Jake said to me the other day “I don’t like the dark. I am scared of the dark at night”. My response to him was “The same thing that is in the light during the day is what is in the dark at night. You just cannot see it without the light.” How many of us have a fear of the dark? I don’t think it is the dark that we fear it is the not knowing for sure if something is there or not. Fear can grab hold of your thoughts, emotions and make your heart race and goosebumps riseto your skin. As a little kid did you fear the dark of your room at night?
Fears whether they are irrational or realistic have the same effect on us all. The other evening I conjured up the thought that someone was looking in the window at me, that was totally irrational but I was scared just the same and fleed the room very quickly. Why is it that we humans have such a hard time with fearing the unknown? Is it because we cannot control situations that we are unfamiliar with because we don’t know how to cope with something totally unexpected? Is it because we are seriously worried about physical or mental harm to us? Is it because we just need to know everything all the time? We just can’t trust that everything will be ok we have to be in control.
We as humans are a controlling type of species. We must obtain as much knowledge as possible to mature and develop as a person. We must structure a box to live in and put everything into nice neat categories. We must schedule our lives or chaos will ensue. We are raised this way. I know my life goes much smoother when I have a list, a schedule and everything is in it’s place. I can think better, I feel calmer and I can function more efficiently. It’s as though clutter, clutters my thinking. I wonder where it all came from how that evolved?
Everyone has fears I think that is a given that we cannot resolve competely. The way to cope or manage the fears is what is most important. My children sleep with the hall light on so they have a little bit of light and they are not in complete darkness laying there in fear. When they tell me of monsters and wake up in the night from a bad dream I run to them. Give them hugs and say a prayer with them that God will help them to have good dreams. Then I sit and talk with them about the things that make them happy in this world. All the things we can possibly think of at 3am in the morning. My hope is that the good thoughts will overtake the bad. Then I kiss them goodnight and fall back into my own bed.
As adults how do we cope with our own fears? Most of the time I think we try to figure out if they are rational fears and if they are we make a plan of action and then we feel better. Plans for me are a great defense against fear. The other night when I thought someone was looking in the window. I left that room locked the door and checked the rest of the house. I developed a plan of action I decided I would scream, wake my husband and then call 911 if there was really someone lurking in my yard. Maybe in order to handle the irrational we just must think rationally. Like I tell my children God is always with you. I don’t tell my children that I believe He gives us free will so bad things can happen to us, I think that is too much for children to take in or understand. However, I believe He gives us the strength to handle the bad, the wisdom to make a plan and the sheer motivation to get out of a bad situation. In all that I do I ask for God’s help. Especially when I am in fear.
Tonight as you tuck your child into bed and say a prayer ask that your child always feel the presence of God at all times. That to me is the most comforting way to deal with fear, to know that I am not alone because none of us ever are. So when you hear a cry in the night from your child because of a bad dream run to them console them and pray a little prayer with them. So they know in the dark they are not alone God is with them and an angel is watching them sleep. It brings solace to my children maybe it will to yours as well.