Fear is very pertinent to most people and many of my clients, especially in this day and age. Fear is a great cause of suffering. It stops us from being healthy, prevents us from being successful, keeps us from developing relationships that are helpful, and stops us from being at peace. But at the same time, fear is a very common emotion. It’s great to be able to understand it, where it comes from, and how to overcome it so you can live with less and less fear.
Why is it that we are victims of fear and, far too often, our fear creates huge problems for us in life? Let’s actually look at what fear really is through a story I once read by a very famous and very profound British philosopher who didn’t use fancy big words. His lessons were deep and his name was Winnie-the-Pooh.
Winnie-the-Pooh was with his friend, Piglet. Piglet was very small, very kind, and very loyal to his friends. But because he was so small Piglet was also usually subject to a lot of fear and apprehension. One day, Piglet and Winnie -the-Pooh were walking back from Rabbit’s house when they found themselves caught in a terrible thunderstorm. As they were walking through the forest, trees were coming down around them, branches were crashing to the floor and even whole trees were being ripped off and smashing around them. It was a very dangerous and scary situation. Poor little Piglet could stand it no longer. He suddenly froze and looked at Winnie-the-Pooh, and said: “I can’t go on any longer. I just can’t. What would happen? What would happen if a tree fell on us?” And that was a very real possibility. For a second, but only a second, Winnie-the-Pooh, was also afraid, but then his wisdom kicked in and he looked at his terrified little best friend and replied with these reassuring words: “What would happen if a tree did not fall when we were underneath it?” And that was also possible. In fact, even more possible. And that was the key to overcoming little Piglet’s fear so he could move on.
The nature of fear is always: “What would happen if?”, followed by something negative, something terrible which might happen to us, which is a possibility, but often very unlikely. The antidote to fear is, “What would happen if?”, and something positive. Something nice.
About Bradd Buckingham, M.A., LPC-R; Resident in Counseling:
Bradd is currently a resident in counseling providing counseling services at our Fredericksburg location. He is actively pursuing his license in Professional Counseling (LPC). Bradd is a recent graduate of The University of the Cumberlands with a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He completed a demanding internship working with individuals and couples at Fredericksburg Counseling Services.
Bradd specializes in working with individuals with complex trauma, personality disorders, anxiety, and depression. He can offer a safe environment for individuals and families in the LGBTQ community, as well as individuals with a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.