It was just a bad dream… or a writing prompt

Early this morning, my little girl came into my room and squeezed into bed with me. She was sobbing away as she told me about a bad dream she just had. It was pretty scary for a nine-year-old girl as she witnessed her siblings getting eaten up by snakes at the beach before an unknown man killed her. 

In my sleepy state, I cuddled her, and told her it was just a dream and that everyone was alright. 

A moment later, I was storming through the double doors of a huge mansion where a man in white button-up shirt and blue jeans was sitting cross-legged on the couch, reading the newspapers. 

“How could you put her through all that?” I seemed to have roared at him. 

The man casually folded the newspapers and straightened his sitting position to place the papers on the coffee table in front of him. He then took the cup of tea I hadn’t noticed was there and drank from it before placing it back on the table next to the papers. His actions were all very relaxed without a tiny bit of care in the world. 

I continued to glare at him and waited impatiently for him to explain himself. 

He had a brow raised when he finally stood up, towering over me by a good head-and-a-half. 

“It’s not like it had never happened before,” he said, his expression stoic. “We all need the reminder.”

“She’s only nine!” I practically screamed. I could feel my nails digging into my palms as I clenched my fists. 

He looked at me as nonchalantly as before. “It’s better for her to see it for herself before she hears about it from someone else.”

“She doesn’t even have to know about it! It’s got nothing to do with her life right now,” I countered. 

“Sometimes we need to face our past fears,” he shrugged. “Being my sister doesn’t mean you’ll be spared from nightmares of your past life. And neither will your children.”

I woke up wondering how I had become Phobetor’s reincarnated sister.  

Risk free

The family I grew up with was one of those who would travel just one path from A ┬áto B with no plans for diversions. Dreams were meant for sleeping. Even when we were offered a different path, another member of the family always managed to pull us back into that ‘normal’ path because anything that is outside of our normal every day life was just too risky. Anyone with any ambitions would be discouraged immediately and so no one in this childhood family of mine ever really made it big.

During one of my personal quiet moments with the Lord, I came to the realisation that our family has a huge cloud called fear looming over our heads. Fear of failure, fear of being cheated, fear of discrimination, fear of trying something new, fear of cleaning up the mess after a failed attempt to do something big, fear of anything outside the family. Even when opportunities were presented to us, we’d reject them because we were afraid they were just someone’s attempt to put one over on us. Nothing was ever that good to be true.

 

As a result, I grew up to be an adult who didn’t (sometimes, still don’t) want to try anything at all. I hated mess-management, so much so that there was a time when I didn’t allow my kids to do arts and crafts because I didn’t want to have to clean up after them! But that’s just one area of my kids’ childhood that I almost destroyed due to my inherited fear of risk and new things.

It takes a lot for me to actually write about this. First of all, there’s the shame and then there’s the sad, sad feeling that countless opportunities just flew past our heads because we were too busy looking at our feet as we walked the ‘normal’ path. I can’t let this happen to my kids. They have so much in them that they can give to the society right now and in the future and I must not stop them just because I’m afraid they might fail.

From that same quiet moment, I also realised that the generations before me must’ve had their reasons to be afraid of taking a leap in a different direction. But I must not let their reasons be my reason. I’m privileged to have seen the power of God’s hand in my life and the life of my own family. I am blessed with my faith in God who will work things out for me as long as my heart is for Him and as long as I seek His kingdom first.