“The Safety Net Syndrome”
Imagine that you are swinging on a trapeze bar high above the ground. You are about to let go and sail through the air, your arms outstretched in front of you to grab the other bar coming toward you. How fearful you would be in this situation depends on whether there is a safety net. If the safety net is there, it does not matter if you fall. You will not be hurt and all you have to do is climb up the ladder and try again. But if there is no safety net, you will die.
Most of us are stressed, consciously or otherwise, when we think of releasing the trapeze bar and flying through space. Only a few are completely unstressed when they imagine this situation.
Or imagine instead that you are about to dive off a high-diving platform. Some of us feel absolutely no fear, but most of us are fearful. You can also imagine that you are a free-fall parachutist about to jump from a plane. Again, most of us will be stressed by this image.
Every day in our lives we are being invited to release one bar and fly to another one. Every day we are being given a chance to let go of what we have, and with confidence and faith in our future, to reach out for a better way, a better life. Most of us, rather than welcoming the situation, are fearful. We hold back because we do not believe there is a safety net. We believe that should we miss, we will die. Thus it is better to hold back, better not to develop, than to run the risk of dying.
The foundation for the safety net is really the mother’s love. I have observed many babies being swept up into the air and even momentarily let go and then caught again in their mothers’ arms. Some will laugh with glee and others will exhibit a startle reaction of fear. Already some of them know that they have a safety net they can trust. But the others have learned that they do not. Unfortunately most have the fear reaction and carry it with them throughout life.
If we are secure in our mother’s love we are free to fly anywhere. We are free to take giant leaps, we are free to explore, we are free to let go and await the right way. We have wings, we are no longer timidly and fearfully earthbound.
The outstretched arms are always ready to catch us and help us should we need them. The comfort of knowing that they are always there enables us to surrender even more, to fly even further, and thus to continue to evolve.
Excerpt from The Re-Mothering Experience: How to Totally Love