The “Safe Place” logo promoted by National Safe Place. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have you ever been in someone’s presence and felt that you weren’t safe? You had to weigh every word spoken, had to ignore the little ‘jabs’ of humor and eventually you found yourself either pushing back or shutting down?
Being and feeling safe is different for each of us. And by safe, I mean something beyond just comfortable and easy. It’s that intangible something that feels like you’ve come home and don’t have to watch everything that you say – you’re free to express without judgement, free to be yourself, free to confide, and be appreciated for your own uniqueness.
I saw a movie the other night on the life of Earnest Hemingway during the war years – and at one point in the movie he had to address a crowd of people. He suffered terrible stage fright and when finally was able to speak to the crowd he told them, “I’m a writer – writers don’t have to speak out loud and address a crowd” And in this very same way – we all relate in our own unique way. Some of us are writers – some are good oral communicators – others are teachers some are shy computer geeks. And each of us communicate in different ways to others.
Sometimes that mode of communication is misunderstood by others. For me personally I have found that to be true. Frustrating yes – but also disheartening. I begin to hear people as they “joke” and “jab” about “those of us who are expressive” and “those of us who write feelings down” and I slowly begin to shut down. It’s past the curiosity of just being different – it’s a smallness and intolerance that I find sad – and it’s in those people whom I do not feel safe.
Where is your safe place? Do you relate to what I’m saying? Do you have those whom you feel safe with? Where you are able to express those words, written or spoken? Where you feel understanding and acceptance for the way you are? If you do – then you are blessed.
Don’t let anyone rob you of your unique voice. God made you the way you are for a reason. Years ago I had a pastor friend of ours tell me, “Cindy – don’t let anyone steal your joy” This was after I got into trouble for being myself. It was great advice and I still remember his words to this day. Others have tried to mold and make me into what they think I should be. But I am always frustrated when I am not free to be me and express myself in the way that is God-given.
Eventually though, someone – if not everyone will disappoint you at one time or another and even “rain on your parade”. Where is your safe place then?
Psalm 18 says this:
1-2 I love you, God— you make me strong.
God is bedrock under my feet,
the castle in which I live,
my rescuing knight.
My God—the high crag
where I run for dear life,
hiding behind the boulders,
safe in the granite hideout.
3 I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty,
and find myself safe and saved.
I love this. In God we find a safe place where we can hide out and feel loved. He will always accept us and encourage us – help us to find our unique voice.
He breaks down the barriers that safeguard my heart
He encourages me to be me
He hangs on my every word
He offers His silent support
He makes me want to be better
He has time to love me right
To fill the emptiness
and promises unending joy
He restores that which has been lost
and those things I cannot let go
knowing me better than I know myself
He is my safe place.