They say, if your dreams don’t scare you, then the dream isn’t big enough. But what if that dream is a nightmare? What if what keeps you up at night aren’t dreams filled with ambition but rather fear, instead?
I couldn’t wake up. The sound of gunshots and ringing in my ears were loud enough to make me numb. Then I saw kids across a shamrock green lawn. My dreams are lucid, so the shooter was wearing an orange t-shirt. My favorite color. The children; black, beautiful, and oblivious. The air was calm and the evening dew left the soles of my feet feeling damp as I ran, rushing kids to safety. Then up high, through a single flight of stairs is where I would take them.
I don’t know the ending. I woke up disoriented, my heart was pounding, and tears were coming from a place inside, so hollow. I felt empty and helpless. Knowing it wasn’t real and yet unable to get outside of my own mind and into reality.
Fear has a way of suffocating the very breath needed to survive. Leaving a mark from its grasp. I fight to unravel these thoughts and repeatedly remind myself that it wasn’t real.
“But, it could happen.”
Then fear, and defeat again. There were people inside that building I ran out of. Were they alive?
There are variables out of our control. People are cold, rotten and will hurt you. There are also infinite variables of possibility. Choose to climb up those stairs. Choose to run past the shots fired and find a way out of your own mental crossfire. Choose to fight for someone else and for yourself. Unless you can go back to fix a mess, then don’t look back.
All of this from a dream? YES. So much like my nightmare, we allow thoughts of fear to cripple us. We will forever walk with a limp if we don’t learn to strengthen our stance.
Maybe instead I was running toward something new, something worth fighting for? Maybe those kids were oblivious to the danger and I had the knowledge to save them from something they never knew was coming? We all have some sort of knowledge. Some sort of safety net to create from our experiences. Real or imagined.
We can either let our fears choke us out or we can use them as fuel to ignite our futures.