Childhood fear

Childhood fear is a terrible thing if you are the child!

Several things came together on our recent trip to Scotland where we visited the Falkirk Wheel – a big ‘lift’ for canal barges taking them far into the air to go from one canal level to another (saving a day of going through many locks).

I thought back to a time when my son wanted to jump out of the aeroplane as he could do nothing to quieten the cries of his daughter, my grand-daughter.  Some time later in a moment of quiet I asked Emma (aged 2 and three quarters) what’d been the matter. She disclosed that she’d been frightened – of falling through the window …

This comment took me back to being small and my mother taking me to the park in Nelson, Lancashire.  There was a pretty Victorian metal bridge over the trickle of Pendle Water.  The many slats of the bridge had gaps.  It didn’t matter how slight the trickle was. I was convinced I would fall through the gap in the wooden slats of the bridge and perish.  I remember the fear!!

We joined the queue on the Falkirk wheel to get on our booked barge.  Behind us was a small boy to be three the following month.  He was letting out a more or less constant agitated wail.  There was no acknowledgement from mother who kept telling him off – ‘but you LIKE boats; you have been on them LOTS of times!’  Father was rather more acknowledging and bent down to the little chap trying to soothe him.

I butted in to father as kindly as I could. ‘Ask him if he is frightened’.  It was a ‘frightened’ noise he had been making!  The little boy nodded.  I crouched and butted in:

‘Mummy and Daddy love you.  That goes on for ever and ever and NOTHING can ever alter that!  They will watch over you – I PROMISE’.  He gave a watery smile.

They stayed on the boat and HE DID IT!  Going op and down the great height with hardly a peep …

It reminded me of child development – how we set off as pure feeling. Only later, post 10 years the logical side of our mind coming in. I was also reminded of a counselling truism, ‘acknowledgement is often enough.

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Fear!  One of the most unkind things we do to ourselves is to waste vast amounts of both time and energy worrying about things that will probably never happen, and half scaring ourselves to death in the process.  Our bodies react physically to fear by producing an extra burst of energy.  This is very useful when the fear is real, and we need to do something to get away from it. But when the fear is in our minds, the physical rush of adrenaline is not useful at all – in fact it produces the symptoms we know as stress.  This process of turning molehills into mountains occurs for many reasons, almost all of them associated with the way we feel about ourselves.  “What if … I can’t do the job…? Nobody likes me … I forget what I wanted to say when I stand up in front of all those people … they laugh at me … I fail the test … I fall on my face…”

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The possibilities are endless, and share one thing in common.  None of them have happened yet! Andrew Matthews, in his delightfully humorous book “Being Happy” (1988, p 38) has a simple solution to this problem. Products – Andrew Matthews


“All you have is now.  The measure of our peace of mind and the measure of our personal effectiveness are determined by how much we are able to live in the present moment.  Regardless of what happened yesterday and what might happen tomorrow, NOW is where you are.  From this point of view, the key to happiness and contentment must be in focusing our minds on the present moment”.  Just think about it.  How is the “now” in which you are reading this page?  Is it all right, maybe give or take a bit?  Think about it.  Any moments past have gone.  Worrying about them will not help.  When the next moment comes, and the next, it will be “now”.  Wasn’t your “now” when I asked you “Are you really all right?”

 There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

Your power for today

Take your power for today!  The headline ‘scare’ as I write today is about horse-meat being passed off as beef.

Many years ago I remember a fuss about bread – what was in it, and what wasn’t.  Allinson’s, the bread ‘with nowt taken out’ had added sugar (!!).  I lived in Liverpool and popped into town shopping.  In Marks and Spencer food department I remember seeing at least 3 people at the bread counter all reading labels.  It lifted my heart.

In this, as well as in many things WE HAVE THE POWER.  Food label for themselves only.  We can purchase or not.  The consumer is the powerful one … Has this got sugar in it or what?

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