Jonathan Louis Dent: Imagine if we measured success by the amount of safety that people feel in our presence

I want to live in a society that values helping people feel safe. That’s how we all can flourish.

And this is not only about our personal interactions or what happens in groups. It’s also how we structure and set up our society. Do we have social safety nets so people can feel safe from a life in poverty? Do we support people to get the education they want? Do we encourage people to follow their deepest fascinations even if it doesn’t make personal sense to us?

FINDING IT FOR MYSELF

When I notice that wish in me, I know it’s advice for myself.

It’s an invitation to find ways to bring it into my own life.

I can find and choose to be with people who help me feel more safe.

I can help others feel more safe, as best I can.

And, perhaps most importantly, I can support my own inner community in feeling more safe.

HELPING MY INNER COMMUNITY FEEL SAFE

Growing up, I didn’t learn to consistently make my inner community feel safe. I didn’t learn to consistently support and be there for myself and all the different parts of me and my experience.

Why? Because I didn’t receive it from those around me when I was little. They didn’t know how to do it for themselves so they couldn’t do it for me.

So how do I learn to help my inner community feel safe and supported?

The first step is recognizing when parts of me feel unsafe and unsupported. How does it feel?

How do I habitually respond to it? Do I react? Perhaps with some form of avoidance? An avoidance that takes the form of fear, anger, compulsions, blame, shame, guilt, or something else?

What is my conscious inner dialog? How can I change it so it helps my inner community feel safe and supported? How can I do it in a way that feels honest? (Tricking myself doesn’t work.)

What happens if I do heart-centered practices on my images of others, myself, and different parts of me? If I do tonglen, ho’oponopno, or metta? Does something shift?

What are the stressful stories creating a feeling of lack of safety and support? What do I find when I examine these and explore what’s genuinely more true for me? What are my stressful stories about not feeling safe and supported? What am I most afraid can happen?

What do I find when I dialog with the parts of me that feel unsafe and unsupported? How do they experience the world? How do they experience me? What advice do they have for me? How can I best be a friend and ally to these parts of me?

How is it to notice that these parts and experiences have the same nature as I do? That I am fundamentally capacity for it all? That they are happening within and as what I am? How is it to rest in and as that noticing?

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

As mentioned, I did not grow up around people who knew how to consistently do this for themselves. So I didn’t feel all that safe and supported, and I didn’t learn to do it for myself. And that means doing it for others is also lacking, in spite of my best intentions. So this requires a lot of work and attention from my side. It takes time. I still feel I am just a beginner when it comes to this.


DRAFT

I want to live in that kind of society, and I can do it in my own life.

This is attractive to me, perhaps because I didn’t feel very safe growing up and parts of my inner community still don’t feel very safe.

How do we create an inner community that feels more safe?

I want to live in that kind of society.

And what does that tell me? It tells me I can find ways to bring it into my own life.

I can find people in my life who help me feel more safe.

I can help others feel more safe.

And, perhaps most importantly, I can support my own inner community in feeling more safe.

How do I help my inner community feel safer?

We tend to relate to our inner community in the way we were related to growing up. If those around is didn’t help us feel safe, we may not know how to help our inner community feel safe.

Trauma tends to happen when we feel overwhelmed and not supported enough – from others or ourselves. And children need to be supported by adults since they are unable to do it for themselves. Also, adult trauma tends to happen when we have trauma from childhood. (For instance, some soldiers can cope with difficult experiences without getting traumatized because they don’t have trauma from childhood.)

I want to live in that kind of society.

And that’s an invitation to find ways to bring it into my own life.

I can find and choose to be with people who help me feel more safe.

I can help others feel more safe, as best I can.

And, perhaps most importantly, I can support my own inner community in feeling more safe.

How do I help my inner community feel safer?

If I didn’t feel safe growing up, and didn’t feel supported by those around me, then it’s likely that I don’t quite know how to make my own inner community feel safe and supported.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.