Altering a destructive situation. Initiating change. Reframing our perception. Incorporating the tools to believe in ourselves. Empowerment. These are the building-blocks for my passion for coaching.
I woke up remembering a dream I had a few years back. It seemed to be a perfect message from my own spirit; a lesson on the transperancy of fear. It embodied all of the concepts above.
It was a typical anxiety dream. In it, I lived in a high-rise condo type building. It was beautiful. My unit had at least two levels. I was way up high overlooking a vast expanse of city lights. The view was incredible. I had just received word that someone had entered the building below and was currently working his way up to kill me, or something equally unsavory. I had two doors leading into my unit. Both were pathetically unfit to protect me within.
I went to work trying to fortify them. I wasn’t going to just stand there and allow this maniac in to freely attack me. I chose the weaker of the two doors and was doing really useless things to it, like propping an ottoman in front of it, and using a dishtowel to somehow strengthen the lock. I knew it was futile. While I was working, the front door- the stronger of the two- burst open with no effort. I threw the dishtowel in the air and ran to a back room.
The horror entered the condo, the subject of my terror, though it hadn’t found me yet. I hadn’t seen it. I tried to willfully disappear, something I generally do within my nightmares to escape the fear, but I couldn’t. I thought to myself, “Let’s see… invisibility won’t work. Let’s try elevating beyond his reach…” Nope. That didn’t work either. I couldn’t elevate. I couldn’t fly. I had no power over it. I was sunk.
I sulked upstairs to my bedroom. I gave up… surrendered. I shut the door quietly and curled up under my covers. Resigned to finally facing my doom, I closed my eyes and gave into my fear. I fully accepted it. He was going to find me, I was going to be killed, and there was nothing I could do. It felt good to finally just concede the loss. I tried to get a moment’s peace before the bedroom door burst open- which it did just then- and the thing rushed at me with full hysteria. Wild. I just lay there. “Come and get me.” I thought. “I’m tired of fighting.”
At that moment, I felt the blankets being torn off of me, and arms grabbing me. But then I realized, they weren’t so much grabbing me… as cradling me. The thing- a man- picked me up like a feather and said, “This building’s on fire! I’ve got to get you to safety!” Securely in his strong arms, hands loosely clasped around his neck, I gazed into his eyes and smiled. “Huh.” I thought to myself. “Did not see that coming…”
The dream ended.
It’s what we do. isn’t it? It’s human nature. We expend so much energy on fear and preservation and boundaries (which can all be good things until they start to dominate our lives) that we fail to see that we’re locking ourselves away from our own power. We start to become the very thing we fear, our actions the very things that harm us.
To surrender the need for constant control is the first step toward freedom. Anxiety is born out of our overactive defense mechanisms, which don’t so much protect us from dangers as fill us with fear. That can change.
The first step is to see it. Are you running from the things in your life that are here to literally save you? Anxiety develops because things need to change. Anxiety can be our ally; our informant. Listen to the fear. So many of us want to do anything but listen, so we silence the voices within with food, or prescriptions, or booze, or drugs, or excessive activity… the list goes on.
If we could learn to be with that fear, we could find its voice to be so valuable. Life-saving, even.