Updated: Mar 25
Although both words denote protection, they aren’t the same in any way.
We take steps towards creating security, both personal and public. Countries spend millions on their national security, their armies, and special forces. As a society, we work hard to ensure a level of financial security, we invest in insurance to try and secure our health, our family well-being, and our future.
Searching for the definition of the word security I came by different explanations; I chose the following which felt the most encompassing.
Security offers protection from potential harm caused by others, by restraining the freedom of others to act. Beneficiaries of security may be persons and social groups, objects, institutions, ecosystems, or any other entity or phenomenon vulnerable to unwanted change.
As I reflected, felt, and sensed both words, it became clearer to me.
Security refers to a sense of protection and stability. it is an active step in the process of trying to create and establish a sense of safety.
Try and imagine it as if security is a shield. Perhaps like an umbrella; the top part of the umbrella is the shield, and the stick we hold on to is the safety we try to protect and hold on to.
The safety that I am talking about is something different altogether.
Safety is an inner state of being.
It is an embodied sense, a knowing.
Safety is the ability to identify our feelings, take ownership and feel safe enough to feel them in our bodies as they are.
Often, in the presence of war, childhood neglect, trauma, and abuse of all kinds, we go through life never having known the deep feeling of a state of safety. It may be foreign to us.
And so, we may believe that safety is an utopic dream that cannot materialise itself.
Hence, we keep busy constructing security around us, in the belief that this will allow us to experience and feel the deep longing for a sense of safety. A sense of safety that is of course false and can be taken away from us at any moment.
Emotional safety relates to our attachment process (secure or insecure) as young infants in relation to our parents, family members, friends, and caregiver.
At this young age, our nervous system begins to learn the skill of co-regulation through the support of a mature adult. The child learns regulations through the healthy fluid dynamic between the states of feeling safety --> curiosity, autonomy --> fear --> back to safety.
This pendulum between safety and fear is the foundation of a healthy development of individuation and cultivating a sense of belonging; to oneself, in our relationships, and in the world. It also has an impact on our sense of purpose and connection to the world.
Our nervous system is a highly complex and intelligent supercomputer that wires itself according to our DNA, our ancestry, our birth circumstances, and our life experiences.
Part of its job is to constantly scan for inner somatic emotional mental cues, informing the system of a possible threat or a lack of inner safety.
“The nervous system takes care. It keeps us safe and sound” Dr. Steven Porges.
When we feel a lack of inner safety, we in fact feel fear, variable levels of fear and irritation. When we have the experience in life that we don’t have enough; money, time, beauty, space, relationship, love, happiness, trust, or, we feel that we are 'not good enough', we touch on our inner scarcity; our fears and lack, our traumas.
We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. - Anais Nin
Meaning; we see and experience the world from the personal subjective sense of safety we know inwardly.
We then try to create structures of security around us so we may feel a sense of safety.
But as we all know, life is in constant flux and changes momentarily.
Our work, our healing, and our growth lie in our capacities, willingness, and courage to meet the scarce parts in ourselves, to meet them gently, softly, with loving awareness.
As we heal our own sense of safety, I believe we will heal the sense of safety we feel on the collective human field, on this earth and on this universe that we are part of.
I feel that instead of putting in place plans of security to shield our fears, and control the external unknown, we may open our hearts and have the courage to learn to feel safe enough to feel.
Since we are OneBody.