This morning, I was having a nightmare and I couldn't wake up. I knew I was dreaming, but I couldn't awaken myself. My limbs were heavy, my eyes wouldn't open, and I felt sluggish and unable to break away from my dreamworld.
Please make it stop, please make it stop, please make it stop was thundering in my head and I was willing myself to get out of there, to end the dream. To wake. To be free.
I eventually woke up thrashing in bed, panting, cats aside of me.
And as my heart began to slow and I steadied myself in the real world, sheets tangled around me, I breathed a sigh of relief, because there is a difference now.
Before, when I would wake up from a bad dream, it would be to the heavy realization that my life was still a nightmare. I would lie there, deadened, anxious for relief from the bad dream that had just ended... but no relief would come, because life was difficult. Waking up brought no immediate rush of solace. Remembering my lot in life would hit me like a ton of bricks. And the dreamworld nightmare would fade, but it wouldn't be replaced with better emotions.
Now, it's different.
I woke up from my nightmare, breathed that sigh of relief, and felt ease. Joy. Gratitude. Love. The sunlight hit me in bed and I smiled. Thank God it was all just a dream, I thought. Relief flooded my heart. Good things are here. And even better things are coming.