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Posts Tagged ‘#fearandanxiety’

When I was a child, I thought that to be brave was to go in my room and night, and actually look under my bed to see if there were monsters there.

When I was a teen, I thought that to be brave was walking home alone, in the quiet dark, after a night of babysitting.

When I was a young adult, I thought that to be brave was to stay home alone when my hubby went out of town.

Brave has many faces, but on each face a fear of something, known or unknown, is written. The fears of childhood are the foundation for the fears of the rest of our lives. If I re-read my own expressions of what it was to be brave when I was younger, they are all centered on two fears; fear of the dark, and fear of being alone.

I believe that they are universal fears, I believe they are innate fears. I believe the
two fears are really one fear, for to be afraid of the dark is always diminished by
being in the presence of another.

From when we are born, we experience times alone. From our earliest beginnings in our mother’s womb, we experience dark. Yet those two fears go with us, and in some, intensify as we get older.

There is something about nighttime that can cause doubts, discomfort and fears to arise more easily. Add to that being alone, and the night can seem endless and hopeless.

For a child, being taken to bed, being tucked in, being reassured by a loving person that they are safe and that the nighttime will not last forever, can lessen their fear of the dark. If that does not work, having someone to accompany them in the dark, until they fall off to sleep will eliminate any further cries of fear.

For myself, as an adult, I hear far fewer noises, I sleep far easier, when hubby is in the house with me. His presence assures me that I am not alone, and the dark no longer has power over me.

If we are to be brave, we need to understand that the presence of another can be the light that takes away our fear of the dark, because their presence itself is like a light.

God’s message to us all in Isaiah 42:16 is “I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Whenever we think that we are alone, we need to remember that the One who never breaks His promises to us, is with us. Him in our lives means we are never fully alone, and the darkness is eliminated by the light of his presence.

Plato said, “we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” The light of the world has come to illuminate our steps, he is like that parent by the bed of a fearful child, the friend walking you home in the dark, the person on the other side of the bed (snoring like a band saw), but He never leaves those who choose to brave and trust the presence of his light.

“Fear is the path to the dark side.”
Yoda



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One of the most common disorders for adolescents, and increasing in numbers affected, is anxiety.

According to Free Dictionary, anxiety is everything from “uneasiness caused by fear … to apprehension or worry accompanied by physical symptoms common in mental illness or following a distressing experience.”

Anxiety is part of being human. At an early age, when a mother or father leave their child with someone else, and the child experiences the anxiety of separation from those parents who represent safety and security for them. This may produce tears, screaming and death-grip holds on mom and dad.

Anxiety commonly also can occur during the stage of night terrors (nightmares), starting school, moving, death of a loved one, divorce of parents, an upcoming test/exam, a trip, a marriage, an illness and on, and on.

Children with anxiety disorders are missing out on school, on friendships, on life experiences, because they are filled and dominated by fears. 

What is it that has caused the increase in anxiety of children, to the point of being diagnosed with a disorder?

Some claim it is violent video games, addictive use of social media, sexualization of children, and/or the breakdown of the family. All of those things can certainly contribute to feelings of anxiety.

Whatever the reason, the problem is before us, as parents, as people who work in schools and churches and places of recreation. 

So, what can we do for someone in our life who has (or may be silently dealing with) anxiety and fear? 

Be kind.

It may seem like an oversimplified response, and kindness does not dissolve fears and anxiety, but it really can help. 

The thing about kindness is that it can let someone know that they have been noticed, that they matter. Kindness can make someone feel good, make them smile. To receive kindness is to receive an unexpected, often unmerited gift. Kindness can give hope to one who may not feel there is any hope. Kindness can provide comfort, consolation.

Kindness is not the cure, but it might be a little remission from the fears that dominate.

 

 

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