Dan told me that I had a bad dream last night. Apparently at some point during the night I woke up, bolted upright, and looked around the room like a crazy woman. He was still awake, reading a book, so he asked me: "What's wrong, Honey?" I just looked at him, all crazy-eyed. He assured me that everything was OK, and that he was right there and wouldn't let anything happen to me. Then I asked him "Will you catch me if I fall?" He said "Yes, of course I will", then I laid my head back down on the pillow and fell sound asleep, as if nothing had happened.
I had no recollection of this. After he told me the story, I could faintly remember it, similar to how you can just make out the shape of something in a dense fog, and you squint at it to try to bring it into focus. I tried for a while to see through the fog and remember the dream, but a vague outline was all I could muster. But the whole situation really struck me, and left me with an odd, inexplicable feeling that I couldn't shake all day.
The previous day, I had a conversation with a friend about dreams. She shared with me that she was having vivid, recurring dreams about being rejected. In these dreams, one of her worst fears - being rejected by the man that she loves - was haunting her. Night after night, she lives out these fears that she has buried deep within her. Even though there is no actual threat of such rejection in her life, she still has to deal with this worry, this anxiety, this fear. She asked if I had those kinds of dreams, and looked at me incredulously when I told her that I do not. I suppose that rejection isn't one of my deepest, darkest fears at this point in my life.
But failure is.
Which is why, the very next night, I found myself begging my husband - in my sleep - to catch me if I fall. I must have been dreaming of falling, or failing, or somehow not being capable of holding it all together in an upright position.
"Will you catch me if I fall?"
After thinking about this some more, I realized that something was activating our fears, something was stirring them up and making them rage and rear their ugly heads and torment us in the night. And that something is that WE ARE HAPPY. We have something to lose.
My friend has allowed herself to love someone deeply again. I have taken steps to try new things in my life, things that I have no guarantee will work out or be successful. We're both facing our fears, and our fears don't like it.
Our fear is a bit of a control freak. It doesn't like being ignored and overlooked. It likes to be the center of attention. It likes to be in control. So as soon as we take charge, and tell our fear to step aside, it has a temper tantrum. It shouts at us constantly, it makes a racket in whatever way it can, it is desperate for our attention. If we choose to ignore it during the day and go about living our lives to the fullest, it will sneak up on us in the night, in our dreams, in our subconscious awareness. But the sad thing is that it does not have our best interest at heart, so we cannot listen to it.
But I don't hold a grudge against my fears. In fact, I choose to interpret that feeling of fear that grips my heart as a good sign. I choose to see it as an indicator that I'm onto something good in my life, that I getting "warmer"; closer to the prize, closer to my true self and the divine plan for my life.
And how blessed am I to have someone in my life who I trust so fully that I ask him in my sleep to catch me if I fall? How blessed am I to have people in my life who help me stare this dreaded fear in the face and say: you're not in charge anymore. Together, we will do this thing, whatever it is, and even if she falls, we'll catch her, and together we'll make it to our destination.
That doesn't leave much room for dear ol' fear, does it?
And how lucky is my friend, to have found love, against all odds, despite the fear in her heart. It's amazing that any of us get anything accomplished in this life, with our fears always bubbling just beneath the surface. But we do. We are strong. We can do things that terrify us, and come out better for having done them. We can allow our love to be greater than our fear. And when we do, that's when the magic happens.
Till next time,
© Haley McManigal 2016
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