What are you scared of?
People usually respond to that question with spiders, or tornadoes, or ax murders or lions, tigers, bears (oh my!). If you ask me, I will probably say zombies. However no matter what the horror is, it somehow always ends up in our dreams.
When I was younger, I had terrible nightmares. I used to yell out to my mom when I woke up frightened. She used to tell me, “Roll over and think of something else. Change your position, and you’ll forget about it.” Most the time I did not believe her. How could the image of me falling off a building or the feeling I had when I couldn’t quite run fast enough just disappear? But it always worked. I would flip my pillow to the cold side, turn to lay on my stomach, and drift off to sleep without any worry of my previous thoughts.
But being scared and having a fear of something is slightly different. When you ask someone what their biggest fear is, the response is a little more troubling. Some people will say death; others will admit they are terrified of ending up alone. Losing loved ones too early or never making it to your 30th birthday. At least with zombies we have a full-fledged survival guide prepared already.
My biggest fear is the dark. Not just the physical absence of light but the unknown. The future. Where I will be in the next five years. The dark that leads you to the light at the end of the tunnel. The journey you feel like you are more crawling through blindly than the one you are skipping through a field of daisies.
The thing about deep fears is we live with them in the back of our minds every day. We are living our nightmares every time the dreaded thoughts seep into the front of our conscience, and suddenly we can’t just stop watching the horror movie or kill the spider. It’s harder to wake up from this dream.
But maybe we can roll over. We can change our positions and turn our backs on those fears. Make peace with your anxiety and sweaty palms. Every time you live in the moment without worrying about the future, you are turning your pillow to the cold side again. Eventually when you realize you only have control over your position at that moment, you will be able to roll over on your stomach and drift back to sleep.
Change your position, and you could change your mind.