The myth of safety
I was very fortunate that coming to maturity of as woman paralleled a rather important movement inn this country. This was the self help movement. It’s my opinion that this movement was a both a naturlal result of the civil rights movemment and women’s rights movements because it was about the a quest towards self discovery and inner healing. Just as people of color fought to recognized literally as human beings with rights denied them under patriarchy, the self help movement expanded this concept and challenged society to look at how the riles of patriarchy with its addiction to authoritarian power structures oppress and either abuse outright or create an environment where such abuses as racism and sexism can flourish. It looked at how our needs as a population we not being meet – needs for affirmation and nurture, and explained that when those primary needs were unfulfilled, higher order emotions such as empathy or compassion are impossible to acess and express.
This movement was also flowed from the desire of many people to find healing and recovery after the self-abuse of drug addiction. As they did so they patterns became clear to them . They recognized that their abusing drugs was in part desire to address deep inner pain- they fed ” the hungry dog in the basement of their souls” with many things . Food, drugs, sex or money – and their healing as wells their lives depended upon them refusing to continue to consume spiritual fast food and to nourish themselves with recovery, spirituality and humility .
I first began therapy when I was about 25 years old. I made the decision to do this because I was increasingly concerned with the way it seemed my life was panning out. By that time I was already a mother with three young sons. ( that was the good part) however, I was horrified that I would pass on the pain that walked with me everyday to my sweet young sons. I was aware that the world felt false and that I felt a stranger in the world. And even more frightening was the deep and silent understanding that I other than my children and my fear of what the reality of my death would inflict upon them, I truly had no real desire of my own to walk upon this earth.
I am recalling a mediation my therapist suggested I do in one of my sessions with him. In it he asked me to go to a safe place. I was profoundly depressed and then angry to realize that I had no such concept in my soul. Safety? What the fuck was that? For the first 18 years of my life I was pickled in fear. My mothers’ , my sibling’s , and finally my own. I ran from that situation and into 2 marriages since then- all in the quest for safety – for what I envisioned normalcy might be.
It took a while – I would have to say truly took four years for me to develop a foundation – a vision of solid personal safety. The challenge there was that that safety was pretty rocky in the face of other Hunan beings. Other people were just so unpredictable- they did and said things that chronically rocked my soul. They insisted on misunderstanding me no matter how hard I tried to communicate with them. They always left when I needed them to stay. Or stayed when I prayerd they would leave! They wouldn’t change the endless list of faults that if that would allow me to be safe around them! I smile as I write this, and it is a smile of love and self-acceptance!
I learned how to have peace and contentment in my home, to literally not have people in close quarters with me who where dangerous, emotionaly, spitiaulally and physically. And slowly I learned that peace and safety are states of being that exsist Inside of me! I learned that my safety did not depend on my friends or my mates or my job. I learned the ways I had incorporated unsafely as a reality in my life and in my own behaviors. Such has mismanaging my finances so that I would be dependent or frightened. The concept of internal safety grew within me as my self esteem did. As I let go of the low image of myself braned on to me by my childhood – I grew lighter and found that I could be happy no matter my external circumstances. I changed the only person I have the power to change – myself!
Safety as a feeling state increased as I embraced the concept of myself as a spiritual being loving and leaning in an experience of humanity. As this knowledge grew, I continued to mature. I realized that the concept of safety and this cultures addictive seeking for it is what the Buddah condemned as “ death”.
Joyous conscious living requires taking risks. One jumps off the cliff, holding tight to Gods hand. One starts the new business, one stays devoted to one’s art. One decides to fall in love. Not with the desire for security or fame – but with a grounded desire to grow ones souls as deeply as possible. A desire to serve all of Gods creation, people, creatures and this lovely earth.
As I sit here today I know that there is no such thing as safety. We are all so vulnerable everyday and not one more second promised to us. We can become overwhelmed by this or we can embrace it . And approach all connections as opportunities to embrace then largest vision of ourselves as possible. While honoring and taking care of ourselves always, we can ask , how can we be the best parents, lovers, works ,artists, shaman, healers and ,teachers. And as we work courageously towards that goal – how do we put systems in place which allow others to do the same?
Think of the many industries which feast upon our despair and separation from one another. There are so many! The internal self healing revolution results in another one, where we have the freedom to desire peace for others as we experience it. My safety comes not form my attachment to my fearful inner child’s needs- but from my adult needs for justice, respect, and freedom for myself and for all. My safety comes from my knowledge and faith in a loving god that stood by me on the darkest day of my childhood and who stands by me now in the sweet sunlight of my adult life. Everywhere in my life today, I see beauty and everywhere I am respected and cared for. Those who cannot do this – remove themselves from my life. And this is for the best. I have learned to let them go.
My job is to trust and constantly reassure my inner child of her worth. And the longer I live I am graced with the truth of my faith in action. The reality is that my darkest day is only a bridge leading to the brightest day. I cannot say that I am never afraid- that would be untrue… I recognize fear as i recognize all of my emotions as representing a need that I must meet. I move forward prayerfully knowing that I can meet it- that I am just that capable.
It’s a wonderful feeling and my prayer is that it could coat the world. I imagine that this is the way and adult ought to feel. I am grateful to feel it more and more each day.
As I write this I imagine a golden light of safety and peace. This light emanates from my heart. I extend this warm , secure wave of trust to everyone around me and bid that they, share to the best their ability in this energy and that they share it with all they know. I imagine the golden light of peace touches heals saves blesses and gives courage. I thank God and I love us all each and every human being living know and whom has ever lived- as I extend this blessing I know that I am blessed and I am filled with joy and joy that I can call upon at any time at my own will, no matter external circumstances.