Feeling safe in the world is a sweet sensation. As I said in the previous post, I used to have a certain lack of fear-response, but it was an artificial bravado. It was only when I worked closely with my inner child in therapy that I began to have higher standards. Safety is not only a lack of overt threat—it is a feeling of positive well-being and protection.
Here are some of strategies that can helped my inner child to feel safe:
o Be in my body—safe, here, at this moment, feeling the solidity of bone and muscle. (However, I know that for some people, to feel in-body can be scary.)
o Put scary things away in a box or some container. (I’m not very good at this.)
o Listen to the fear—sit with it, write it or draw it. I like making drawings with words in them to name the parts of the fear.
o Find a fierce protector inside. I have one who is a dragon who is so big that he doesn’t have to be aggressive—he protects just by his presence.
o Find an imaginary safe and welcoming house or cave or some other place. Furnish it with safe people and objects. Revisit often.
Be extremely patient and understanding with your inner child about her fears. These fears are not trivial, even though they may arise around incidents or situations that seem small from a grownup perspective.
When you learn to find the safety in a few places or a few moments, it will begin to spread out into your life. It won’t happen quickly, not at all. But in months or years you may be surprised to feel that deep-inside relaxation in a situation where previously you would have been tense or protectively spaced-out.safety inner child abuse recovery PTSD