The Illusion of Safety

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.” ~Dalai Lama

early daffodils and hat 003

Most of my life I’ve worn my insecurities like a fuzzy sweater. I’ve blanketed myself with them thinking they kept me warm and safe when in reality those anxieties kept me cold, shivering, and standing still.

I found my security in the familiar. I took comfort in routines. Veering from my agenda caused me great distress. But I learned by pushing thorough those obstacles that everything was still ok. The world didn’t end. I didn’t die. Everything was pretty much the same. My worry and fear had been an energy waster.

Do I still take comfort in familiar surroundings and daily rituals? I do, but I allow myself to be flexible. It is within those bendable moments life teaches me the most profound lessons. Those are the times my life is enriched. Within this space is when I truly live. In times of control I am no more than a trained circus animal, doing what I am taught to do for whatever meager rewards offered. There is no peace in that. Perhaps I think I find solace in control, but not inner peace. When I feel that inner peace all else is well no matter how wrong they might seem to the outside world.

Am I still afraid? Yes, at times I am. But you know what? I go ahead and just do what I need to do anyway.  I remind myself fear is the opposite of love. I remind myself worry doesn’t change anything. I listen for the voice, the one that reassures and guides. I listen for the me deep within that knows I am enough just as I am.

Half the battle is maintaining the courage to trust myself, the other half is loving myself enough to accept my imperfect self and not compare my gifts/flaws with anyone else.

18 thoughts on “The Illusion of Safety

  1. “Fear is the opposite of love.” YES, Suzi, it is, and I’m glad you’ve reminded us of that! I think we all get in a rut at times. A comfortable rut, to be sure, but a rut nonetheless. Taking baby steps, one at a time, down a different path from the familiar is one way to widen our comfort zone.

  2. I think having “no fear” is stupid. I have lived a lot my life being stupid. Believe me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Sure I’ve had adventures I wouldn’t have had if I had been more fearful, but I’ve always felt I could walk into a room full of tigers and prevail. Of course, taking it in moderation is something that might have worked out better for me, but moderation has never appealed to me. Reckless and Stupid could be my middle name.

  3. Suzi, as soon as I read your post title, I knew I was gonna love this post. OMG…I have many fears…many. And yet, fear has been my greatest teacher. Like you, I go ahead and do what I need to anyway and lose control. There is something both humbling and powerful about losing control over what I fear, because for me it involves trusting and having faith. And I don’t think I’ll be free of fear. It’s an ongoing process.

    Fab post!

    • I played it safe way too long. I’m still somewhat cautious, but I do let my hair fly in the wind now…and you know what? The tangles come out fairly easily and the breeze feels great in my face!

  4. I would amend the quote to include that at the very core of our being is the need for positive, nurturing relationships; with each other and our Maker. I believe only then, can we find true contentment and inner peace. Wonderful post….as always! xoxo

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