Saturday, April 18, 2020
Using Love to Fight Fear
I woke up this morning glad that the nightmare was a dream— the fear and emotions still so real that I knew my body didn’t know the difference between dream and reality, at least during those moments of sleep.
I’d been curled in a corner with a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex looming over me like a scene in Jurassic Park. No matter how fantastical it sounds, in the dream I was being pursued by a very real and threatening dinosaur.
My family, friends and I had scattered just moments before this monstrous reptile arrived, hoping to hide. We were told, in the mysterious way we learn things in dreams but can’t remember once we are awake, that the only way that the T-Rex wouldn’t see (and eat) us was if we were able to successfully visualize love.
It wasn’t explained how this worked exactly, but I knew from my visualization work that it must be FELT to be a successful visualization. Felt in a way that our body recognizes the visualization as something we are currently experiencing.
So with all my might and mental power I threw myself into that feeling of love: the compassion, the empathy, the feeling of being warm no matter the weather or temperature. The fierce love, the gentle and kind love. A mother’s love, a partner’s love, the love of someone who recognizes that we are all interconnected.
All the while knowing that fear, a giant capital letter FEAR — embodied by the nightmarish T-Rex, was looming just outside my visual orbit of love ready to eat me if I faltered.
In my dream I KNEW that love was the only way to survive this scary creature. Waking up, there was no T-Rex smashing its teeth and ferociously hovering above me, but the metaphor wasn’t lost on me.