Meet our fear, George: the power of naming emotion

“All the other kids don’t like me.”

After I allowed for a moment to let that comment from my son sink in (and honestly break my heart), I responded with, “that sounds like something George would say.”

Instantly, he smiled and said, “I know.”

You see, in the midst of a meltdown some time ago, in the middle of “they don’t like me” and “I’ll get in trouble” and “I’m not good at it”… I stopped my son and asked where these thoughts were all coming from.

It sounded to me like fear was here. And we needed to name him.

George. George is the name my son gave to his fear. To him, it was a silly name for something truly scary… and somehow, that made it less intimidating.

So now, when the gremlins show up in our thoughts, we acknowledge George.

We know George is a little mean sometimes. And he doesn’t always tell the truth.

It makes it so much easier to be aware of fearful thoughts when they have a name. When they have a name, we are able to understand that they are separate from us… they are not who we are. Fear (or George) just visits. And anyone who visits can also be invited to leave.

Naming our fear has allowed for conversations about feelings and emotions that maybe we wouldn’t have been able to identify before.

And, for that, we are thankful for George.

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