Feeling safe can mean different things to different people. In my classes I often talk about our "inner resource" and picturing yourself in a safe place. Students and clients have shared so many different versions of their safe space - picturing themselves at the beach, or in their childhood bedroom, or at a friend's house. And one time, a veteran in a yoga class shared his vision of being safe was in a foxhole with his gun.
In exploring what it means to feel safe, I've found cultivating a relationship with our inner protector to be an important part of the process.
Our inner protector is with us from the beginning. From an early age our inner protective voice is cultivated, and then reinforced by those closest to us. Sometimes that voice can even sound like our mother, father or any other close friend or family member who you were around when growing up.
Trauma can distort this voice. It can inaccurately assign danger, and lead you to think all people can't be trusted, or are thinking badly of you etc.
The inner protector can go on the offensive and attack, or it can do the opposite and have you shut down completely and not say a word.
As you go in a journey of healing, it's important to reconnect with your inner protector. I find it helpful to personify the inner protector. That could mean drawing a picture of her, or even giving her name. Sometimes it's helpful to write her a letter. You can tell her you appreciate all she's done to protect you over the years, but there are things she's doing that aren't working for you any more. And that you are going to take charge, and want to work collaboratively now!
Tapping through this process can be immensely supportive and helpful. It's amazing what I have seen clients realize through this process.
One client, an actress, would get severe anxiety on stage and freeze up at times. She described a physical sensation in her throat and jaw. After connecting with her inner protector, and realizing that in the past it was important for her to freeze, and stay quiet to stay safe as a child, that this was not helping her now. She was able to learn how to soothe her inner protector as soon as the sensation started, which ultimately resulted in her not freezing up, and being able to successfully move through the scenes.
Ready to connect with your inner protector? Let's tap!