Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Little Story About A Troll Named "Fear"

Let me confess something.

I don't really like talking, much less writing, about fear. You could say I'm fearful of it. ;-)

But lately I've realized how fear does its damage to a much greater degree when we try to pretend it's not there instead of dealing with it. It's not that the fear always goes away completely, but you can manage it so that the troll shrinks in size and his power is weakened.

This post is not about today's fear, it's about the fear that makes us settle for far less joy, over the course of a lifetime. I think it's the same fear, though.

Let's pretend that you have this extreme fear of sickness. 

Step 1. Little Johnnie has the sniffles.

Step 2. You see yourself and your family as being in serious danger of getting seriously ill and then going broke from paying the resultant medical bills. Johnnie's symptoms are evidence that you are correct in your fearful assumptions.

Step 3. You react to this fear by reading the latest news on all illnesses,  you ALWAYS have your hand sanitizer in your purse, and protect your children as much as you possibly can by keeping them away from germs. You are convinced that you and your family are extremely susceptible to germs. Some people say you're paranoid, but what do they know? You'll show them!

Step 4. Before you know it, Johnnie's sniffles have developed into a flu, and now your husband feels puny. Your fear is further reinforced. You become more paranoid, I mean careful.

Step 5. You start taking your children to the doctor's office on the first sneeze, and while there, they catch an infection from a sick child in the waiting room.

Go back to step one and repeat as often as needed.

Does being afraid of illness make you more prone to being sick? There is an undeniable body-mind connection, but I'm not sure if we can draw a permanent cause-effect conclusion. However, the fearful mom in our little story is giving illness, which is something normal in a family's life, a disproportionate power. The power you give to fear comes from the joy/happiness you could be experiencing.

Take a look at one of your trolls and see if he's causing you to reinforce the very thing you're afraid of.