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I had a nightmare last night. In my dream I was sitting with a small group of people around a bonfire when suddenly a monster – half snake/half alligator – came crawling out of the woods and grabbed a man in our group. Another person jumped in to help and also became entangled with the beast. I stood there frozen – stuck between my desire to help and my fear for my own safety.

And then before I could take action, I woke up. But the dream stayed with me. The thoughts that had paralyzed me from stepping forward in my dream felt uncomfortably familiar – ‘I don’t know exactly what to do’, ‘Maybe if I wait someone else stronger or more qualified will step in’, ‘If I show myself I might get hurt too’.

The past few weeks – with the election results and all that’s bubbled up with it – have been another kind of wake up call, forcing me to face pain and fear that I haven’t wanted to look at.  As the shock wears off, I also feel a sense of being more strongly rooted in my own strength now that I am seeing reality more clearly. Knowing the truth – even when it’s painful – feels better than hiding from it.

I see this dream as an invitation, my soul now insisting that I act and live in a way that allows me to look the next generation in the eye and honestly say I did my very best for them. I created this artwork to help me remember to keep my EYES OPEN to seeing the truth as clearly as possible. Drawing this as a reminder to stay awake and be the person who stands up to fear and takes action to protect life and love even if I’ve stayed hidden in the shadows in the past.