Just as in any sport, activity, or skill there are “the basics”; those foundational, first learned building blocks which the advanced skills are built upon. This post is all about returning to the “basics” of good mental health based on the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. The needs go up from most basic to the peak of full development. The bottom need is physiological need: food, water, shelter, medicine, and clothing. Next, is safety, which is the focus of today’s post. Safety is one of the most basic needs that we build upon to advance our development.
All of us are searching for safety. Some of us find it easily, more readily or more quickly than others. Based on our past experiences and own personal history some of us will cruise right through this need and others will spend a long time truly learning to be safe and feel safe. This need is so important continued growth is hindered when safety is not present. If this need is a struggle don’t be tempted to ignore or minimize the impact of lack of safety on your own well-being. Many of us who previously felt safe may have lost our sense of safety because of the pandemic.
This longer or earlier in life we feel unsafe the harder this work can be but don’t give up! It’s worth the work to build a stable foundation to grow from. Those who have experienced traumas of any kind struggle with this need. The nature of trauma violates safety and creates the feeling that safety can be shattered or removed at any moment. If this has happened to you work with a good counselor who can help you rebuild safety as you heal.
At times when safety is violated it’s important to be able to rebuild a feeling of safety or carry your safety inside yourself as your own resource. One of the first things you can do when safety has been violated or removed in one area or aspect is to seek it in an alternate area. If you’ve lost a job and are now feeling unsafe in your ability to provide for yourself, your economic position or meeting your own basic needs reach out to a relationship that has been safe to feel emotional safety. If your emotional safety was violated by a loss of trust go visit a place where you feel safe- like a cabin, a favorite local spot or natural area.
Seeking safety creates the time and space where healing can take place. In truly difficult and monumental circumstances sometimes there can be no outside safety to be found. In those times you must carry your safety inside of you. My faith is where I can always find safety and where the circumstances around me can never take away the safety in my soul. I know Jesus, and in him I have no fear because I know even in the worst-case scenario my soul is safe. My life is temporary, but my soul is eternal, and it has a safe home.
In Romans 8:38-39 we are reassured that nothing, living, created, natural or spiritual, high, or deep can ever remove us from the love of God. My human mind and body will continue to seek safety here and now but even if they are not to be found I have soul safety.