I was literally tied to the bottom of a bed. The motel room was disgusting. There were two men dressed all in black holding assault rifles pointed directly at me. I was terrified.
They spoke in a language that I couldn’t understand. I didn’t see any other captives in the room although I sensed there were more people in the room that I just couldn’t see.
A knock came on the motel room door. The two armed men opened the door and in walked a 3rd man dressed in black like the first two guys. I could tell that these guys meant business. They behaved like they were here on a mission.
As a risk taker and rule breaker, my mind was not focused on what the men were planning, and I didn’t let myself become paralyzed by the fear. Though I was afraid, I couldn’t let that terror cripple me. I slowly began to loosen the ropes around my wrists, tied behind my back. I could hear them conferring as I freed one of my hands but I made sure to stay in the exact same position so as not to notify the men that I had taken back some small part of my freedom.
Determined, I kept loosening the ties and was finally able to free both of my hands while still keeping them carefully positioned behind my back.
Surprisingly, some kind of altercation seemed to take place between the men and they left the room. I felt both a thrill and also sense of terror, knowing that they could still be just outside the door, but this was my chance. I thought, “I have nothing to lose. If I’m going to die, I’ll die trying. I will not hand my life to them on a silver platter. I’m going to take action, even if it comes to a struggle.”
I wiggled out from underneath the bed where I had been tied and discovered that there were 3 other women in the room, all lying across the adjacent bed. They looked terrified, but upon seeing me free, they kept completely silent. I knew that I had to help free them and I had to be fast.
I noticed that these women were not tied with rope—they were in shackles. I didn’t really even think about how I was going to remove the shackles. I approached them, our eyes communicating without the need for words. I began to search to see what the shackles were tied to. I checked each woman’s shackles and, surprisingly, they weren’t actually tied to anything. The women hadn’t tried to move anywhere, either out of fear or because they assumed that they were firmly bound.
I told them, “You are already free.”
That’s when I woke up.
It was a dream that I’ll never forget. It was one of those shaking nightmares that will always stay with you. A deep fear of kidnapping set in and for an entire week I felt the need to continuously check in and out with my husband. I truly felt, whether foolish or not, that I was going to be kidnapped. That’s how much of an impression the nightmare made on me.
I pondered over the dream for some time and then a light bulb went off.
I realized that the captors represented life’s many situations, circumstances, and defeats that keep us from pursuing our purpose. In the nightmare, it might have been safer and easier to simply wait there—bound, afraid, and helpless—eventually to be overtaken by my captors. Or there was an opportunity to break free. It was up to me to take it.
The women represented the vast majority of women who feel captive but aren’t really captive at all. Many women haven’t made any attempts to escape their situation, either because they’re afraid of what it would look like to leave, or because they’re resigned themselves to their situation. In the dream, the women weren’t actually captive at all but because of the shackles around their hands, they assumed that there was no way to move or escape. They probably assumed that it was easier and less dangerous to stay bound and to wait.
When someone who has escaped arrives and demonstrates that they can also be free, the understanding in their eyes changes.
To me this dreams speaks of the great responsibility of the women who are already “free” to connect, motivate, and mentor other women. We must unite to help our sisters become free.
I hope that my story has inspired you. Yes, you can be free.