A few months ago I had a nightmare. You know, one of the ones that feels so real it takes you a moment to work out where you are. I woke up shaken and scared. But as I replayed the terrifying dream in my head, what happened was amazing. It evolved from a nightmare into a profoundly positive lesson. I wrote last time about changing your relationship with anxiety and learning to accept it and learn from it. My ‘nightmare’ shines a light on this so I thought I’d share it with you.
As is often the case in the worst nightmares it’s the blending in of reality, parts of your ‘real’ life that make them so scary. My recollection is a little hazy but it began very suddenly with a scene where I was intensely afraid of a man who was after me. He had killed my father (I lost my father in an accident when I was young) and was now going to kill me. We were out in the open and he was chasing me and I was shouting for help, but no one took any notice, not even a couple of policemen nearby. By now, for no apparent reason, some other people were also with me, about four of them, also running from the horrific man. We tried to attack him but he was too strong and fought us off with ease. We managed to get away and somehow into the sanctuary of my children’s school.
We locked ourselves into a classroom and hid under the desk but somehow he got in through the door. We would escape to another classroom but the same thing kept happening. It chillingly dawned on me that the teachers were helping the man and unlocking the doors for him.
I was petrified. How could I keep getting away if people were helping him find me? There was no point in continuing to run and hide, he would keep finding me. I got out from under the table, opened the classroom door and asked the man why he was after me, what did he want? In that moment the others with me managed to get hold of him and subdue him. I woke up.
If you keep trying to run and hide from what’s hurting or scaring you, you’ll stay stuck. If you look for the why’s and change your perspective from one of helplessness to one of curiosity and learning, then you have a chance of freeing yourself.
Focus on the lesson, not on the hurt.
“When it hurts, observe. Life is trying to teach you something.” Anita Krizzan
ps. I should mention that all of the teachers at my children’s school are extremely nice and to my knowledge not a murderer’s accomplice!