Can “I don’t like” = “I’m scared”?

Starting a walk in the woods now often begins with

I don’t like the forest.

Hands are reached for, siblings who run ahead are called after, but the pace stays slow, cautious.  Today our walk began with the same “I don’t like” declaration.  After playing in the mountain stream, she took her brothers hand, and reminded him, “I don’t like the forest.”

“Really?  I do.”

“Well, there are bears, and I’m scared.”

“I like the forest.”

“I’m just a bit scared.”

“Look, it’s a troll bridge. Are they going to get us?”


“Why not?”

“Trolls are mythical creatures.  They’re not real.  We’re just fine crossing.”

After crossing, “I like the forest!”


I wonder how often adults, “I don’t likes” are actually I am scared or uncomfortable or unfamiliar or know a bad story about this. How frequently do I dislike something without recognizing my own fear?

Maybe I need someone to hold my hand, tell me their perspective, remind me of truth and get me moving in the right direction, so I can be free to enjoy.

Whose hand can I hold?

Where can a fresh perspective help?

What truths restated can hearten?

Want to get moving with me in the right direction?


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