Saturday, April 18, 2015

Defeating Your Nightmares

When I was a kid, and even into my teens, I suffered from terrible nightmares. Several times a month I would wake up in the early hours of the morning in a cold sweat, unable to clear my mind or return to sleep. I'd prowl my bookshelves, seeking out my favorite passages in my favorite books, trying to drown out the troubling images.

But they do that no longer. Sure, once in a blue moon, I'll wake up in that familiar cold sweat, but now I'll mop myself off with a warm cloth, roll over, and dive back in.

That act of rolling over is a key trigger for me. It's a manifestation of a mental trigger from auto-pilot to manual steering. It doesn't matter which side I started on, as long as I switch which side is up and which side is down.

I've discussed the WBTB method of initiating lucidity to the exclusion of all the others, because it's the one I exclusively use. I'd be inclined to say it's the one the works best, but in truth, it's the only one that--for me at least--works at all. This act of diving back into the dream is simply just WBTB all over again, and for that reason, I won't go into it in depth, you can find details on my other posts.

So why has the frequency of my nightmares declined so sharply? A doctor would tell you that my brain isn't growing as much as it was in those bygone years, but I can attest that that's not the whole story.

My nightmares started going away right at the time I started learning about controlling one's dreams. Prior to that landmark, I'd had minimal control in a very few limited dreams, but didn't know it was a controllable phenomenon. As I learned about lucidity, as I gained mastery, I took back control.

Break your fear of something, and it can no longer frighten you. Find its weakness, and take control.

That's all I did. I found the greatest weakness of each of my nightmares, and that weakness was the helplessness of not being in control. I took that control and turned it against them. The cold sweat that woke me? I used that as my trigger for WBTB, and soon enough, I was holding the reins. I no longer had any need to drive the details of the nightmare from my mind, because every detail that I could hold onto only served to bring me back into control more easily.

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