Many of us have never felt safe in our lives. On the other hand, some of us have known safety since birth. Regardless of which group you fall into or where you find yourself on this continuum, acts of terror on a massive scale undoubtedly rattle you to your core. It's only natural. In the aftermath of such events, what we desperately need is to reconnect with or (re)construct a sense of safety. But not any ol' kind of safety will do.
Our culture, society, and economic market tend to heavily promote what I call an external, or dependent, sense of safety. "Get insurance and feel safe!" the ads tell us and then prompt us to purchase policies that cover everything from our medical and dental health, our cars and homes, to our computers and credit cards.
And there's essentially nothing wrong with buying insurance. It may prove quite useful not only in times when you really need it but also in turning the volume down on free-floating anxiety and fear. But what these insurance policies can't do for you is deal with the anxiety. They don't actually meet the anxiety. They don't actually tend to the root of fear. They don't actually help you construct and replenish a sense of safety. They can't.
There's no external object, policy, or plan of any kind that can adequately meet the underlining and most basic human need for safety. Because it's not external--it's internal.
I know how very hard it is for the mind to grasp this point. I myself have grappled with it for decades. Growing up in Israel amidst suicide bombings, bus explosions, and café/restaurant blasts, all I wanted was to reach out to something that would make me feel safe inside. Something or someone that will guarantee that I was always and completely safe.
So I searched and searched and searched and finally I found it. But it wasn't outside of me as I originally thought. Instead what I found was an internal sense of safety. It's a sense of safety that does not guarantee that everything will be alright. It's a sense of safety that does not guarantee that I will always be ok. It's a sense of safety that does not guarantee a thing other than my continual commitment to always be here for and with myself. (Read more)
Now, if you're anything like me, (re)constructing this sense of safety will not happen overnight. Just wrapping our minds around a notion of an internal and independent sense of safety can be a lifetime practice. And indeed, it is a practice.
It is a practice of tuning in deeply to all those places in you that are aching right now. It is a practice of listening to all those parts of you that are screaming in horror, crying in anguish, and clamming up with fear right now. It is a practice of tending to your whole self so gently and so compassionately that you feel seen and heard and accepted just as you are right now. It is a practice of befriending--your very own self.
So, can you offer your loving presence to your self right now?
Because you can cultivate an internal sense of safety. It is here for you now.
If this blog post has touched you in some way, please consider commenting below and sharing your story. If you want support in (re)constructing your sense of safety, here are some ways for us to connect:
1. Call me at (240) 839-1661. Let's talk!
2. Check out the meditation recording on The Root Chakra; it supports (re)constructing a sense of safety (some people have reported using it with their kids, too!).
3. Join me for the Women's Meditation Circle, and/or attend a Yoga Nidra session live.
4. Read my blog post titled Vulnerable & Alive, written in response to the Paris attacks.
4. Learn more about and schedule an acupressure session.
Though we cannot change what has already happened, we definitely can heal.
May you always feel the warmth and safety of your loving presence,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
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Please share your reaction, thoughts/feelings, and comments below. Thank you.
Shira Oz-Sinai is a spiritual teacher trained in iRest® Yoga Nidra meditation and Soul Lightening Acupressure®, two modalities that share the common principle of noticing what arises in awareness as the foundation to living life with ease and in deep and loving friendship with yourself. These are her musings.