My Emotional Insurance Policy
By: Jessica Ahlers
People purchase insurance as a form of protection that may be enacted when a crisis persists in a certain area of your life. Today, we have car, life, travel, health, and even legal insurance. I’m sure there are plenty more types of insurance plans out there that I’m not even aware of. We live in a world that teaches us that we need a backup plan- something that will be there for us when we are in a bind. How does this perception bleed into our personal life and relationships with others? How do we use the concept of emotional protection to put up blocks between us and people we care about as a form of insurance?
Another good question to ponder- what types of emotional blocks do we put up as a type of protection for ourselves, and a way to punish someone else for hurting us? The mind loves to fool us with its ideas of ‘what if”. When we engage with others in relationship and something happens that puts our emotional well being at risk, we have a choice of opening even further or putting up the barricade even higher. It is our choice. Do we want to shut out our light by putting our fear over it, or do we want to temporarily experience discomfort and then fully experience the light of our connections to others around us?
We have a rare opportunity in this life to blend our consciousness with those that appear to be separate. In this blending, we have a chance to really experience God in a more visceral way. But- how many of us see God only as joy, happiness, and rainbows? Is God absent in the friend that is suffering before us, or is this spiritual way of being ever more present? An even larger question to ponder- when we experience suffering due to another’s actions, how often do we think we’re rejecting that other person by closing off- instead of seeing that the only person we’re really depriving of love is ourselves.
Our world of emotional protection and guardedness has manifested into a suburbia that lacks community and connection. We have created a world of isolation. Here lies a world where very often, those that actually open up and try to reach a hand out to someone in a friendly conversation is deemed weird and someone to stay away from. They are labeled ‘needy’ because they need to open up, desire human contact.
The New York Times once reported that there was a group in Tulsa, Oklahoma, called “Resonance,” which promoted hugging as a force for healing. They chose to use this technique in their counseling because of studies that showed how being touched raised levels of hemoglobin in blood significantly. This in turn allowed for speedier recovery from illness. Amma, the ‘hugging’ saint from India, noted as an incarnation of the divine mother, gives hugs to show her deepest gratitude and love for the divinity within the human. This hug, this love, causes people to break down in tears because they are being held with such deep commitment by someone that in the outer world appears to be almost a stranger. What a gift?
Debbie Ford always stresses that our inner world is a microcosm of the outer world, or the macrocosm. The mind has succeeded genuinely in creating a world of separation and loneliness through its foolhardy teaching of not opening ourselves up as a way of protecting us from emotional suffering. Suffering is a way of life and will always be here. The more love we marinate in from ourselves, as well as others, the more our world will reflect this opening back to us. The Earth’s chaos inside and out- it is a mirror for us to see. It is a gift.
Let’s take back this ironic principle that the more guarded we are, the more we withhold, the better off we’ll be. Because it’s not true. Even science shows us that we live longer and are healthier in many ways by being open and engaging in relationship. When we close off, we are closing ourselves off to the essence of our being, the nature of our soul- divinity. We are making ourselves smaller and punishing ourselves for being human.