Anxiety is a state of fear of something painful occurring in the future. It trembles in our bellies, weakens our knees, clutches our throats and leaves a pit in our stomachs while it’s cohort, worry, runs amuck in our heads. Not the most comfortable of feelings! As parents our children give us many things to worry about, especially if we are prone to anxiety.
Toddlers can put our minds in the frame of catastrophe waiting to happen a thousand times a day. One mother of a toddler once said to me, “I feel like I am saving his life 50 times a day.. taking sharp objects from his mouth, chasing after him as he runs toward a mean looking dog, spotting him on steep wooden stairs.. talk about pressure!” With young children we face our fears daily as we jump to action and offer our protection.
As they grow, different worries arise, from emotional to social concerns to educational and on and on. Viewing all of these parenting challenges through the lens of fear and anxiety can take its toll.
The question is, what if these and other life circumstances provoked no fear in you? What if situations arose, you calmly and effectively responded with joy and moved on? This is not only a possibility, it is a reality that awaits you once you confront your fears. Fear only has power over you if you let it. When you turn to face the monster, look it in the eye and bravely walk toward it, its power diminishes.
Take a moment now to sit in silence and ask yourself what you fear most. What is the worst possible thing that could happen? It could be related to your child, spouse or partner, work. Whatever it is, be honest with yourself about it. Knowing your greatest fear is the first step to resolving it.
The step beyond knowing your fear is the release from it and the embodiment of freedom, strength and peace. Join me for the following meditation on releasing fears and stepping into a settled state in mind and body.