Making Room in the World for Me

by Joseph Barker, Graphic Designer, Melbourne, Australia.

Have you ever felt scared of other people? I grew up being scared of my parents, particularly my Dad. When they used to fight and he got angry, it felt like I was being torn inside. When I spoke up it only seemed to make things worse, so I ran and hid in my room.

I’m 35, and recently I’ve realised I’ve spent my life still hiding in this room. True, I moved country (to the other side of the world!), but essentially I’ve always reacted the same way. When things get challenging, I run back to my safety zone: my work, my computer, my home. I say I am open to others, but I only let people see a bit of me, only get ‘so’ close.

This ‘beautiful isolation’ has not been beautiful at all. There has always been a deep sense of loneliness, of feeling ugly, and that I was unacceptable.

Three years ago I met a woman who was different. She was warm, honest, funny and direct. But it was the way she tenderly folded my jumper one day and placed it on my bed that touched me in a way I can’t explain. When she introduced me to the presentations of Serge Benhayon and the possibility that:

‘everything is energy – therefore everything is because of energy’

it simply made so much sense. It confirmed the feelings I had been having all my life – and explained the care I felt in the way she lived.

When I attended a Universal Medicine event for the first time my immediate impression was one of equality and unbelievable safety. Here were all these people, and yet I felt so safe and warm! Through the simple presentations and healing work I have been part of since then, I have come to recognise that the monster I have been running away from all these years actually does not exist. All I am running away from is life itself.

Seeing I have a choice to stay present no matter what occurs has been incredibly powerful. We often hear that to be an adult you need to harden up, to take life on the chin. My experience is the opposite. I have discovered that when I let myself really feel what’s going on, with me and other people, I have the opportunity to make an informed choice, to take responsibility. If I choose to leave I can do it knowingly – not from fear or a perceived hurt. In short, I no longer have to run away from life, or run away from me.

I am not perfect. I’m learning to do this and communicate. 30+ years in a small dark room will tend to cramp your style! Through the friendships I am letting into my life, and old connections I am nourishing, a new trust is being built. Again and again the theme is of simplicity, and that we are all the same. Today my Dad and I are able to talk as equals, and I know and understand he’s actually always been underneath, a tender and gentle man, just like me. Although we’re not together anymore, I walk every week with the lady I mentioned above. We have developed an honest and open friendship which continues to grow and enrich my life.

Yesterday I returned home from a simple barbecue – a few people in the sun talking and having fun being together. Nothing earth shattering happened. No miracles or lightning struck. But when I returned to my old safety zone, my home, I felt well, warm, vital and alive. And I realised… it’s people: I love being with people. All people, all sizes, shapes and kinds. Yes, it can be challenging at times, but it’s why I feel I am here. To share and joke and laugh and hug. To question and contemplate. Yes, people get angry and frustrated, but now I see that is not something to be scared of, but to understand. We all have much to learn. It’s like I am finally returning to my younger self in that room and giving him a big hug. We have a world and soon he sees that the world is an awesome place to be. Besides he’s 6ft 3” and way too big for such a small room anymore!

At last, I am making room in the world for me.

216 thoughts on “Making Room in the World for Me

  1. Is this a man’s thing? To create our bubble or room where we withdraw in? Always looking out that we won’t get hurt? Or where we don’t have to face the responsibilities of life? I do recognize this kind of behavior as well. Also adopted from young, which is not needed anymore.

  2. I can very much relate to what has been shared here. Withdrawing can happen in all kind of sneaky ways: like withdrawing in your head, thinking ‘good’ thoughts to get away from the reality life presents.

  3. That is a great leaning Joseph, for all to learn, that we do not need to be scared for life but that life is actually taking care for us to become grander and full if we are open for whatever life brings and are able to let go our guards of protection.

  4. Indeed Joseph, we have learned that we have to Harden up in life because the world is dangerous, but in truth the hardening takes us away from ourselves and makes us unprepared for what is happening. That to me makes life a scary world, which otherwise would be a joyful playground, if we were not hardened and were completely with ourselves.

  5. i like how you say you were still hiding in your room even though the outer appearance had taken a different shape. It shows how we carry all our experiences with us and that we only learn to cope with them but not truly heal them. Universal Medicine offers a way where that which has hurt us is truly healed so we can let go of the behaviours of managing life and do not need others to replace them, but can freely move on with the love and tenderness that is naturally ours.

  6. Very real and touches my heart and I can really relate to all you share here so much. A beautiful coming home to all you are and the space and joy this allows us with the reality of loving people and the expansion of this awareness it allows in our lives.

  7. “Seeing I have a choice to stay present no matter what occurs has been incredibly powerful.” Yes Joseph, I agree. It is only when we lose our presence that we feel ‘at sea’ and no longer feel we have anything to back us up, and this is when we can find oursevles in situations that are challenging as we let our emotions get in the way of who we actually are.

  8. We are so good at hiding away from life and other people when we think we ‘dont fit’, but all we are doing is hiding from ourselves. Its lovely to read how you have come to appreciate yourself Joseph for the beautiful man you know you are, and are no longer hiding him from yourself or the rest of the world.

  9. Love it Joseph, beautiful realisation, and honesty. I too love being with people, it lights up my day every day. I too have not made enough space for me in the world and I am 5 foot tall, and more and more I am loving every bit of space I give myself – and in that enjoying giving others around me all the space in the world too.

  10. A beautiful blog and a beautiful experience of coming out of hiding; something we can all relate to – whether the hiding or the coming out from it. The analogy is very relatable. I love the inspiration to be present and not run and hide- because ultimately we can be present with life and ourselves. ‘Seeing I have a choice to stay present no matter what occurs has been incredibly powerful.’ It has simply been my belief and behaviour pattern to run from life or myself.

  11. A gorgeous analogy Joseph. ‘Making room in the world for me’ is the process of us claiming our space in the world and through this, developing a relationship with space and all that is communicated to us through it and the people we share it with. Now who would want to hide from that?

  12. It is great to realise there are actually no real past hurts, as when we don’t deal with our hurts we take them with us and we keep reacting to situations in life the same as we did when we got hurt the first time. The beautiful thing about this is that we can therefore also heal our hurts at any moment in our life and we don’t have to go back to that moment in our past with spiritual new age techniques.

  13. Thank you Joseph for sharing so openly how, as a child, you dealt with the disharmonious events within your family. When arguments flared up within my family I retreated behind the curtains until I felt it was safe to come back out again. Back then I bottled up my feelings as I was too scared to express them, but now, in sticky situations, I stay present and express what I am feeling. This turn around, which is still a work in progress, came about from me learning to trust myself and that by contributing my feelings I am claiming my space within the world.

  14. I loved the openness in your writing Joseph. Touching. Have we not all withdrawn from being fully in life when we were young? Because things happened that we thought were too hard to take on that moment. At that moment we stopped living the fullness of us. The good news is, no damage done, it is just adopted behavior, and the great, loving, tender, wise being is still down there, waiting to emerge once again.

  15. In life we get really good at managing how to stop/manage situations that we dislike. This is good but not enough. Learning how to generate situations we do like and benefit from is the real challenge.

  16. When we allow ourselves to feel what’s really going on with ourselves and others, and express from this honesty, we form deeper and more meaningful connections with others. Honesty opens us up and allows us to be ‘real’.

  17. When we come out of ‘hiding’, we find the world is not as bad as we had painted it. In the hiding everything is dark, small and constricted, but once we step into the light, and open up, those old shackles just drop away as we begin to trust ourselves and all we are feeling – and then sharing ourselves more with others, life becomes so much more simpler and lots more fun!

  18. “I have discovered that when I let myself really feel what’s going on, with me and other people, I have the opportunity to make an informed choice, to take responsibility. If I choose to leave I can do it knowingly – not from fear or a perceived hurt. In short, I no longer have to run away from life, or run away from me” – I really like this. We all have different ways to avoid hurt and protect ourselves and we cultivate our own version of managing life, but the comfort the protection offered is actually not very comfortable at all.

  19. I just loved reading this article today. I had been talking earlier with friends about how we can isolate ourselves, how we can retreat from the world when the going gets tough and build a wall of protection around ourselves. Sometimes work itself can be a fortress so that we do not have to feel the intricacies of our intimate or would be intimate relationships. By doing this we are delaying our potential for freedom and joy. Allowing ourselves to feel what is going on we begin to make space for things to unfold and we begin to become responsive and responsible.

  20. ‘This ‘beautiful isolation’ has not been beautiful at all. There has always been a deep sense of loneliness, of feeling ugly, and that I was unacceptable’. I lived with this too, which was simply a way of keeping myself small and unseen. Now I love being around people and I love sharing myself, with the turnaround being, that I have so much love to share – and I am no longer afraid to shine!

  21. I love this blog as I so relate – my safe haven for 14 years was my little tiny flat living alone not able to let others in. I left that tiny flat 2 years ago, and ever since my world has expanded with more and more to come. And just like you Joseph, I am now making room in the world for me!

  22. It’s such a delight to read this again Joseph, thank you, and such a cute line here “Here were all these people, and yet I felt so safe and warm!” I had to laugh because that describes what happened to me also. I went from hiding away to loving being with people and completely surprised not just myself but those around me. Once the hurts begin to clear the true essence of who we are emerges, as does the natural expression of that, which can be very different to how we have lived.

  23. I too love being with people! But I’ve spent years hiding and when I get stressed I feel like hiding. So I love your comment ‘Seeing I have a choice to stay present no matter what occurs has been incredibly powerful’ and I can very much relate, learning that there isn’t a force out there that can pummel me to the floor unless I start to disconnect from myself and my presence. Learning to stand firm, not hard as I used to, but steady

    1. So true Karin, I noticed this line as well because it highlights how our connection is central to life, not necessarily what happens. It’s a learning process to stay connected and with all that occurs day to day.

  24. It’s amazing to feel how much more of our selves we can naturally be when we live with love and care, through making time to develop a loving and honouring relationship with our selves. And what’s more, is that our body relishes this quality moving us.

  25. Thank you Joseph, it was great to read of your unfoldment and how you are bringing more understanding to people and how they behave rather than withdrawing and being scared of how they are reacting from their own hurt.

    1. It can feel so personal when people react, but your words are very true here on understanding how reactions come from people based on their own hurts.

  26. ‘..it’s people: I love being with people. All people, all sizes, shapes and kinds. Yes, it can be challenging at times, but it’s why I feel I am here. To share and joke and laugh and hug. To question and contemplate.’ Beautiful Joseph, amazing how life changes when we choose to no longer hide and understand that life is about people and how we love them, sometimes I do go back to my room but always I will come out to discover there is even more love than ever before to share with all.

  27. Beautiful contribution – we hide in a small room, squeeze ourselves into a box, cram our style, shrink into the ground … whatever we think it takes in order to survive in the world while trying to hide from it. But it doesn’t work.

  28. So beautiful what you have shared so honestly Joseph, I remember doing a workshop with you sometime ago, I can now feel how much you are bringing your gorgeous loving self out into the world to share and for us to be blessed by your presence.

  29. Re-connecting to the true beauty in others once again is deeply confirming for everyone. We have a responsibility to be ourselves in the world and not hide away or react to what we don’t like.

  30. Absolutely gorgeous blog Joseph, your love for people is deeply felt and I can relate to everything you’ve shared. I am staying in a house where there is a lot of shouting, frustration and anger. As a child, I was very afraid and now I am learning to understand, express what I feel without fear or judgement. It is very challenging at times but what I have noticed is by not being fearful, I am more able to be myself and be supportive to others.

    1. Thanks Chan for your comment, I hadn’t realised until I read your words of how many changes I have also made now that means I can stay with myself and express openly on how things feel when abuse is present. By seeing I can do this in one relationship I realise I can now in others. It’s a beautiful feeling being able to hold oneself and stay connected regardless of what’s happening. It’s take time and a lot of tenderness to get there because many instances of fear can stem from childhood. Lovingly supporting ourselves is essential.

  31. ‘Yes, people get angry and frustrated, but now I see that is not something to be scared of, but to understand.’ Being with anger can feel threatening and ugly, we want it to stop and/or we want to run away from it. Standing our ground, staying centred and understanding what is going on keeps us free from absorbing this harmful energy.

  32. Beautiful realisation that by shutting yourself away from the world you were shutting yourself away from you. Welcome back.

    1. That is so true Mary and we end up feeling very lonely, hurt and miss out on a lot of things in life. When we shut ourselves out, we shut everyone out and this is not a fun place to be.

    2. It’s an important distinction Mary, because we can even withdraw further from ourselves by physically withdrawing. The effects of this can falsely confirm and magnify the harm of the situation we withdrew from, which can make us even more scared of life, and we can miss seeing that it’s actually our disconnection to our true self that is really hurting us.

  33. This is gorgeous Joseph, I love the part where you shared about how we tend to say ‘harden up’ to deal with life. The truth is really the complete opposite; we need to become tender in order to deal with life.

  34. Joseph I love this line “At last, I am making room in the world for me”. This speaks volumes in itself and one I truly understand in my life. It is so easy to withdraw through past hurts and miss out on the opportunity to be with people, realizing how much I also love being around people. All we have to do is BE our real selves.

  35. Thank you Jospeh, your writing is delightful to read, warm honest and heartfelt – a book by you would be great! I felt an incredible healing from your shared expression, my room has been a place of safety for me as well for similar reasons, not knowing how to deal with all I am feeling and the roughness of the world. Like yourself I hid away for a period only to discover how much I love being with people, this came after studying with Universal Medicine and working with their modalities. I still have a way to go, and although I don’t have your height this heart is way too big to be cramped inside a room! You feeling like you were hugging your past self was a beautiful moment. Thankyou Joseph.

  36. Great realisation Joseph there are many ways we hide ourselves from the world, Universal Medicine has opened up many opportunities for us to look at ourselves and peel back the layers of our learnt patterns and enabled us to open up to the world equally without the need to hide, knowing that being our true selves is all we need to be.

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