
You get this false sense of security and you enter into a situation that you’re completely unprepared for.
When you are seeing this mental image, your subconscious is trying to communicate you through your dreams of your tendency to play victim.
You have to understand that a lot of people love to play the victim, especially in our Western society.
In other societies, not so much.
Because in the West, our morals and ethics are based on guilt.
Did I do the right thing to my neighbor?
Did I treat my neighbor as Christ would have treated him?
Even if he didn’t believe in Christ, we still live in a post-Christian society where Christian ethics and worldview persist long after the churches have been deserted.
That’s the reality we live in in the West.
So we have the moral foundation of Christianity without the religion.
You can fill in the blanks as to the problems that causes.
But still, going back to our discussion, we are a guilt-based society.
As Christ said to the Samaritan woman at the well, there will come a time when it’s not going to be about which hill you’re going to worship on.
Jesus was pointing to the time when the Holy Spirit came and we have become the temples of the Spirit.
In other words, morality is not found in some special place, unlocked through some special ritual or ceremony.
Instead, it is incorporated into our very hearts.
Welcome to the modern world of morality in the west, at least.
And the linchpin to all of this is the concept of sin and the guilt it brings.
That’s what keeps us in line.
In the West, since we are driven by guilt, it becomes attractive to be a victim.
Because the victim in this context doesn’t have to change.
They’re the ones who suffer.
They’re the ones who cried out in vain whose blood was spilled, who was abused.
And the first victim that laid the foundation for our modern moral ethics is Jesus Christ.
The blameless lamb, slain for the sins of the world.
By His stripes, we are healed.
By Him, being broken and hung up on a tree, we are born again.
That is the Judeo Christian modern ethic.
Even if you don’t believe in God, it doesn’t matter because this is the ethic that governs the world you’re in.
And it’s based on guilt, the incorporation of the moral signals of this narrative.
Everybody wants to be a victim because it’s the moral high ground.
And since you’re on the moral high ground, people don’t expect you to owe up to the fact that your decisions may have led to “victimization.”
So people will look at it as a privileged position.
You don’t have to try as hard.
In fact, in some cases, you don’t have to try at all.
But here’s the problem.
When you imagine yourself to be a victim, you’re constantly waiting for the world to get its act together.
Because the world has the solution.
You are the one who was already aggrieved so why should you be counted on to come up with a solution to the harm that was caused to you?
You’ve given yourself this mental privilege of waiting for the world to deliver its apology and its restitution.
The world has to make it up to you.
It owes you.
I hope, as an adult, you can see what’s wrong with this setting.
The world turns on its own axis.
It’s already got its own problems.
Do you think it will prioritize yours?
And whatever chump change it does manage to throw your way, do you think it’s sustainable?
Do you think going on and carrying on as a victim is a sustainable strategy to effective living?
Believe it or not, it debasis you just as it debasis the world.
Because the reality is there is no such thing as an ultimate victim except maybe for Jesus Christ.
Because as normal human beings, we are as capable of being victimizers and abusers as we are to be victims.
The world is round.
And just the wheel turns, sometimes you’re up and then sometimes you’re down.
And before you get used to being down, it’s time to be on top again, and so on and on it goes.
Do you see how this works?
When you see a wounded lion, it’s very easy to project this victim mentality.
Well, don’t count on the world to make the changes you should be doing for yourself.
You owe it to yourself because you own yourself.
Besides, if you are truly convinced that people harmed you, in pure logic, they have the ultimate solution.
They are the ones who harm you so they have the solution.
What do you have?
You have nothing and that’s precisely the problem.
So the better approach is to stop focusing on being a victim.
Guilt can only get you so far.
And it doesn’t work in parts of the world where people operate on a completely different model.
They operate in terms of shame.
This is where Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese concepts of face come in.
In Southeast Asia, especially in the Philippines, it’s called Delicadeza.
Whatever the case may be, it’s about shame.
Because it’s not just your pride and being put on the line, it’s also your family’s pride, your family name, the ancestors that came before you.
Do you see how this works?
Guilt doesn’t work in that context so get off the guilt train.
Stop being a victim.
I know it’s easy to say and hard to do, but it definitely needs to be done.
What does it mean to dream of lions roaming in the forest?
If you see a forest setting in your dream and there are lions under the foliage, this indicates that your tendency to let your emotions get the better of you has been compartmentalized to the point that they’re almost invisible.
Just because you don’t see their common manifestations like you would in other people’s decision making, doesn’t mean they don’t exist in your life.
Maybe you’re just great at compartmental thinking.
Maybe you’re just great at sweeping things under the rug.
But just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist just like gravity.
What is the meaning of dreaming about lions roaming around your house?
In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, the Letter of Peter talks about beware of the devil.
He roams like a lion waiting to devour you.
When you see lions in your dream surrounding, roaming, or lurking around your house, be very concerned.
The house represents not your physical dwelling, although that can be the case, it represents something more important.
It represents your sense of identity and personal belonging.
In other words, this is the place in the universe where your information as to who you are, where you can and cannot go, who you can and cannot be, who you can and cannot be with is stored.
This is called your mind.
But it’s more than that.
It’s your total persona which includes your emotions, your attitudes, your mindset, the whole nine yards.
And when you see lions roaming around it, you are under threat of emotional turbulence because you cannot control your emotions.
They seep easily to your decision-making processes and more importantly, into your personal narrative.
This reminds me of a funny skit by comedian Bill Burr.
He said that sex harassment cases are very interesting because the prosecutor will often read the transcript of the interplay between the accuser and the accused.
So he goes on to a monologue of a prosecutor describing a rape scene.
Everybody gasps and is outraged because it was pretty straightforward.
And then he changes his tone and he reads it in the teasing interplay of two lovers kissing each other in bed.
So it’s playful and very funny because it’s very familiar.
People say all sorts of stuff in a kinky, intimate way because you’re in bed together.
And when he read the skit script that way, people roared with laughter.
My point is, the way you say things is just as important as what you say.
So when you are seeing lions roaming around your house, pay close attention to your positioning of the emotions swirling around you.
Because positioning means perspective, and it doesn’t have to be an emergency.
It doesn’t have to be a crippling sense of defeat, guilt, remorse, fear, or any other negative emotion.
Get to the core of what you’re feeling and truly understand yourself.
Maybe the only way you can express it is through words that are reminiscent of fear.
But in reality, you’re more apprehensive or even ambivalent.
Do you see how this works?
Because at the end of the day, you’re still in control.
I know, it doesn’t seem like it, but you are.
So be as clear about your emotions as possible and the first step in doing this is to be more in touch with your feelings.
After all, how can you accurately describe something that you haven’t given yourself time to familiarize yourself with?
What does it mean to see two lions together in your dream?
Be very careful of “blended emotions.”
A lot of people think that as long as they’re paying attention to the “stronger” emotion, then they have an accurate read of the emotion sweeping over them as they try to make sense of a situation or try to make a decision.
This is very comforting for a lot of people, but it’s dead wrong.
You have to be clear as to what you’re really feeling because it may turn out that you might be thinking that you are operating based on a sense of justice.
But in reality, you’re just being vindictive.
You’re just being a petty bastard.
So a little bit of clarity can go a long way.
Because you may be thinking, “I know these strong emotions flash in and out from time to time, but what’s the harm?”
Well, there is such a thing as an emotional impression.
So if somebody said something to you and you had a certain emotional impression of that person at that point in time, you’d be surprised as to how long you will hang on to that.
It may well turn out that this person is completely different from the picture that you have of him or her.
But that emotional state will stay with you for a long time because that’s how you emotionally remember that person.
Do you see how this works?
Get an accurate read the first time around so you don’t have to hassle with this nonsense.
Because it’s so easy to just pigeonhole people into roles that they don’t fit in and deny people that full recognition that they deserve when they can actually do a lot of good for us.
You might also want to read these:
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.