A few week ago, I had a dream.
It started innocently enough. I was cuddled on the couch with an old college crush, enjoying some daytime tv, when suddenly, as the little spoon, I had a troubling thought.
Did my hair have an odor? Not only was the cuddle session unanticipated, but it was also happening in the presence of my two-week-old blowout! A blowout which, let's get real, probably smelled like Jamaican Black Castor Oil and sweat.
As insecurity welled up deep inside, I felt mortified; but I swallowed the feelings in silence, not wanting to bring them up.
Then the dream transitioned to evening. Suddenly we were at a party in someone's beautiful apartment. Soft lights glimmered and romanticized the space. Guests mingled and laughed. The energy felt electric - like a party no one would ever forget.
As my crush and I spoke, a girl I knew walked up to us. I introduced them and they discovered they had a shared acquaintance. As they bonded over their dislike for this person, I walked away. My feelings hurt, I wondered, "Does he not like me anymore?"
--Now, I know some of you are rolling your eyes, but remember: THIS IS A DREAM!!!--
ANYWHO, someone brought firecrackers to the party and I thought it would be a fun, albeit mischievous party trick to ignite one. So I threw a firecracker by the lifesize jenga and fell into a deep sleep.
When I awoke, all hell had broken loose. The firecracker not only damaged the kitchen cabinets, but also injured my crush, and jumped to the neighbor's balcony. The neighbor, an academic at a nearby university, had just threatened his colleague. So when the colleague somehow DIED from the firecracker, the police took the neighbor into custody.
Dream Lana accidentally caused a death, a false arrest, injury, and home damage. The party trick wasn't supposed to go down like that and I awoke from the dream shook 👀
When We Swallow Fear
I threw that firecracker out of insecurity and it ignited many unintended consequences. I felt ashamed that my actions, stemming from feeling unlovable, created so much chaos and pain.
While cuddling with my crush, I could have said: hey, I just applied this hair product and it has a smell. Does it bother you?
But instead of communicating, I swallowed my fear, hurting not only myself, but also others in my viscinity.
Operating in fear is like wearing beer goggles - except, instead of seeing sexy models everywhere, we see monsters on the attack. With our fear goggles on, our actions seem justified. It's not until we take them off that we understand the consequences of our misperceptions.
How to Put the Firecracker Down
So how do you know when your fear goggles are coming out? You know they're present when you want to chuck a firecracker at somebody's head. Firecrackers are loveless acts and we use them to dominate another's spirit.
What does it mean to dominate? It means to rule or control another, to occupy a superior position. People use condescencion, agression, gaslighting, and shame to emotionally dominate others and strip them of their power.
Dominating others helps people feel safe in a world that dominates them. Yet, it's a false security. Domination encourages retaliation, which creates a cycle of abuse.
When you feel like you're about to throw a firecracker, pause, and see it for the violence it is. Do not start another cycle of abuse. Love yourself enough to remove the fear goggles and find your way back to peace.
If that means getting quiet, get quiet. If that means taking a walk, take a walk. If that means writing in your journal, write, baby. But whatever you do, refrain from responding until you've reconnected with the sanity of peace.
When They Want the Smoke
But what if someone throws a firecraker at you? Here's a trick: just imagine them with their fear goggles on. When you know their perceptions are blurry, it's easier to take their behavior less personally. Gently stick to the facts and remove yourself from the encounter if necessary.
Remember: gentleness with a backbone is one of the most powerful forces on earth.
Energetically matching people, on the other hand, gives them your power. So harness your power by maintaining an energy of peace. People wearing fear goggles want their energy to dominate, but need someone to stand up to them with peace. Peace encourages them to take their own goggles off, and once they do, they'll see with clarity once more.
Domination belongs to the animal kingdom and it's time for human to evolve. Let’s remove the fear goggles and set the firecrackers aside so that we may live in our true power. By doing so we can anchor in a more loving world.
This is not a dream. Our actions make it a reality.