The power of fear

I am thinking of teaching Carter about meditation. He has slid back into being the terrified 3 year old of our post 9/11 days. He doesn’t want to let me out of his sight. He has a baseball game tonight, one that I can’t attend because I am helping to facilitate a bereavement group. He doesn’t want to go to the game if I can’t be there. He is quite simply terrified that when I leave his sight, I will die. How can I comfort him? I can’t promise him that I won’t die, because he will say “but daddy wasn’t supposed to die and he went out one day and didn’t come home.” He’s right. I have no guarantees. And so as I read Eckhart Tolle and meditate online with Jon Kabat-Zinn, I realize that I need to teach my son that his thoughts are separate from his mind, his self, his soul. How, I wonder, do you put that into words that an 8 year old will grasp?

Fear is a powerful force. They have taken over Carter’s life and therefore the lives of Olivia and I. I know that in acknowledging them, we give these fears their power, and yet they invade our lives daily. “Tell them to go away,” I practically beg him. “I can’t! I just want to die!” is Carter’s typical response. And so I find myself looking for meditation CDs for kids, in hopes that perhaps I can teach Carter how to regain control of his own mind, and see that his thoughts are separate from who he is. Its a concept that even I struggle to grasp, but I can see the benefits of quieting the mind during those times when my brain is teeming with intrusive thoughts. Teaching Carter to meditate will be an experiment, one which I hope will quiet his mind, and mine.

2 Comments

  1. Expert Advisory May 9, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Abigail,
    Thank you for this entry you made awhile ago. I experienced the loss of my sweetheart, through suicide, and it feels as though who I used to be went away, and it is a year and a half later and I can’t seem to recover the old energetic go-go-go me. It feels like something changed in me at a chemical level. I get to redefine who I thought I was.
    I have 3 children, two teenagers and one younger who goes to Valley, and I want to teach our family that feelings are fluid and that we don’t need to be defined by them, or afraid of them.
    I am looking forward to reading your book, and your blog.
    ~Lisa

  2. magickskeyes May 21, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Abigail,
    I have attempted to bring up my four year old in spiritual practices since we left my abusive marriage almost two years ago. Eckhart Tolle is a good start, i have found externalizing her emotions are successful in ways like “what would you name that thing that comes over you when you …” Further i have found spiritually based children’s books extremely helpful such as my all time favorite “The Little Soul and the Sun” a parable giving spiritual purpose to hardship and Wayne Dwyer’s childrens books geared to allowing them to connect with thier spiritual self. Madison is now an active participant in smudging ceremonies and the like and with her understanding it then becomes easy to adopt other practices such as meditation which we are just starting.
    Hopefully this helps, although i havent answered your question directly
    ~Erica

Leave A Comment