Saturday, September 24, 2011

Leading our Children through Fear

Sometimes it seems the hardest part of growing a braveheart is showing our children how to be brave and then giving them permission to use their courage when we can't protect them. Below is an excerpt from Donald Miller's recent blog, "Leaders Lead People Through Fear." Replace "leader" with "parent" (parents really are leaders, anyway) and get a sense of how we can lead our children through fear.

Here is the excerpt (with a link to the whole blog at the bottom):

Donald Miller
"I reminded my friend in an e-mail this morning that sometimes leading just means being out front, going to the places very few people are willing to go. But the cool thing about leaders is they show the rest of us that the path is scary but ultimately safe.

"As I e-mailed him, I thought about the few times I’ve gone through haunted houses with friends. For whatever reason, I sometimes feel like I need to be the guy out front. You know, the guy turning the corners first, feeling the walls, trying to find my way through the maze in the dark. But I assure you, I’m not feeling all that brave up there. I’m feeling terrified, to tell you the truth.

"Leading is like that sometimes. You’ve got a gaggle of screaming, giggling friends behind you, afraid of their demons, afraid of addressing their wounds, afraid of getting real about their coping mechanisms, and they’re looking for a shirt to cling to, somebody to bump into when the line suddenly stops because a guy just jumped out of a closet with a chain saw. They’re looking for somebody to scream with and to grab them and keep them from falling down. They’re looking for somebody to move them quickly through the room they’re in into the next room, the one that holds yet another challenge.

"To those of you who lead, I’ll tell you what I’m telling myself these days, and it’s the same thing I told my friend.

"The trick to leading a group through a haunted house is knowing the scary stuff can’t actually kill you. The management won’t let them.

"It’s the same with all the scary stuff we have to deal with, all the fear of abandonment and loneliness and wounds we have to address. They aren’t allowed to kill us. Sure we might feel some fear, and a lot of it. But in the end (even if it kills our earthly bodies) we don’t die. We just come through the other side with a knowledge we faced our fears, and we got out of that haunted house alive, our screaming and giggling friends in tow.

"If you’re a leader, just know you’re supposed to be a little afraid. And you’re supposed to be taking some people with you. And nobody can actually kill you in this thing. All they can do is yell boo. Be brave".

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