Is Your Mind a Haven or a Fortress?

Is Your Mind a Haven or a Fortress? July 15, 2016

Recently I received an email from a woman in Munich, Germany, who is struggling with issues of fear. The war in Syria, refugees and stories of criminal activity are all making it harder for her to find the good in the world.

She had seen a program about the U.S. that included a segment on Iowa, where there’s a long tradition of welcoming refugees. So she wrote, asking not about our refugee policy, but about how she can find the light in what seems to be a dark situation.

Photo by the author.
Photo by the author.

I wasn’t sure what to say in my response so I turned, as I usually do, to my inner guidance. And, as so often happens, I learned a few things. Here’s what I wrote, in case it’s helpful to you, too.

It must be so difficult to live with the fear of people and circumstances that seem beyond your control. Yet YOU can still have peace in your mind. That’s the key. I totally understand how difficult this is. These are not easy concepts, and they’re the opposite of what we’ve been taught, and how the world seems to function.

In a world where there seems to be no safe place, the one place that IS safe is your own mind, if you make it that way.

Your higher self is your own quiet refuge, your own church, where you can go and talk to God/Spirit/the Divine whenever the rest of the world overwhelms you. This is what I want you to know most. It is a safe and welcoming space for you.

This is very different from the ego mind, which goes over and over the tribulations and dangers of life and convinces you that there is nothing but pain in the world. It tries to shut you down and build walls to keep out the hurt.

But if you’re residing in the ego fortress of your mind, you’ll never feel safe there because you’ll always be focused on what you’re trying to protect yourself from.

Every single day, we get to live our lives in the shadow of suffering, or in the comfort of Spirit.

It’s our choice. And the more we can choose to think with the mind of Spirit, to see the world with loving eyes, the more we will see the beauty. The more peaceful we will be.  And the more we’ll be able to share that peace with others so that they can experience it, too.

It takes time, and the world doesn’t want us to take that time. But it’s the best investment you can make.

I hope this helps. I’m attaching a photo I took recently of the hills behind our house so you can see some of the beautiful Iowa countryside. It reminds me of parts of Germany that I saw when I was there years and years ago, and where my ancestors are from. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons I felt so at home there.

With love and blessings,


Debra Engle is the author of The Only Little Prayer You Need and the upcoming Let Your Spirit Guides Speak. You can find her on Facebook and at

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