I’ve been thinking about the last time I felt safe. Safe to be without judgement, safe from unsolicited opinions or having to explain myself. Safe enough to just be and not have my guard up because someone is bringing their criticism into my world or threatening me with their ideas of perfection. While I’ve thought about this before it’s become prevalent now as the world struggles to deal with a pandemic, heightened levels of anxiety and stress and our previous coping mechanisms possibly thrown out the window.
For me, my awareness of not feeling safe comes in waves. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always there but many times, I fool myself into believing I’m feeling safe and normally this is when I’m locked indoors away from any people. It’s the reason I stopped reading the news. It’s the reason I don’t trust people. It’s also probably the main reason why I adjusted to working from home so quickly (well this plus missing the rush to work mornings). But what this time has taught me more than anything is that safety cannot come from other people; it has to come from within. And until this has been mastered, my guard will always be up. Always waiting for someone to bring their judgement, always waiting for someone to attack with their criticism and insecurities…always proving me right.
Like the flowers about to bloom in Spring, or the leaves turning green on a tree, they do not worry about winds or floods or droughts. Their roots are deep enough to support them and they do what they’re meant to do, from rose buds to roses, from seedlings to fruit trees. And I recognise that my roots are not deep enough to trust that I am safe enough to fulfil the purpose of why I’m here. For alternative therapies, one would take note of my root chakra not being aligned or in mainstream therapies I may be considered to suffer from anxiety at times. The cause yet to be determined, the cure known and yet not achieved.
While I discover more and more on how to become safe in a world that supports me, I’ve developed some daily habits that reaffirm my aim. I focus on my morning affirmations, I meditate, I have post-it notes reminding me that my roots can only be as deep as I allow them. I journal and remind myself that even if in moments I may have felt safe with someone, it was I who allowed myself to feel safe. I imagine being around family and friends and being relaxed. I imagine being able to sleep at night, not anxious that the world is falling apart. I imagine dealing with confrontation from a place of compassion. I imagine remembering always that everyone has their own demons to face, acknowledge and love. And most of all I remember that the more safe I feel to be who I am, others will then also feel safe to be who they are. It is always from within.
As I work on digging deeper to allow my roots to grow firmer, I hold sacred creating this space and feeling of safety I’ve only felt in moments. And I hold on to those moments as reminders that it is possible to attain. This is what safety looks like for me. What does it look like for you?