This is Sydney. She is five. Yesterday I was sitting in the car with her while her mother was shopping. We were having a very lively five-year-old discussion when out of the blue, she said, “Nana, did you know you can swallow your fear?”
Me: “Swallow your fear? How?”
I watched as she inhaled, expanded her chest very wide, and exhaled very dramatically.
Then Sydney said, “That’s how you do it. You take in a big huge breath, swallow, and blow out the fire.”
She gave me that look. It’s the look that glares, “You are the adult and should know all these things”.
When I didn’t respond, she shrugged her shoulders and explained, “The fire is fear.”
Me: “Who told you all this?”
Scrunching up her lips in total exasperation, she announced, “Mommy tells me to breathe when I get upset. When I do, I swallow my tears. Then I feel better. So when I get scared at night, I breathe in the fear, swallow it, and then I blow the fire out. That’s the scary part of fear. Then it’s all gone.”
Sydney immediately diverted her attention away from me and on to something else. I sat back and pondered her words. Yep, leave it to a kid to put you in your place.
Swallow your tears. Swallow your fears.
The Bible tells us, “For God gave us not the spirit of fearfulness, but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
I think my granddaughter gave Nana a little lesson here.
Sydney listened to her mom. Her mom lovingly demonstrated to Sydney how to control (discipline) her emotions. She used that strategy to control her fear.
Maybe Sydney’s strategy has some credence. Breathe in deep, swallow the fear, and blow it out. When we blow fear out we get rid of it. It no longer consumes us.
I turned around and got Sydney’s attention. “Do you think God grabs that fear when you blow it out?”
Shrugging her shoulders again she declared, “Who else would get it?”
Sometimes it pays to hang around children. You never know what good advice you’ll get.
God bless you