Safety is an internal state, that is why no amount of money in the bank or amount of guns in a house can make people feel safe.
“Frightened people do not play”
~ Bessel Van der Kolk
This phrase that I heard in a lecture today tied so much together for me.
So many people I speak to complain of an absence of joy, the loss of playfulness. That is what was achingly present in my own depression: the unbearable seriousness and constant lurking of fear in adulting.
The antidote to fear is feeling safe and it is precisely this feeling of safety that so many of us cannot access.
In the Old Paradigm we’ve been conditioned to seek safety on the outside: a knight in shining armor, the money in the bank, a gun hidden in a night table, a wall surrounding a property. All of these are necessary for people who feel not only frightened and unable to survive on their own but also expecting the worst from neighbors, family members, life itself.
Of course, ultimately safety is an internal state and no amount of money in the bank or amount of guns in a house makes people feel safe. In fact, one may argue the opposite correlation: it is the people in bigger houses that usually have taller walls surrounding them.
The constant state of fear comes from disregulated nervous system of traumatized people.
At the heart of trauma is the disconnect from the present moment. It’s a disorder to not be in the here and now. And we cannot be in the here and now when we are not connected to the body, to our senses.
Healing is the integration of all the fractured parts of ourselves and restoring the connection to our bodies.
To me reconnecting to my body has involved slowing down, being mindfully present for life in the moment and in awareness of my senses, reconnecting to pleasure, changing my relationship with wanting.
When we re-establish our inner sense of safety and release trauma stored in the body, we are able to return to playing, and imagining, and doing things just for fun that we haven’t done since childhood.
Watch My Video: The Importance of Feeling Safe to be Ourselves