Whenever beginning a new journey, feeling out of sorts, not sure of where I’m going, or that I’m not enough – I begin to stock up. In my mind, MORE = SAFETY.
It is not only about food – toilet paper, paper towels, emotions – they all fall in the same category.
I know, rationally, that I don’t need things in large quantities to make me feel safe. But there’s a part of me that wants that – however unnecessary it might be. My psyche wants to feel safe and this is how it knows how.
I have learned to watch patiently as I go through what I must go through, but I also have the ability to coach myself and remind myself of what’s important to me and how different my life is at this point in time compared to how it used to be. What’s now is not what was then.
Coming from poverty, we didn’t always have enough – money, food, light, electricity, hot water, love – I understand that this is what I’m feeling when I feel out of sorts. Rationally, I know I’m going to be fine, I’ve always been fine. But my pure animal instincts* do not understand that I am going to be fine. So in my case I stock up. I get ready for the other shoe to drop, for the lights to go out, or the barn to burn down.
I used to think if I had a house, money in the bank, and a decent car, I’d feel safe. It was always the struggle to get them. Then when I had those things – what? – nothing had changed. I still didn’t feel safe. I had to go deeper to find what I really needed and that was to know myself a bit better, to understand what I was doing when I was stocking up and how there might not be the same need now.
A life truly lived constantly burns away veils of illusion, burns away what is no longer relevant, reveals our essence, until, at last, we are strong enough to stand in our naked truth ~ Marion Woodman
By going deeper, asking myself what it really takes for me to feel safe, I’ve learned safety is something I carry with me, inside me. I had to drop the illusion that more was making me safe. I don’t need anything else to make me feel safe but me.
Me = Safe.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that if I need to stock up, I will. I’m not denying myself the right to feel safe, only questioning my own motives about what safety means. Old habits and the old stories we tell ourselves die hard.
Be easy on yourself when you need to, but there is something powerful in asking the question – What illusions are holding you back from truly living?
What makes you feel safe? What old stories are you telling yourself?
*animal instincts reference from Peter Levine’s – Waking the Tiger
Love this post Amy. I got this great image of you with towers of paper products all around. To feel safe, I tend to over schedule myself to avoid being alone. Is there really a way to re-wire brains that have been conditioned to expect the worst?
I honestly do believe there is a way. I take myself as proof. In no way all the way there, but much happier now.