Owning the Part that has Kept You Safe

Practicing safety, you should know, feels edgy.


Like the cold water you fully chose to jump into. There is pain and discomfort you're opting into. You chose it knowing that.


Love, please really really feel that.


You are going to have to CHOOSE more discomfort. And fuck, you're still kinda getting over the last discomfort. It's ok to put off that choice. It's ok to give yourself a safe experience of keeping yourself safe.


The truth is you've BEEN keeping yourself safe, and that's the thing you shame about yourself the MOST, making it feel super unsafe.


When a seatbelt saves your life, it breaks your ribs.


There are injuries you've categorized as threats when they were actually saviors.


The thing you're crashing into is your human experience of life. These emotions are all that's on the menu. This is your one shot at feeling them all, so far as any of us know.


Those injuries come from you being saved, radically, time and time again to continue experiencing the rough and tumble nature of human existence.


The part of you that has kept you safe has injured you more than any other part of you. It's natural that your relationship is fraught. That savior has been working on the fly for your whole life, he didn't have time to write the manual about how he did it and why. It's up to you to give him the understanding he craves, to help him see where he got it right in the past and where he can improve.


He's the one you say is "escaping" or "disassociating."


He's the one "avoiding."


He's "judging others harshly" he's "anxious" he's "hypervigilant."


But guess what? He's protecting you from sensation you don't want to face. He is preserving your sense of choice, your opt-in, your consent to any experience.


If you can't say no, you can't really say yes.


He's making excuses and caving in to others' demands. He's trying to make it easier on you, enabling you to not set boundaries in a way you fear would cause hurt to others. He's enabling you not to therefore face the sensation of your own hurt, reassess your relationship to hurt.


You don't have to do it until you're ready. It's not the right thing to do, it's something that you OPT-IN to when you are ready and NOT BEFORE THEN. He is there to help you honor your own choice to heal.


Knowing this, we can say "holy fucking shit man, thank you for getting me out of that shit. I know I can always count on you, I can schedule an emergency call to get out of that date. Because I always deserve an exit strategy, because I only have to be places I WANT to be."


You start to feel safe all the time when you start to claim all the elements of your safety as non-negotiable. When there is no social norm, condition, obligation, familial tie, loyalty code, tribal alliance, that can cause you to violate your own safety. Which doesn't mean you don't ever CHOOSE to violate your own safety. It means that you only choose it, or it doesn't happen.


This is the ultimate practice of approval and appreciation for the protector, the avoider, the escapist, the hypervigilant guy. He's there because I don't fucking want to do this! He never stops me from doing things that I really really want to do.


This is how your experience of safety is linked to your experience of desire. Safety is a result of desire being the make-or-break measure for every moment of your life. That you do what you want to do. That you don't do what you don't want to do. That whatever you do, you do from a state of desire. Each of these is a skill to cultivate, as is identifying the desires themselves.


You can approve of yourself for what your desires are, for how you honor them. You can forgive yourself for believing programming that others taught you when they didn't know better themselves. You can grieve that ancient pain, the whole journey that got you here to your healing. It is understandable that your relationship to your desire might be fraught. It is understandable that you might be confused about what it means to do the right thing.


Any of these points is an entry point to an experience of safety in all conditions. There are infinite other entry points, and if these don't resonate for you, I trust you'll find what does.

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