Yesterday I was at a meeting with some of the people I love working with. During the dialogue the subject of safety came about, within a larger context of course. A woman with whom I am newly acquainted, yet absolutely adore and have the utmost respect for, paid me the most wonderful compliment, she said she always feels safe with myself and another equally amazing person who was also there.
Safety is important, it's one of our most primary needs. When we feel safe with others, with an environment, it gives us the opportunity to learn and grow and be open to connect in a meaningful way with others. Having someone say that they feel safe with you is an incredible joy and a gift from which connection, inspiration and purpose can flourish.
Safety is important and when we feel safe we can be ourselves, make mistakes, and grow. What happens when that safety is destroyed? When someone trusts us with their safety and we trample it, even unknowingly the damage can be lifelong and hurts all the parties involved. I say this because when C.C. (that's what we'll call her) said she was safe with me I was honored, and I also feel safe with her, but when thinking about that honor I also thought about all the people who have put their safety in my hands only to have me let them down.
I have destroyed that sense of safety for people I cared about. I didn't mean to, I was doing the best I could with the tools I had at the time, but I stole that most basic need from fellow human beings. In my past, I have not allowed people the dignity of choosing for themselves...because I knew what was best for them, I have followed plans which stole freedom and dignity...because they needed to learn a lesson, I have restrained people...because they needed to be safe. At the time, all these things made sense, these were things we did to keep people safe. What we didn't realize, what I didn't realize was that I was stealing their safety, I was destroying whatever faith they had in me and themselves all so that myself and a whole lot of other "experts" could show how smart we were and how much we cared. I have long since abandoned all these ideas, in fact I was shown the way by a man upon whom I imposed these very things. He didn't give up on me, he kept hanging in there until I finally got it. He forgave me for all of it and showed me a better way, then he put his safety back in my hands, but this time it was mutual...we were safe together. I am so grateful for that lesson, for his faith in me even though I didn't deserve it and for the friendship that blossomed into one of the most meaningful of my life.
Don't wait too long to learn those lesson's for yourself, learn from my mistakes and cherish the faith others have put in you. You must be pretty fabulous to deserve such trust, so treat it delicately and with care and watch as possibilities unfold.