She was young and innocent, getting ready to start high school. She and two of her friends were having a sleepover at their house to celebrate the start of the next chapter of their lives.
The evening went well. The girls planned to sleep in the backyard in a tent. Her friend lived in a safe neighborhood. The friend’s dad was very nice, attentive, and supportive of the girl’s plan and helped them get things set up.
Although everything was working as planned, the bugs, night time sounds, and the fear of what might move in the dark caused the girls to change their minds and move the sleepover inside.
They had a great night laughing, talking about boys, staying up way too late and falling asleep in the makeshift beds they made on the floor of her friend’s bedroom. What happened next changed this fun-loving memory forever.
In the morning, she was woken early by her friend’s dad. Although she wanted to sleep like the other girls, and was hoping the daughter would wake and tell her dad to go away like teenage girls do, this did not happen. He convinced her to get up to make breakfast for the other girls.
Once arriving in the kitchen, she realized something was not right. The breakfast was donuts, which requires no prep. The dad was being very nice, but the words he was saying and his action made her feel increasingly uncomfortable and she had no clue how to get away. She kept hoping one of the other girls would wake up.
She only remembers a little of what followed, she realized this man was only interested in her, and the fear he caused her to feel, no child should ever feel. Although the full memory is not clear, assuming her mind is blocking the memories to protect her, the fear it instilled never goes away.
Fast forward 25 years, she is a mom with two beautiful daughters. Her oldest getting ready to start her freshman year of high school...
The reason I shared this story is because, as a mom, I could have let fear and anxiety cause me to over protect my girls, I could have let it consume me. What happens in our lives, helps to define who we are. We carry the good memories and bad with us, and how we react to them or because of them, will direct our path.
What I had to do was release my fear from my childhood memory so it would not affect my future. As a parent, you try to protect your kids from the evil and hatefulness in this world, but unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, you cannot be with them all the time.
There have been countless nights, before falling asleep or if I wake up during the night, that I have said a prayer asking God to protect my girls. Sometimes this conversation with God is a minute or two, and other times, it is longer.
Fear and anxiety, which I view as one-in-the-same, can take over one’s life. To be happy and have peace, find your way of letting it go. Below are a few techniques I have used, to help work through fear and anxiety.
The first step is to be mindful of your feelings and emotions. You need to be aware when feelings of fear and anxiety come in; recognize the signs. The quicker you can detect these feelings, the easier it will be releasing them.
Step two is finding a way to release the fear and anxiety. I would love to say there is a one-size-fits-all solution, but I have not found one. You know you, it is important for you to try different techniques until you find what works best for you.
PRAYER: Prayer is something I find brings me peace and helps me to let go of fear. If you can turn it over to God and trust in him, he will take care of it and bring you peace.
MOVEMENT: For some people, movement helps the best. This may be going to an exercise class, taking a walk, going for a run, or yoga to help your mind to release the fear.
WRITING: If you enjoy writing, this may be for you. Write your thoughts that are causing fear to help you work through them. If this is your release, I would also recommend ending this writing session with positive thoughts. Write things you are thankful for, things that have made you laugh, or a good memory that makes you feel warm inside, don’t end on a negative note, always end positive.
MUSIC: For the music lovers, this may be the path from fear to your happy and peaceful place. When I was young, my mom always played gospel music on Sunday morning. I have found when I feel anxious or fearful, if I listen to some of this music it takes me to a place where I feel safe and this helps to take that fear away.
Each of us has to find what works best for us. I am sure there are many techniques, the ones listed above are ones I have done, as well as family and friends. I encourage you to raise your awareness of your feelings so when fear starts, you can use your ideal release method to bring you back to a peaceful, happy place and not let fear take over.
Be aware of your emotions, know the signs, and find your release from fear. This is a good practice to help you on the road to peace and happiness.
Sending peace, love and joy to you my friend! Sam