I love feeling safe, secure, and comfortable. And being someone who knows that we’re “supposed” to embrace the unknown and not need to know the answers or the reasons for everything I have a significant reserve of self judgment that I apply to my own desire for security.
It’s silly, really (that was me judging my judgment. that was awesome.). Why wouldn’t I want to feel safe and comfortable? Who doesn’t want to feel safe and comfortable? Sure, there are people who enjoy thrills more than I do. If given the choice I would prefer the scenic walk over the roller coaster ride and the long term loving commitment over the freedom to date around. My seratonin levels are generally low enough and adrenal system active enough that I can get a pretty significant rush from an everyday occurrence. So, I’m on the sensitive side and these preferences of mine are not universal, but still… we all want to feel safe. Safe just means different things to different people.
Being at the beginning of so many new things I notice that I feel concerned for my safety (emotional, to be clear) quite often. It starts with a sensation… some level of activation in the body and depending on how effectively I respond that activation can dissipate and resolve and leave me feeling just as secure as before the sensation began. Other times, however, I am distracted or trying to put off dealing with the feeling and it builds in energy and force until it feels like it’s taken over. Then along with the sensation come the thoughts: self doubt, judgment, fear of loss… and then I’m done for. Actually, not really. Then I still benefit from any of the self care measures I would have employed had I engaged the early intervention forces (a walk, writing, yoga, breathing, talking to a friend, etc.), but it takes a lot more energy to get there and I often find that I don’t want to put any energy out… it feels unsafe too.
After two weeks of coping with and steadily reducing the presence of the fear response bubbling up in the face of a new connection, I had an entire afternoon of terror earlier this week. It was triggered by a connection with someone I hadn’t heard from in a while.. and without a moment to recognize what was happening: I was living in fear again. And although I wouldn’t have called it this at the time, I recognized it right away: it was the same fear I used to feel when we were engaged in a close relationship… except my brain (oh sweet brain, trying to protect me again and always fucking up…) didn’t limit the fear to that relationship. Oh no! Suddenly my brain was afraid of everything again. Every loss I ever experienced came right back up and was applied to everything I longed for in the present. No matter what it was that was just out of reach: a chance to go home and work on writing, a date with Devon the next day, a cleared out inbox… all of them were suddenly impossibly far away. Totally inaccessible. I was trapped in a slow motion world; just me and my fear.
Every stumble, stressor, and significantly difficult life event has ended up being among the most enriching things in my life… why can’t knowing that feel safe?
Because of everything I’ve lived I love and know myself better than I ever have before. I know what I’m capable of and what I want. I know what I have to offer and where and when to give it. Why can’t knowing those things feel safe?
oh wait. they do.
Okay cool. I knew coming here to write it out would feel better. Thanks for listening folks. 🙂