Earlier this year, my husband, son and I went to a theme park. My husband is very adventurous and has no fear. Me, on the other hand, at some point in my life I developed an intense fear of heights and roller coasters. My husband suggested a roller coaster and my eight year old son wasn’t too sure. I know that as adults we can greatly influence our children and the things we say and do become ingrained in the child’s mind. Children hear these messages sub-consciously for many years to come, especially if they are repeatedly communicated to the child.
Knowing that I didn’t want my son to be afraid of heights (or roller coasters) like me, I started talking to him about it when we waited in line for a kiddie roller coaster. I explained that roller coasters were safe. That they wouldn’t have them at the amusement park if they weren’t safe and there wouldn’t be so many people interested in going on them. Then I said that his dad would really enjoy going on the roller coaster and maybe he could just give it a try once. I could see my son contemplating this information and he decided he would give it a try. Even though I knew what to say, there was still no way I could get myself to go on the roller coaster.
My husband was surprised when our son said he wanted to go on the big roller coaster. And he was even more surprised when he wanted to keep going on the roller coasters over and over that day! I spent a lot of time sitting on benches waiting for them to go on the rides. I considered the influence I had on my son, and the fact that I was able to convince him to try the ride even though inside my stomach was in knots and I feared for his safety. I am determined to help my son live a less fearful life. It’s easier for me because my husband is fearless. We balance each other out and I often talk to him about things I want to caution our son on to see if I’m being realistic with my concerns. I’m not sure if I can change the pattern with my son, but I going to keep on trying!
Being courageous is a positive trait as long as we are taking smart risks. When we are afraid of something, we need to consider the rational truth of the matter. Why would the bible tell us not to fear 365 times? I believe it’s because if we have faith and open our eyes to what we really want, in our heart, that there will be no fear.
When I started working on the negative thoughts that significantly impacted my mind and body, I was able to work not only on the social fears, but on the other fears as well. I even managed to go to the top of large observation tower at some point in my healing. The roller coasters are still off-limits though, and who knows, maybe someday I will take the risk. All the work to change my own thoughts allowed me to share the positive messages my son needed to see less fear in trying something new.
When you are feeling very afraid, contemplate the truth of the matter. Is your fear rational? Think about the children you influence, are you able to feed them positive messages to reduce their anxiety and fear? Or are you verbalizing your own fears? Just do your best because your best is good enough. Enjoy today and be patient. Everything you need, will arrive when you need it!