The other night I couldn’t sleep. I decided to get in my car and drive. I was feeling super anxious about something. As soon as I got into the car, I decided to pray. Since it was pitch black and most of the city was sleeping, I prayed out loud. I said all of the things that I wanted and needed to feel a sense of peace.
I worded what was on my mind in the affirmative, where I included only the end result that I desired. I mainly asked for support, comfort, healing and peace for the matter that was keeping me awake. I then followed up with traditional prayers, over and over again.
It was over an hour before I returned home. I was then able to sleep, soundly and without my usual night terrors. The night terrors often arrive within 25 to 30 minutes of me falling asleep. They wake me with a start, send my heart beating uncontrollably out of my chest, have me spring out of bed with visions of some horrible fear of a severe life-threatening emergency and often result in being awake for several minutes or hours before he can settle back in.
I often don’t even remember the incidents, at all, and fall quickly back to slumber. In the morning, I might vaguely recall something happening. Apparently I say things like, ‘Don’t you see it?’ or ‘Watch out!’ or ‘It’s right there’, ‘Hurry’ or ‘Get up!’, as I am frantically trying to escape the terrifying vision that is right in front of me.
I have seen dozens of snakes, walls crumbling in, ceiling fans falling from the ceiling, floating coffins, loved ones not breathing, earthquakes, flooding, thousands of spiders, electrical emergencies, life threatening situations and more. Anything you can imagine being your deepest fear, I have seen, as a short simulation-like, interactive video in my bedroom, where I am the main character.
Turning on a light always stops the scene, the images then begin to fade, with my eyes wide open, until I realize that I am no longer in danger.
If I remember the vision, at the time, I often sob myself back to sleep, feeling like I am such a freak that I do such things. Other times, I am crying uncontrollably as if the situation really happened, because it seemed so real. In the old days, I would apparently argue about the impending danger, despite evidence to the contrary.
When I think about, I realize how difficult it must be for my loved ones to witness this and be bolted awake by me gasping or screaming. When we feel helpless to help someone, or realize that someone is in pain, it can be so exhausting and frustrating. We can’t make someone better, we can’t fix the issues and we can’t take any of the suffering away. All we can do, sometimes, is pray.
I choose to pray and believe in a higher power to assist me in handling the situation at hand. I choose to believe that we are not alone in our struggles and adversity. I choose to reach out to prayer to assist me to get through the things in life that are difficult and unfair and make no sense at all. I choose to have faith that we will manage through anything that comes our way, as long as we are spiritually connected.
Now that I have come to understand that faith doesn’t make us immune to difficulty, but instead gives us the strength and support to manage the difficulty, I pray a lot. I pray silently, I pray out loud, I pray when I am waking up, I pray when I am falling asleep, I pray in the car, I pray in my head, I pray in my journal.
As I get older and hopefully wiser, there is a part of me that doesn’t care what people think about me. Although it is always a nice feeling to be accepted and liked and understood, I know now that I will never please everyone, someone will always judge, people may not get me and I might rub people the wrong way, because of something I say, do, or believe in.
This is all okay. It is okay that we are individual and unique and different and have our own way of doing things. I have found though, that the one thing that brings me strength and support when life is stressful and difficult is to lean on and call on something more powerful than ourselves. I choose faith because I would never be able to get through some of life’s difficult moments and situations without the instant and always available comfort that I have found in my faith.
On that note, I am off to analyze my crazy vision from last night. Maybe my latest investigations into how my brain works will eventually solve this night terror issue. Maybe nature photo viewing immediately before bed is the answer. Maybe I just need to sleep with the lights on. Maybe praying is the answer. I have hope, though, that it will all work out.
I choose faith because I believe there is something remarkable and mysterious about the world we live in and once we realize we don’t have to suffer all alone, we can overcome anything we are going through.
‘The future is as bright as your faith.’ ~ Thomas S. Monson