As a child, I was fascinated by the appearances of Our Lady of Fatima to three children in Portugal. But, at night, I felt afraid. “What if Mary appeared to me? What if God appeared to me?” The thought terrified me. Indeed, I would quake in my bed.
What made me afraid of Mary and God? The “thought” made me afraid.
I concede there’s more to an emotional response than one thought alone. For example, I’m a highly sensitive person who grew up in a less than peaceful environment. As a result, I developed a particular pattern of thinking and emotional response rooted in insecurity and fear. The same is true for you although your patterns may be different from mine, and may even be healthy ones.
It all comes back to mind and how we perceive even as young children.