Halloween can be fun - but it can also feed fears for those who have suffered trauma or anxiety
... and free colour-in download pdf pumpkin lantern. 29 Oct 2019
Until recent years, Halloween was not celebrated in Australia. But it seems to have crept in more and more. If you live overseas, it may be a regular custom, but for many of us, it is not familiar. However, the decorations are all in the shops and I do not wish to ignore possible effects of this week because many families do get into the fun of it, including neighbourhood children. This is not an article about spoiling any fun - it's just thoughts about things to notice in children around you. If they look fearful instead of enjoying themselves, then perhaps they need ways to feel safe as they join in with others.
And, as I work with soul inner healing for people and children who have suffered anxiety or trauma in some way in their lives, I realise and witness that their fears can be worse during this time of the year.
In our neighbourhood there are sometimes 'little fairies, super heroes and a some ghouls, accompanied by their parents - I remember one year one parent was dressed as a dinosaur with pink spots' - and they always come before sunset on Halloween. And this always appears to be a fun time for those families dressing up. However, for some children, they will not feel good about anything on this day, either at school or at home because it can act as a trigger on their fears.
We have all suffered something in some way that our memory has retained that upsets us.
However, for any person or child who suffers anxiety, or who has a history of physical, sexual, violence or emotional abuse in any way; or who has witnessed the death of a loved one or loved pet; or experiences flashbacks or nightmares, I can certainly understand that certain aspects of this celebration could do them harm.
Whatever we feed, grows
The truth is that whatever we feed, grows
Feed the fear, and we will receive more of it.
Feed the light, and we will receive more of the light and all that goes with it.
Everyone has a right to feel safe ...
Although Halloween is fun for many, please understand that those very things that can be fun for some, can be traumatising for others and may feed their fears.
Because they do not feel safe. Every soul - child, adult and animal - has a right to feel safe.
For some, Halloween can trigger very negative thoughts and fears and emotions even of suicide, death, and more. The darkness can be very frightening if people have not had the chance to recognise and be helped with these fears.
So, it is important during this time for all of us to be sensitive to those around us.
What can you do?
Do your best to make this a fun and safe time for your family and open dialogues of anything that your children bring up.
Notice if a child or adult is fearful and re-assure them that they do not have to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or fearful. Help them feel safe. Try and find something that is fun for them including perhaps a costume that is positive for them.
Make sure that animals are kept safe, preferably inside the home. Fireworks, other noises and scary creatures do not help them, nor young children either.
When you go out with your children on a neighbourhood route on Halloween, please remind your children about stranger danger when you are not with them. Only allow them to go to houses that you feel are safe.
As a family, have fun.
However, if you, or your child, suffers recurrent nightmares and terrors, panic attacks or anxiety, ask for help. If you check in for an appointment with me, we can work on what is the best way for you to work through the fears that you are experiencing, find their origins and transform the effects.
The body remembers. And we get triggered. And the only way out is to find a way through in order to get to a place of inner healing. I know. I have truly been there and I want to help you too.
Light dispels the darkness.
My motto is that I help you shine your inner light. As a soul worker, and an overcomer of the longterm effects of trauma, I choose to no longer dwell on the negatives but to dwell on the light within me.
Fun Colour-in Poster
I have made a fun colour-in poster for you to download and print for you, your class or family. It has a drawing of a pumpkin and a twinkle star behind it, with the words, ‘I choose to let my inner light shine’.
Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain on October 31, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts or evil spirits. The veil between worlds is considered very thin. (Wikipedia) Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. This is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.
In other significance of this week, various Christian churches in Australia, including the Catholic, Uniting, Anglican churches, commemorate All Souls’ Day on or around November 2 each year. All Saints' Day is a feast day celebrated on 1st November. All Souls' Day, 2nd November, is a time to pray for departed souls of those we love and miss 'where we are encouraged to light a candle in remembrance and honour of them'.
Whatever you choose to do, stay safe, have fun, notice and be mindful of how others are feeling and be kind to one another.