Have you ever had a nightmare so terrifying that you thought about it for days afterward and were afraid to go back to sleep?
I had one last night.
This nightmare started the same way every nightmare starts, with tingling of my legs and a feeling of terror in the pit of my stomach.
Shortly thereafter images start to reveal themselves. In this case it was the image of a door.
Behind that door I just knew existed all the unspeakable evil in the universe and it was all going to be directed at me.
I watched in horror as the door knob began to jiggle as though someone or something behind it was trying very hard to get it open to get to me.
At the same time, many unseen hands were at my back pushing me toward the door. A strange disharmonic chanting from disembodied spirits grew louder and louder.
I started to turn my face away from the door and whatever awful thing was behind it.
But then, I stopped. And so did the dream for one instant.
In that instant, I got the unmistakable feeling that I had seen something, an error in the narrative, a clue that this was not what it appeared to be and that there WAS something I could do that would alter this sequence and forever change it to my advantage.
I turned my face toward the door and decided at that time, right then and there I was going to confront full on whatever was behind that door and I was going to fight it with all my strength and passion.
As I decided this, the door knob gave a final apologetic jiggle and went still.
The unseen hands at my back faded away and I was standing on my own staring at the door. With one decisive movement I reached over and yanked the door open.
At that moment, the dream crumbled and I woke up.
And I woke up with a precious gift.
That gift was the knowledge that when things get really rough, instead of turning my face away from danger, the answer was to run into it and confront it full on; to fight with everything I had over and over again as many times as I needed to until I got what I was fighting for.
And this is the only way to live.
When stress and environmental dangers present themselves it puts us on the defensive. And as anyone who has studied war or games knows, once you are on the defensive you have lost.
The answer is to offend. Aggressively go after what you are fighting for with no apologies and no quarter given. Never give up and never defend.
When dangers are presented, run into them. Take a good hard look. Only by doing so can you do anything about them.
Most times you will see that whatever has made you afraid is a paper facade that someone has put up to scare you into not looking.
Once you look, you see it for the paper that it is. And you see that shining the light of day on it burns it like a vampire in sunlight.
And there are those who desperately do not want us to look. They do not mean us well. They are seeking to control.
And if we don’t look for ourselves we are their slaves.
It is quite amazing how these scary images fall away once we take a good look.
It is like the wizard behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. A fat, bald little man that scares no one.
Most of life is like that.