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Dreams are not on our case; they are on our side. This is one of my personal mantras about dreams and (yes) it applies even to nightmares.
In my personal lexicon, a nightmare is not only a “bad” or scary dream; it is an interrupted or aborted dream. We are so frightened, we run away. We wake ourselves up and try to slam the door on the dream experience, hoping that it is “only” a dream and can’t get out and come after us. This is a very foolish strategy. The challenges we face in dreams are challenges that life itself is presenting to us. If we learn to confront the underlying issues inside the dream space, we may be able to prevent those issues from blowing up in our regular lives. This may require us to take action in waking life, based on what we have learned in our dreams; but we will lack the essential data required for appropriate action if we have left the dream broken and abandoned, behind that door we are trying to keep shut.