Are you still in touch with your inner child? If so, do you mind telling me about them?
Do you feel safe?
In a word, yes. But let me tell you the story.
Last day, I came across this tale of a brave warrior.
The warrior was well renowned for his courage, and when people asked him what his secret was, he would tell them that when he felt fear, he took refuge in a castle where he was always protected. One night, he was passing through a forest when a band of robbers – who knew him by reputation – caught him. “You can’t go to your castle now!” They taunted him. But the brave warrior smiled and said, “Oh, but my castle is within. And it is my mind that takes refuge, not the body.”
This story was profound in so many ways, but in the context of this post, it speaks to us in that whether we feel safe or not, is a choice that rests with us.
I fully acknowledge that finding this place of protection within is easier for some than it is for others – many of us have had frightening, abusive experiences, and its hard for those with such traumatic memories to think of the world within or without as a safe place.
After all, it holds so much trauma from the past that it seems nearly impossible to find peace there.
Eventually, we all look for safety. In jobs, relationships, degrees, money. These are all worthy and necessary pursuits, but what of the world within?
There are things we all lacked growing up, though the specific thing we lacked might vary. And what we lacked must have served at least in part to bring us where we are now. For instance, as a child, I longed for meaningful relationships, for a place free from the evils and heartbreaks the world had – and that took me closer to spirituality and self exploration.
But when we go searching for that peace outside of us, can we be sure that it’s going to be long-lasting? Jobs can be lost and so can relationships. Everything that can be gained can be taken away – just as we who gain and lose these things can be taken away in the arms of death.
One wonders if there is indeed any such thing as safety in that case, given the fragile balance of the world. And because our experiences tend to bring us to fears and successes both, our inner child can show apprehension, annoyance and even anger.
While I’m no great master of the mind, I have observed that as I started to build a better conversation with my inner child, I’ve started to feel safer. When an experience comes along that challenges me, I soothingly tell myself that it’s a learning experience and not a taunt from life.
Taking the inner child by hand, I protect her against the backlash of my own thoughts.
Ultimately, every situation in itself has no power to break us. This knowledge when internalized is the greatest safety net of all.
So when are you building your own castle?