People urge for safety. There is a necessity for physical safety.. we need a safe place to live, well sheltered from cold, animals, or brutal people. We also need some food and water. This does make sense, no? There is also a need for psychological safety. What is psychological safety? It’s not quite obvious. Many people confuse psychological with physical safety. It seems that psychological safety refers to the future, psychological safety involves time.
I am in a safe house but I install an expensive alarm system in order to make sure that bad men won’t invade during a dark night. I make some good money now but i worry about my financial future and put extra effort to make sure in the future i will be secure. I have a son that is now safe and healthy but i will be always worrying about his well being. We plan a holiday but who says it will be as great as i am expecting? I have to arrange as many things as possible to assure we will have a really good schedule. I am having a great time with my girlfriend but i can’t stop worrying whether she will abandon me or not so i try to control her. There is a head ache and i worry if i suffer from brain cancer, thus i am having an MRI to make sure i am ok. I crave for same stable habits that should continue to happen or else i enter an unsafe, unknown future that looks very scary.
What is common in all efforts to seek psychological safety? Isn’t it the fact that i can’t predict the future? Isn’t it that the future is unknown? Having to face an unknown, unsafe, unstable, unpredictable future is something that i am not comfortable with. So i am working intellectually to turn future to a dead, stable, known situation that won’t bring any unpleasant surprises. The question is, is it ever possible to make future predictable, to turn the unknown to known? We need to seriously ask this question. I may earn 10k every month, i may have a reserve of 1 million or 10 million, but then the banks collapse and suddenly there is nothing left. I live in Syria and i have a happy family, i am almost sure everything will go right and then war bursts and i lose everything. I neurotically follow a super balanced diet combined with the greatest work outs and the very next moment i discover i suffer from cancer. No matter how much i worry, no matter how hard i struggle to make sure the future will be safe, i won’t never ever succeed to make it really, genuinely secure. I wonder if we all see this? If we actually see this, not only intellectually, won’t we quit all effort, won’t we deny all this intellectual drama, this anxiety, this neurosis? Knowing that the only thing that exists is the Now, knowing that the very next moment is essentially unknown, that its possible for me to even cease to exist, won’t i completely abandon this stupid game of seeking safety?
And then what happens once i actually cease to seek psychological safety? Isn’t it that then, there is instantly a feeling of complete psychological safety? I was working hard my whole life to conquer psychological safety.. the very moment i saw the futility of the whole movement, the very moment I abandon this struggle, is the moment i feel completely safe. And in such atmosphere, isn’t love, freedom, compassion possible to flower?
PS: It’s not implied here that people that fall in this trap should blame themselves, feel self pity or anything similar. This diary, as most of the writer’s diaries just want to raise doubt. This diary is just asking an essential question. Why do we seek safety at all? Can we live beyond this struggle?
PS 2: Is it implied here a leap of faith, that everything will be fine once i don’t care about what will happen psychologically? I think no, this would rather sound like.. hope. There is another quality in this negation of seeking safety, but i can’t find the right words for it..