Today is Memorial Day. A day when we remember those who gave their lives to keep us safe and protect our rights as citizens of the United States of America. Safety is an important thing that demonstrates itself in things like remembering to buckle your seatbelt, not driving through certain parts of town after dark, insisting your child wear inflatable arm bands when they are learning how to swim, and checking to be sure all your doors are locked before you go to bed each night. But, feeling safe is a lot more than taking these kinds of precautions. Safety is the feeling you get when you trust that your environment and the people in it will not cause you harm.
Trust is a significant part of our ability to feel safe. As a child we trust that when someone takes our hand as we cross the street they will keep us from being hit by a car. We trust that the people who love us would never hurt us. But, many of us have experienced a situation in our lives where the people who loved us have hurt us. Some intentionally, some not. When this happens, it dampens our ability to trust.
We even lose trust in our ability to judge whether someone is simply going through the motions or using the words we want to hear, as opposed to them genuinely caring for us and willing to put themselves in a personally uncomfortable or dangerous situation to make us feel safe. Putting yourself in harms way is an extreme demonstration of making someone feel safe.
Making someone feel safe can be as small as returning a phone call when you say you will, or checking in from time to time to just let someone know you are thinking about them and are there when you need them. Good friends do this. They call just to say “hello” and “how are you doing today?” to let you know they care. They ask about pertinent details of something you shared with them, demonstrating that they listened and geniuinely care about your life. These are the friends we know will bring us soup when we are sick and unable leave the house to get it ourselves. These are the friends that make us feel safe enough to share our deepest, darkest secrets without shame or guilt.
We all want to feel safe. Start by creating a feeling of safety with others. It doesn’t require you to put yourself in harms way. It can be as small as a phone call to let someone know you care and are thinking about them. These are the foundations of trust that lead us to feeling safe in our environment and with the people who love us.
Love and Light,