Creating Safety in an Unsafe World

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Creating Safety in an Unsafe World

With recent events many people who identify as a minority are feeling much less safe. While many things in life are out of our control, there are actions that can help us feel safer.

1. Surround yourself with people you trust. For many, this is a luxury, but even if it’s only in the walls of your own home, don’t invite anyone in that you don’t feel totally at ease with. It might mean changing your location on the train, or taking a different route home. For some it may even mean rethinking a relationship. Being at ease can be our bottom line.

2. Listen to your gut. With an ability to pay attention to what we are feeling, and to dial in to our intuition, we increase the trust we have in ourselves. This takes practice. The best place to start is by knowing that all of your feelings are acceptable and that you are having them for a reason. This doesn’t mean you should act on them, but by acknowledging the feelings, the hunches, and then increasing your ability to sit gently with these feelings, you will increase the trust you have in yourself. This brings a degree of safety wherever you go.

3. Don’t put up with anything that doesn’t feel right. It’s easy to be on autopilot. We are used to being polite. We are used to caring for others’ feelings, sometimes at the expense of our own. But to be fully relaxed in life we need to have a close connection to ourselves. Practice this by checking in with how you are feeling. Move towards warm, and away from cold. Towards relaxed, away from tense. What do I need? How can I care for myself right now?

4. Actively move from fear to love. It’s not easy to put fear down, but it is possible. Sometimes this is a matter of actually changing the direction you’re looking in. What is good in my life right now? Gratitude, connection, mindfully doing a small task can all bring you back to a state of love and safety. If you are prone to drama, to complaining, to seeing the glass as half empty, remember that this is a comfortable go-to way of living, and with practice it can be changed.

5. Reach out. Everyone needs help at different times. The times when we need it the most are often the hardest times to ask for it, but the effort enables connection for you as well as the person that you are asking. Double win. Vulnerability brings people closer together.

We will never be invulnerable. We cannot control the circumstances of life. But we can create a refuge within ourselves and our immediate surroundings.

Megan Murphy, MHC-LP
KIP Fellow

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