Listen to ‘Where Does Safety Come From?’
Episode 9 Transcript
Hello, my name is Roxanne Darling, and this is In The Transition podcast. Today is episode 9 and I’m doing a deep dive into the topic of safety. This is the issue we face when times seem out of control and confusing, even at times frightening. The Transition in Conscious has some insights here that have helped me relieve anxiety and understand the starting point for feeling safe. Much like the lighthouse image I’m using for the podcast cover art, the short answer is that when the waves are crashing around me, I go inside, to a metaphorical lighthouse to create calm and get a larger view of what’s happening ‘out there.’
And in case you haven’t noticed before, I provide a full episode transcript on my website and many links in the show notes. Ok, let’s talk about safety.
In meditation today, I was thinking about “What does it mean to feel safe?” One of the energies I want to cultivate in the silent retreat I’m offering in September is an understanding of what it means to feel safe. So often, we spend time and energy and money to put up external constructs to feel safe. We think the danger is “out there” and thus the safety must be built “out there” too.
But that is not how I’ve operated for the last few decades.
With the coming onslaught of ‘deep fake’ videos, it’s past time to start understanding the ENERGY. Though we humans have built-in biases from childhood experiences, there is still a lot that can be reasonably sensed — in the energy. “Create Your Reality” has arrived in living technicolor.
Alongside this, is the freedom to ignore things that are not in your immediate present, IF you want to. That enables one to focus on what matters, in the NOW, and gives you more power to act on your beliefs, on your desires.
We’ve been pretending for a long time that there’s an objective, fixed reality when in fact there is far more subjectivity acting in us and on us than we could have imagined.
Today I saw something on Twitter (by David Novick), and it was a graphic with a series of I think 9 brown balls with an overlay of stripes. But if you took the stripes aways, you could see that the balls were indeed brown. (OK, more than 9 balls.)
Is it time to find your inner compass and cultivate a secure energetic connection to it? If so, this episode is for you.
I believe that feeling safe begins as an inside job.
Before looking to the world to change and adjust itself according to my preferences, I prefer to build a fortress inside myself — one that is always accessible to me and that I can continue to develop as I choose. Once my internal “structure” is in place, then I can look out at the world from a secure vantage point — from the lighthouse. From this place of security, I can more effectively decide what (or what not) to do in any given situation.
Over time, I’ve learned to trust myself far more than I trust others. I set my own boundaries, my own parameters, my own preferences, and I operate from there. I know that I live in a world that is almost entirely out of my control. Just the thought of that used to terrify me! It no longer does. I flipped it to say then, “Well, if I have little to no control out there, what can I do in here? Inside of me, my thoughts, and my actions?”
I remind myself that my Soul and I chose to be here at this time and place – even if I can’t specifically recall from here in my human condition. I have no formal proof, but that type of thinking enhances my sense of personal agency, and so far in my life, it makes as much sense as anything else.
Energetically, I find comfort in thinking that I am a co-creative being with something larger than myself. Not larger as in more important, but merely on the level of energy and consciousness. To live as a spiritual being having a human experience means, for me, to have an understanding of this world of limits and boundaries, space, and time. These limits, here and now, exist alongside the unlimited omniscience and infinity in the multiverse.
Again, I readily admit these are ideas I cannot provide mathematical proof for, though others might be able to. But they make more sense to me than believing in heaven and hell and a wrathful god somewhere who has planted a maze of temptations for me to avoid, lest I be cast out forever.
So from this vantage point of safety, in a time and place as defined by disruption as anything else, where is my harbor?
But wait – I just time-traveled for a second and I’m thinking about life a hundred years ago, during the Industrial Revolution. Imagine the disruption from when humans and animals had to provide the labor that was now being handled by machines? How a labor-intensive yet quiet, pastoral time witnessed the arrival of loud machinery that was no doubt mysterious to the average person on the street? I suppose it’s similar to the disruption accompanied by the internet and now artificial intelligence and robots.
So there is a little more comfort for my mind, knowing that we collective spirit beings having human experiences have danced with disruption over and over again — for eons, literally. It’s almost as if disruption is the constant, not the differentiator.
Thinking back on history reframes the idea of creating a safe harbor, not as a new challenge, but a recurring challenge. In other words, it’s part of my job as a human, to understand myself and to know how to comfort myself and to express myself. It’s a lesson to be learned and relearned as I age through the decades and acquire new skills and shed old beliefs.
To answer the question of this episode, I have learned to find safety within.
I don’t depend on others to make me happy, to make me feel safe, to give me things. I consider each person to be responsible for themselves. And I believe that each person, each with limits and boundaries, each facing challenges, is best backed up by her or his Soul. The Soul, that which is omniscient and omnipresent, can be more animated in my life than I was raised to believe. Indeed, I talk to my Soul all the time, and it serves my sense of safety to think that my Soul and the Universe are 100% in support of me, as your Soul and the Universe are for you.
I cannot know others all that well — let’s face it, it is a full time job just getting to know my own self, preferences, and prejudices, to bring all that to consciousness. Once it’s made conscious, I have the information I need to craft my ‘one wild and perfect life’ as Mary Oliver suggests.
Wanting someone else to keep me safe is a surrendering of my autonomy. Barring, of course, a contract where I might pay someone to handle specific details individually. Let’s be clear. I’m talking here about the psychological and metaphysical perspectives, not the transactional ones.
Taking full responsibility for my own safety by knowing and trusting myself has rid me of enormous anxiety that I used to experience. Yes, I lock the door at night, but I also know how to call 911. Yes, I might have a favorite path to walk, but I also know how to pay attention to my environment and — here is the real kicker to this idea — I believe that no matter what happens, my Soul has my back.
What I’m suggesting is to create a metaphysical understanding that exists alongside the physical, the practical. It is a given that we cannot control all aspects of our existence. So it raises the question, what do I do with all this time and space that I cannot control? For me, that has been a lifelong exercise of learning about myself, so I can construct the type of inner world that makes me happy and helps me set my own safety parameters.
The less I have to depend on others to take care of me, the more I can enjoy and interact with others, absent expectations and false requirements that they surrender (possibly) some part of themselves to care for me. I’d rather this be something that I choose to give and receive consciously, rather than something vaguely owed to me. Again, this is on the metaphysical plane where we’re all interacting as humans having spiritual experiences. This experience of the divine doesn’t preclude us from entering into all sorts of transactions. But as we all know, I think, transactional commitments are not ironclad. They fail day in and day out. Indeed, the larger systems of government and weather fail, too. And if they represent my singular sense of safety and security, well, I find that demoralizing, demeaning, distracting, and disturbing.
The alternative is a continual return to my human self and my soul self. What can I do to increase my knowledge of self? How do I use that knowledge to create my inner safe space? What so-called neuroses can I accept and then let guide my rules for living my happy life? What can I stop forcing myself to do? Or, what might I experiment with, knowing that it doesn’t matter if the world thinks I failed?
What might my life look like if I trust in my self and my Soul to remind me that no matter what happens, there is something in here for me otherwise it wouldn’t be happening? And what if I don’t even have to know why?
What might my life look like if I trust in my self and my Soul to remind me that no matter what happens, I too will die one day? The ultimate closure awaits me even though the vague threat of death stands so often as a reason not to do things. In this context, I see few reasons to blame or hate others.
In other words, what if this world is a game for us soul beings, to play as wish, knowing we will all die, and I believe, knowing we can each come back, incarnate, and play again and again?
Having this grand view, this profound memory, of being a soul being in human form, is like winning the Safety Lottery. All safety, security, and survival move from being abstract fears — out there — to internal discussions about who I am and what I want to do here and Now. We all know there are just too many recurring situations in life where perfectly reasonable people disagree about everything, where one’s desires conflict with another’s. I find it so liberating to be responsible for myself, to trust myself, and to let others be free to do the same. The alternative is bribing and manipulating and most of all, pretending that someone else can give me something I won’t give myself.
I suspect this is a norm-shattering idea. I can state with high confidence that it has served me well. This level of freedom has grown my assurance, shrunk my anxieties, and enabled me to move through so much uncharted territory, in real geographic terms as well as in trying on new careers, with more curiosity than fear.
So the next time you are looking for safety out in the world and feel threatened or abandoned, you may want to go inward and talk to your Soul. I mean that literally. You could ask, “Why is this happening to me?” Though a more useful question might be, “OK, this IS happening to me, what can I take from it? What do I want to do or not do about it? If I assume this is by design — for me, not against me — somewhere, somehow, then how do I want to respond?”
That is the choice, that is where the power resides, that is how the wisdom emerges. Being responsible for my own life is another way of saying, ‘Able to Respond.’ By trusting myself, independent of trusting others, I start with a sense of safety wherever I go. Others come and go, but at the end of the day, here I am with me. From my inner safe space, I believe I’m better equipped to assess the legitimate dangers I may face.
So this is the theory. How do I practice it?
How do I create this inner trust? I have three main tools I use.
One is to practice radical self-acceptance.
To accept myself and all my quirks, mistakes, odd tastes, etc., including the things that many would label “unacceptable.” This project has taken decades — I feel like an Olympic medalist at ‘Being Hard on Myself’ (and hence on others too. Oops!) This may come across a vague, glib statement, but it is a daily practice that is most responsible for lowering my anxiety.
The corollary is to stop assuming I did something wrong. Shame has a way of clouding over reasoning as it attempts to provide temporary cover. Shame suggests a course of action: Hurry! Fix this! But it may not be mine to fix. I may not be at fault.
I used to be so afraid of authority. It drove me to be incredibly perfectionistic and to work furiously to anticipate problems. Part of my cure was to do silly things like buy an appliance, take it home and out of the box, then put it back in the box, imperfectly, and return it — for no good reason. Packed in behind the scenes was so much self-talk! Things like: “You have to have a good reason to return things, or you are a grifter.” I think of this as a neurological exercise, literally breaking mental and physical patterns that kept me cowering in the corner.
Self-acceptance slows down the blame train and gives me time to look more clearly at the circumstances before rushing into action.
The second one is meditation.
Being aware of self-criticism is one of the most positive outgrowths of four decades of meditation practice. When going into silence, my inner critic used to be first to show up, with a long list of shame and shoulds. Repeating the mantras of “I love myself” and “I accept myself completely” slowly and steadily wore her down. Now, those thoughts rarely surface when I meditate.
What does happen now is that I can enter a place of calm and clarity — a distinct change of pace from Twitter and the news, which I am quite attracted to. Meditation reconnects me to my core life philosophy after getting distracted by the urgency of life’s problems. Life has always presented challenges — it’s built-in to living with limits and boundaries. It is inescapable, no matter how ‘good’ a person you intend to be. Those of us souls who chose to incarnate, obviously have some desire to solve problems in space and time. And as a collective, no matter the previous world wars and disasters, we are still here.
The third tool is adherence to the following world view:
I believe the collective unconscious knows how to sustain life. It feeds the desire to solve this or that problem into some souls who are here even while other souls are wrecking things. For example, while climate change looms as a serious threat, many are finding ways to deal with excess carbon and even create jobs and profits for new sustainable practices.
All of which is to say, if you think about it, life is indeed imitating art. Life is a hologram of the entertainment we create and enjoy: violence, destruction, conquering, regeneration. Then repeat. Oddly enough, by going deep inside myself, I can be part of this game without it overwhelming me. I can Be, Here, Now, with a clear view of my choices — feeling safe on the inside, no matter which way the game turns on the outside.
Be in touch
Well, I hope you found that useful.
Thank you so much for listening. I’d love for you to share your comments with me. So I have several ways you can do that.
- You can leave an audio message at my Google voicemail, which is 505-510-1135.
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I would also appreciate if you would leave a review on Apple Podcasts. I’ll have all the links in the show notes for you.
That’s all for today’s episode. I appreciate you for listening and hanging out with me here In the Transition. And remember, none of this matters. Your most courageous act may be unconditional self acceptance.
Please note: I like to include about a minute of music at the end of each episode to allow listeners to stay “in the zone” of the podcast, giving you additional time to chill and integrate.
Thank you for being You.
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