I used to go to sleep with Fear. When I was a child, I would check the shadowed corners of my room to see if a ghost, or some other unwelcome presence, was lurking there. Three glances for each corner, then I’d quickly tuck myself into bed, pulling the sides of the covers like a cocoon around my head with only my face exposed so I could breathe. My army of stuffed animals stood guard around the perimeter of my bed, yet my heart would often race my frantic thoughts to sleep.
More than the dark, I was afraid of what was hidden inside of it. I was raised with the belief that ghosts were not real and a fear of the dark was irrational, but my fear was real. It stayed with me long into adulthood and has diminished only over the past few years. Before it left me, Worry started moving in to take its place. Since Worry is a companion to Fear, it merely took the upper hand of an already present relationship.
Instead of fearing “imaginary” ghosts and demons, my mind played with Worry. As many of us do, I re-worried past events, going through the day’s circumstances that caused frustration or other unpleasant emotions within me. Instead of letting the past settle, I dug it back up and resisted sleep as I sifted through what I could no longer retrieve. Sometimes, I’d move into the future, creating a world of what ifs and maybes, mostly centered around the emotion of worry.
As I learn to live more fully in the present, I have find it easier to leave Worry and Fear behind when I tuck myself into bed at night. Most nights I go to bed with feelings of relief, gratitude, and expectation. In the soft cocoon of darkness, nestled under my covers (I still tuck them around my head, some habits stick fast), I welcome the unimpeded drift of the mind.
The veil that Ego grips more tightly during the day quietly dissolves at night when our minds drift into the intermediary realm that occurs before sleep takes over. In this space, Spirit moves freely and, when we are open to it, we travel and commune with beings from other realms often overlooked during the daytime. It is a time, I believe, filled with magic.
If you are used to going to sleep holding the hands of Fear and Worry, try releasing them. Welcome instead the gentle embrace of Love. Imagine what wonders you will find!