Nocturnal Panic Attacks
They’re all genuine and can make you believe you’re physically dying.
The illusion of waking up even though you’re still asleep involves experiences that seem completely real. Eventually, you often become cognizant that you’re actually in a dream, one foot in the tangible world, the other in an altered state.
The vivid and intense lucid dreaming I experienced in the middle of the night a few days ago presented as a heart attack.
There are many reasons we have less-than-ideal dreams—
loss of security,
not having support,
feeling let down,
concern for others,
or just feeling like you’re on a life roller coaster—
and they often present as heart attacks in lucid dreaming.
Our three-pound brains are continually processing, and since our physical hearts are associated with love—and are literally a life-supporting organ—heart-related dreams make sense (scary or uplifting).
Our psyches are incredibly intuitive!
So….as I realized that I wasn’t having a physical heart attack I
started breathing slowly,
started mentally reciting my go-to prayers and “Thank You God list,”
started to think about not thinking so darned much and
started to imagine how to offer myself grace —
how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
how rare you are
in humans just like me.
I once was lost
but now am found.
’twas blind, but now I see.
I’m often lost
and miss the signs;
please don’t give up on me.
Do any of those feelings resonate with you too?
My inner spirit often whispers, “Help me to spend time (that I don’t yet realize I need) to find more grace notes, to be okay with being good enough—not necessarily fantastic, wonderful, or awe-inspiring—simply “good enough.”
I want to lean into the sacred and accept who I am right now—damaged, vulnerable, and often road-weary, remembering that God’s okay with me just the way I am.
There will always be predators of joy—those who want to sap your strength, “put you in your place,” or attempt to make you believe you have no right to be happy. But, one of our greatest gifts on this earth is the ability to experience wonder, beauty, and kindness (sometimes when least expected). For that reality, we also need grace to walk alongside us.
Joy and grace—the dynamic duo.
Grace cannot be bought or bottled to access when needed. It cannot be coerced or earned or amassed.
Grace is God’s favor shining on us—unwavering, accepting, embracing us in all our less-than-perfectness.
Grace is that presence that envelops us, whispering, “you matter,” even when you feel completely in the dark.
Grace simply is.
And that’s what makes it amazing.
A (really) short prayer:
“Amazing grace, come hold my hands as I journey through this life.
I know you’re there, right by my side, in sorrow, joy, and strife.
Some pain I simply can’t un-feel; some words I can’t un-hear.
But with your help, Amazing Grace, I know that God is near.”
May this day bring joy, awareness of your value, and amazing, blessed grace.