I see you there in the darkness–eyes wide open searching for any scrap of light to illuminate the dark corners of your mind. You dare not go to sleep because then you will be alone with your fears. Even loved ones become mere mannequins in your dream worlds, impotent and unable to save you from your darkest imaginings.
So you lie awake hoping that if you don’t look under the bed or in the closet or in the darkest dungeons of your mind, you can think your way out of your dread.
Logic does not know fear. Right?
You calculate and plot and plan ways to escape and eradicate the realities of the day that haunt and hunt you in the night.
If I work harder…
If I can convince someone…
If I eliminate this…
If I add that…
In those shrouded moments between wakefulness and sleep, “ifs” allow you to become the hero who confronts the monster and saves the day.
Yet in this theatre of the mind, fears have infiltrated the audience, and they boo, hiss, and throw refuse at your attempts to learn what courage is. They demand you rehearse the scene again and again, and laugh as they tell you that you’ll never get it right.
Not when it counts—in the real world.
Logic cannot save you because you are also an emotional creature. They convince you that in their presence, you are weak, ineffective, and a failure. Fear is your kryptonite—the one element of the universe that you cannot overcome and that saps you of life.
(And yes, that is a big but.)
Fears may seem omnipresent and omnipotent, always lurking in the corners of your life and exerting powers you cannot overcome, but they are not omniscient.
- Fear does not know that because God made you an emotional creature, it is just one of the many emotions you are capable of experiencing. It is not the greatest or most powerful and can be trumped by faith, hope, love, kindness, perseverance, self-control, and so many more.
- Fear does not know that you can break the fourth wall in the theatre of your mind, allowing you, the hero, to confront the audience members who are ruining the experience for everyone else.
- Fear does not know how to live in the light of truth.
So as you lie awake at night…
- Remember what fear does not know.
- Write down your worries and cares and place them far from the spot where you lay your head, knowing tomorrow’s light (and a night’s rest) will help you overcome challenges in ways that fear’s darkness never can.
- Know that fear can make you stronger if you keep it in its proper place.
- Pray, because though you may feel alone, you are not alone.
A fellow seeker of light who often lies awake at night.
Photo Credit: greyerbaby at MorgueFile