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Sunday, March 03, 2013

Feeling Safe



It’s a curious thing...

This business of “feeling safe.”

It’s something that’s been rattling around inside my brain pot for years, decades actually.  I’ve heard women tell me there was only one man who truly made them “feel safe” (no, they were never referring to me).   I’ve had friends ask me: “Aren’t you afraid?” (of where I live, where I go, of the motorcycles/bicycles I ride, of the desolate trails I’ve run or hiked, of the thousands of miles I’ve traveled alone, etc., etc.).

Do I always “feel safe”?  No.  I’m not an idiot.  The truth of the matter is that I’ve been hurt plenty by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I’ve been beaten.  I’ve been battered.  I’ve found myself in perilous situations that made my hair stand on end.  

Life’s full of perils.

Even so.  Despite all that. 

I’ve generally felt, and continue to feel “safe.”

I credit my Mother for that. 

It’s not that she, herself, felt safe.  Quite the opposite.  My Mother saw peril everywhere, in every situation and every endeavor.  I’m thinking she wasn’t always that way.  In fact, she was quite the intrepid, independent young woman, breaking through cultural barriers and conventions with aplomb.

I think the War changed her.

I suppose War would change my worldview, too, had I been strafed by enemy planes, witnessed my home destroyed, been torn from family and thrust, without mercy, into an altogether different life of misery and want. 

I’ve never faced challenges such as that, but I’ve no doubt those terrors and privations on that scale might, indeed, lead one to believe they’re “not safe.”

My Mother feared for me and my safety constantly.

By doing so, she made me feel safe.  So much so, in fact, that I gave her great reason to fear for my safety constantly.

It’s a curious thing...

This business of “feeling safe.”

* * *

6 Comments:

Blogger June Calender said...

Interesting paradox you've described, the sense of safety your mother gave you and your relative fearlessness.

Our media has made fear a plaything, a knee jerk reaction, the stuff of headlines, we are now a fear filled country. Only a few, like you, intrepidly go where you want and take your chances. I think your life has been richer for it and you are a deeper person for it.

Mon Mar 04, 05:55:00 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

I think the same thing happened to my parents as well, going through the war. They found the world to be a dangerous place, however what they passed onto me was their fear, not a feeling of safety. Your mom did a good job I'm thinking.

Mon Mar 04, 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Wine and Words said...

Safe is overrated I suppose. I've been told that when you push through fear, that's when growth happens. So I am trying to do the hard stuff, even if I have to do it afraid. I step outside the boundaries of safety more often and I've had some wonderful experiences. I will no doubt have some bad ones. I can see how war has been life altering for many. As parents it is instinctual to protect our children. At some point, the arm length of peril is in their hands.

Hoping you are well Jonas!

Mon Mar 04, 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger Yvonne Osborne said...

Yes, my parents made me feel safe. And as long as they are alive, I am a child and I feel safe.

Mon Mar 04, 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger beachsiggy said...

Since Sandy, I no longer feel safe in my house. It fell out of the category of home, too. Now it's just a place to go to sleep every so often, as infrequently as possible.

Back years ago, when I was married, that relationship became unsafe for me. It took a while then to get myself (and my son, which was more important than myself) to relative safety again. I imagine it will take a while to get safe again after the storm. I can understand how your mother must have felt about the issue.

I'm not fearless, but I don't let fear stop me from going and doing. I figure I'm out here in peril anyhow, I might as well have a good time at it. C'est la vie.

Fri Mar 15, 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I don't consider myself fearless, June. I've been scared many times. There's something more at work here...a feeling that all will end well. My Mother imparted that to me by tending to my safety.

My feelings towards my Mom are "complicated", Deb. But I gladly give her credit for the many positives she imparted to me... inadvertently at times.

You offer a valid perspective, Annie. Blessed are the children raised to feel safe. Blessed are the children who conquer their fears.

The thing is, Yvonne, my parents are both gone. I'm an orphan. I'm not happy about that but that's kinda the natural order of things. Even so, the feelings they've imparted to me remain. They're forever with me and I'm grateful.

You're made of the "right stuff", beachsiggy. But you need a home (we all do). I'm hoping the Fates smile on you for a change. You deserve it.

Fri Mar 29, 03:37:00 AM  

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