A big lesson "Stranger Things" teaches us about parenting and anxiety
On November 1, I taught the first of many parenting classes to come about anxiety and raising anxiety resilient children. It went super well for many reasons, but a huge reason was because of the parents who attended.
The people who attended were very knowledgable people. People who are successful in their careers. People who lead many others in the community. People who love passionately, and people who really want to give back to this world. It was inspiring and humbling to hear their questions about anxiety in general, as well as how their parenting styles were influencing the creation of anxiety.
One thing is clear....anxiety can be as confusing as Donald Trump (perhaps not that confusing), but still. It's misunderstood and often super camouflaged. When we don't understand it, we feed it. When we feed it, it grows...you get the picture. If you've seen the Netflix original, "Stranger Things," you know what happens at the end of season 2...the boy's "darkness' is scorched out of him. It wanted "cold," so they gave it "heat." No more feeding it. No more accommodating it. Anxiety dies in its opposite. In other words, if it loves dark, you give it light. If it scares you away, you turn and face the damned thing. If it tells you you're nothing, you do what says I'm "someone." If it tells you you're weak, you do what makes you strong. The hardest part is actually understanding just exactly where your anxiety is residing in you...meaning...anxiety exists as a symptom (not a problem) of underlying dishonest beliefs we have about ourselves. One example of a common belief is "my achievements dictate my worth."
There's no easy way around anxiety. The beliefs must be dug out and exposed.