especially in the morning
I had a dream that I was stuck alone in an elevator on the 33rd floor of an empty building. I heard windows shattering and the onset of water pushing through; the building started to flood. I saw the lights flicker on and off as water creeped in slowly and methodically. I could feel the water steadily rising, and the structure of the building being compromised as the ceiling beams crushed beneath me. I stood there frozen, bone straight, befriending death as I heard my love scream in the building adjacent to me. Out of the corner of my eye, the next building had caught on fire. Each floor catching flames, one by one, a beautiful horrific orchestra of chaos dancing in the midnight sky. He was stranded alone in an empty office room. I could do nothing. He could do nothing. I woke up unsure of the ending. Unsure of what to do.
A few weeks ago, I had another dream of coming home to find a loved one trapped in a closet. I could hear their wails, their silent tears, their low tremors, and body shaking through the vibrations of the door. The closet was locked from the inside, and the key was nowhere to be found. I held my left ear close to the closet door, hoping I could say some assuring words. Nothing escaped my mouth but a long deep exhale of knowing I could do nothing. I woke up the next morning, having not saved anyone but the unknown fear of something happening lingering in the air. Did they disappear? Did they survive? Did I survive?
I have vivid lucid dreams of falling, surrendering, losing, bending, drowning and dying more frequently than I have ones where the sun always shines. My subconscious aka my self-doubt is volatile, unpredictable, rude, incredibly disrespectful, jarring, testing and blatant to the point that I have to recoil and acknowledge instead of avoid and hide. It’s ironic that these dreams happen at times when I experience the most clarity in my life.
The closer I am to my personal truth, of feeling balanced, centered and focused, my subconscious sneaks in and tells me otherwise. My subconscious and my shadows tend to show up boldly in my dreams. They creep into my ear, scurry their way to my nostrils exit and enter again as they migrate to my brain and sit there patiently, waiting for me to wake up. It’s as if fear, worry and my ego try to turn me upside down and make me second guess every one step forward that I made during the previous day.
In the morning, I feel like I’ve taken two steps back.
It’s a restart. It’s the beginning again. Day after day. It’s incredibly exhausting, damn near traumatizing because my mind wanders into the depth of my fears in a way I can't turn back unless I wake up. Sometimes, my subconscious paralyzes me. Sometimes I shiver and sit unclothed on my front porch wondering what the hell happened.
My dreams are the antithesis of who I am in the daylight.
If you dream like me or have your subconscious or self doubt sneak in at odd hours of the night or in the middle of day, I think it’s telling you to “call in”.
How our subconscious speaks to us in those witching hours of the morning helps us better understand how to navigate fear. Especially at moments when fear is determined to interrupt a pending or forthcoming opportunity in our lives. For me, fear of abandonment, losing everything and everyone I love, the pressure I place on myself to save and support everyone, translates to me often spreading myself too thin. My subconscious is telling me, “Tiffany, the person who really needs saving is you.”
These moments of self doubt is your gut reminding you that we must diligently cultivate tools of reassurance and self acceptance. It’s a daily practice.
It’s a daily practice of acknowledging that what you’ve endured, survived and overcome is not the weight you’ll carry moving forward.
If your self-doubt lives in your dreams like me, causing you to silence yourself in corporate meetings, not advocate for yourself within the intimacy of a lover, or makes you shrink when faced with a conversation you’re too afraid to have, you must take note when you compromise your boundaries and needs because they will always need attention before your next stage of growth. You must cultivate tools to tackle fear with the same fierceness that you so easily welcome in and let it overtake your mind.
What are your tools?
Don’t be afraid to list them out. My tools look like word vomit on an empty page of my journal; it looks like sweating for an hour with an intense workout; it looks like talking to myself in the forest; it looks like long conversations of staring at myself in the mirror, watching my shoulders move from tense to limp and then a relax mode. It looks like rest, deep sleep, and a midday nap. It looks like reading, finding comfort in another’s words when I don’t have my own.
Oftentimes our dreams are questioning our identity.
It’s asking us to acknowledge all sides of ourselves. The sides we want to tuck and fold away are the sides of ourselves that we actually need to befriend and keep close to our bedside when we go to sleep.
How do you handle doubt; how do you become friends with your dreams?
You simply say, “hey, I see you.
You are Fear. You always tend to be here.
But you have no resting place.
You’re simply just passing through…