A lot of parents wish to protect their children from the harshness of the world and from the very confronting and mean behaviour that children especially encounter in high school. However, does sheltering your child truly protect them from what is going on in the world?
In my own experience I would answer this question with a clear No.
I had a very sheltered childhood. I was sent to an alternative schooling system and my mother created this big bubble around us, making sure we did not get into contact with rude people or get into any harsh situations, and that she was always there to protect us. Of course this bubble was not perfect and we could see through it. Behind those ‘beautiful’ bubble walls there was a different world out there, however, we did not belong to it – so we thought – feeling somehow removed, aloof and that we were not participating in it.
In this way we were raised in the feeling that we were special but also different from anyone else, which separated us from others and gave us a feeling of superiority, of not really belonging to the world.
When I left school I was very lost and in no way equipped to deal with life. In fact I was not really willing to participate in life – I had no sense of what profession or work I wanted to learn. The truth is my whole childhood world turned around on me. There was always my mother there to do it for me, which left me completely self-centred with no sense for other people’s needs and not even remotely feeling that I might contribute to making life more beautiful and worth living for everyone on this planet.
There was no gratitude for my mother either; I hated her efforts and had no appreciation for her willingness to go out of her way to be there for us.
The interesting part is that my sisters and I had nightmares all through our childhood.
We would spend half the night in our parents’ bed, and even later on when we were older we would creep into each other’s bed for support. I remember waking up lots of nights terrified and we all had the same sense of something evil being in our room: sometimes I was too scared to jump out of bed as I had to pass this evil ‘thing’ on my way out. Once I gathered enough courage I would run as fast as I could to the safety of my parents’ bed.
For someone living such a protected and sheltered life, it makes you wonder where these nightmares were coming from and where the feeling of someone evil out there to come and get you derived from. It really makes no sense and shows that I did not feel very safe and protected at all.
As the nightmares in my childhood show, I had no sense of being equipped to deal with threatening situations, however I had a clear sense that bad and threatening things existed and all I could do is be scared of it behind my bubble wall that obviously did not make me feel safe at all.
The bubble may have attempted to shield me from the harshness but it also had the effect of cutting me off from interacting with the world, from experiencing the abundant flavours and colours that make life so full and rich.
Interestingly I was not happy living behind these thick walls of protection, but I did not question it until one day I met Serge Benhayon, who reflected to me that there is a different way of being, a way that has now brought so much more joy into my life.
So very clearly, for me the sheltered life did not work out well. It took a lot of work on myself, cutting through the arrogance, the judgement and hardness that was like a shield around me, to recover the beautiful, loving and caring woman I am.
My life and my views are greatly inspired by Serge Benhayon. He changed my outlook on life and encouraged me to participate in the world in a playful and joyful way, inspiring me to come out of my self-created bubble that now, looking back, was like a very isolated prison cell – it felt somewhat safe but wasn’t true at all.
By J.A., Germany
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