When your heart weighs heavily on your spirit, what do you do? For the most part, we are driven reach out. To express our problems in order to seek a solution…but what if we cant?
What when safety reveals itself to be the illusion, which it always has been, how are we supposed feel? At first, we may deny the truth to react with anger. Upon acceptance, it is normal to spiral out of control a little bit, but eventually we begin to realise, there is a freedom in uncertainty.
Anxiety has become a major topic in our modern world. We may even be so anxious, we feel depressed when we are not, simply waiting for the next wave of extreme emotion to paralyse us. At present, anxiety disorders are recognised, but it wasn’t always this way. My generation was conditioned to dismiss fear and confront it head on. We were pushed, bullied and beaten out of allowing fear to hold us back. For some it worked, for others not so much…
Regardless in what way others encourage us to shed our fears, we can only let go of them ourselves. The same applies to our insecurities.
As imperfect as life may be, it is all we have. Again and again…so we cling to that which makes us feel secure, as temporary it might be. Until one big event shatters those illusions, too many remain trapped in unhappy circumstances. They can’t find a way out of them, since they feel escape will make them more vulnerable…which it often does when no support network exists. Though “just” a small number of these cases resort to desperate options, the number is rising every day.
For what it is worth, nobody should settle for a life of unhappiness, no matter how scary it can seem to leave the present situation.
You are worth more than that!
Safety is perhaps the second most persistent illusion, apart from space-time. It lulls us into a sense of trust in the process of life, which is currently being manipulated by approx. 1% of the global population for their own gain…to establish their own safe space.
People like me, and perhaps even like you, don’t have safe spaces. Trust doesn’t work out, but we don’t stop taking a chance. It is a cycle of pain that grinds us down until we find a reason to try again. However, giving up eventually because we perpetuate this cycle by trusting the same personality types is far more likely. Miracles do happen though.
I am perhaps not the most qualified to ask you to trust in people or believe that things can change. They never have for me, and they probably never will…but I refuse to quit. The fight against our worst insticts is never done. We simply need to continue to the end of this life, and similar problems will emerge in the next…in perhaps a brave new world, we never thought was possible. That, in fact, would not be possible without our perseverance.
Where we feel secure has much to do with when. A feeling of safety can be associated with when we visit a particular place, person or do a specific thing…But those things change. Places are turned to dust. People either leave or die. The joy once gotten from doing a certain thing can vanish, if we get depressed enough. So, what should we do, when nothing works anymore?
In essence, we must never give up on ourselves. Life is a conundrum of esoterica. It is so much more mysterious than we could ever imagine. It is filled with so much more unexpected kindness or compassion than we assume so readily. However, we can never discover any of this, if we don’t take the bad with the good.
There are moments, when it seems impossible to go on, but we must. When we need to wipe away our tears and pretend to be just fine…regardless of what happened. Yet, we can only find the strength to do this so many times without confronting the undelying issue. Eventually, if we don’t, we will self-destruct or do something we might sincerely regret. Although there can be no such thing as a safe space in the outside world, we can attain a state of being, in which we feel safe within ourselves… This is far from easy. It wont work in every possible circumstance, bu it is only method that can soften even the hardest blows.
Externalising Fear: As grown-ups, we might still use defense mechanisms we developed as children. Instead of making us feel safe as adults, our behavior causes us to feel unsafe. Instead of facing the situation head on, which we can’t do because we have no idea how to take responsibility for our own safety, we focus our fears on something else. For example, the abused child worries about pleasing their parents or the beaten wife worries about the academic performance of her kids. In shifting our attention elsewhwere, we distract ourselves from what we are going through. More importantly, what we are unconsciously doing to ourselves. After all, we cannot stay true to ourselves, if we abandon our own well-being for the sake of someone elses.
Suppressing Fear: For men, it is fairly common to learn at an early age to bury their emotions. Few cultures encourage young boys to process what they feel…Instead, they learn by the example that getting angry because they deny their emotions is a socially approved way to deal with their mental state.
How to cope:
Chögyam Trungpa once said
“…rather than being disheartened by the ambiguity, the uncertainty of life, what if we accepted it and relaxed into it? What if we said, ‘Yes, this is the way it is. This is what it means to be human, and decided to sit down and enjoy the ride?”
We feel unsafe, because we are designed to expect safety. Our insecurities just reinforce this feeling… From childhood onwards, we begin to feel unsafe within ourselves, so we developed coping mechanisms to deal with the world and our perceived self. We may act out of fear and anger instead of courage and love. We might even find reasons to be hurt by others no matter how nice they are…
Whatever we do, we must learn to be present in the moment and let go of the past in order to embrace the unknown. As hard as it may sound, all of our experiences have made us who we are. The good and the bad. Without them, we could not be who we are now…so we must find ways to be grateful for them. Even if it simply means to acknowledge the strength we have found to overcome the insurmountable.
Accept yourself for the wondrous, amazing self that you have become, because…you are astonishing just the way you are.