Seeking safety

I’ve been thinking lately about how often I keep my emotions bottled up inside me waiting until I am alone to fully let them out because it does not feel safe to me to let them out around others. Even when I do show my emotions in public, it’s always an edited version of the emotion, carefully squeezed down to fit inside the box of what feels safe and acceptable.

My true rejoicing and my true grieving always happen in private. But this effort to keep myself enclosed tightly in a “box” of acceptability is exhausting, and it prevents me from ever being fully me (except when I am alone). I feel  like there’s a little girl inside me who is always peeking out of the edge of the box wondering whether it is safe yet to honor my soul’s cry to bring all of who I am out to play in the world.

This poem grew out of these musings and my questioning whether I might be able to find a place that feels safe enough to emerge from my self-imposed hiding place.

Seeking safety

Hiding in the crowd

Photo by [bastian], on Flickr; used via Creative Commons license

Can I feel now?
Is it safe here
To heed my soul’s deep plea?

Can I cry now?
Is it safe yet
To let these tears flow free?

Can I smile now?
Is it safe here
To show forth all my glee?

Can I rest now?
Is it safe yet
To stop and simply breathe?

Can I be now?
Is it safe here
To stretch out into me?

©2012 KJ Stanton

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.

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2 thoughts on “Seeking safety

  1. I am beginning to believe we are cosmic twins, KJ! Our emotional journey seems to be one in the same – all the way down to your posts reflecting recent thoughts of my own. You are much braver in putting your emotions to words than I. 🙂

    Safety (or lack thereof) is a concept I’ve just begun to explore in my self. It is the basis of all my fears I’m finding. I never realized until recently how much of my life has been spent feeling unsafe. I’m learning I’ve been searching for someone who is safe, but in that quest find people who make me overwhelmingly UNsafe. I guess there’s truth in the phrase, “We run to what we run from.” I don’t even know what “safe” is supposed to look like because all the things/people I thought made me safe, didn’t. It’s such a conundrum!

    • Lisa, we do indeed seem to be on very similar paths! I don’t know that anyone is completely safe since we are all human, but I think I’m finally learning to make safer choices for me. Like you, though, it’s hard to know what safe looks like when I haven’t experienced it. Certain forms of unsafe tend to feel comfortable because they are familiar, whereas safe can feel uncomfortable because it’s not what I’m used to. I’m determined to move through that, though.

      Thanks so much for sharing your journey so often with me. It helps to hear that I’m not alone in these things!

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