Safe Combinations

Safe. You love to feel safe. And even when you choose to feel unsafe, you like to have your safe word, your emergency button, your get-out.

Many of my clients come to me and make a decision as to whether they can feel safe. They know when they are safe because of a feeling they get.

When you get the feeling of being safe, where is that feeling? Can you remember?

As a child you maybe played the game of not walking on the cracks in the pavement, so that the bears didn’t come up to grab you. You decided that if you avoided the cracks you were safe (although the thrill of the possibility of not being safe added to that pleasure). What have you replaced the pavement cracks with now in your safe/not safe game?

Do you only allow yourself to feel safe if the door is double locked? Or if your passwords are encrypted? Or if you are carrying your personal alarm?

In a wider sense, has avoiding the cracks been replaced with having nuclear weapons or a large military presence? With keeping out immigrants? With avoiding public transport? With keeping to “your own kind”? With striking before non-safety has even occurred, removing someone else’s safety so you can have yours?

Let’s go back to the bears and the cracks. And remember how you could stop playing that game in an eyeblink. You didn’t do it by walling yourself away from all pavement cracks, by double locks, by persuading your parents to buy up all paving stones and send them abroad, by cementing them all in so the bears were stuck. You just switched it off and decided to be safe. And you knew how to do that.

The “safe” game takes place in only one location (though its symptoms can be everywhere and sometimes quite horrible). That location is inside you. And all you have to do – your child self remembers – to be safe is to allow yourself to shine. Follow your passions. Be kind to yourself. Be true to your instincts. Stop squeezing little parts of you into the role of the cracks.

Feel safe right now. Where is that feeling? It is yours when you want it


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