Why I Don´t Tell My Kids Not to Be Afraid

My daughter was afraid of having water in her face since she was very little. In the shower. In swimming pools. Many people told her: “Don´t be afraid. It is just water.” It never worked.  And because of her fear she struggled with swimming.

Recently, we went to a swimming again. In ten minutes she went from having trouble floating with swimming sleeves to swimming under the water. Without sleeves. And at one moment she told me to look at her eyes under water. They were fully open.

So how did a five-year-old overcome an almost life-long fear? What did I whisper in her ear?

I did not tell her not to be afraid. I explained to her what fear was. Just a feeling, a thought. And that it has nothing to do with swimming. She trusted me. She heard something. And started swimming.

When we tell our kids (or anyone) not to be afraid the message can be (and often is) heard as:

  • being afraid is somehow wrong
  • it is important not to be afraid
  • things or situations can be scary
  • we have a power to change how we feel

In my world, none of the above is true. And I do not want to lie to my kids (or anyone else). I do not want them to suppress their fears, hide them, fight them, and become scared of being afraid.

Our feelings are created by THOUGHT (principle, energy, power) and we do not control it. When it flows, we feel great. When it gets stuck and we attribute the feelings to something outside (circumstance, people and even “ourselves” are all outside), we suffer.

The best “cure” I know is understanding. Understanding that there is nothing to cure, because there is nothing wrong with feeling bad. Understanding that our MIND (the deeper intelligence) will take care of our stuck thoughts better and quicker than anything we might try. Understanding that feelings are in no way connected to the external world.

Feelings are an indicator of whether we are attaching our feelings to the outside or not.

The fear or any other emotion is in no way telling us what to do or not to do. The fear is not telling us about a possible danger. Our wisdom/common sense is our true guardian angel (my common sense, not my fear, stops me from sticking fingers into an electric socket, walking blindly in front of a passing car, it is my common sense that guides me to a healthy life style, not my fear of death/illness).

We know this deep inside. My daughter knew it and trusted me. Just for a moment she saw through the illusion. And she learned to swim in a record time.

What can happen in your life, if you can see through the illusion and stop guiding your actions based on how you feel? What would you be able to accomplish if fear became irrelevant?

With love

Martin

 

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