We found this little guy hiding out in our garden underneath the squash. Adorable, isn’t he? (I actually have no idea if he’s a he or a she, but I can’t call him or her an “it” so I’m going with he.)
He sat there real still, eyes wide open, and I imagine pretty frightened. After all, he had positioned himself so as not to be seen so that he could stay safe. The entire time we were in the garden digging around, picking crops, and plucking weeds, he never once moved his precious four inch body.
He had found his safe place.
I definitely have times when I feel the need to protect myself and feel safe from harm. But unlike the bunny, the things that make me want to go to my safe place are emotional in nature. I’d like to be safe from emotional harm because that stuff hurts!
You know the kind of emotional harm I’m talking about? When your good friend ignores your phone calls or texts for days…Or when a family member doesn’t include you in a conversation and doesn’t even notice that you’ve lost weight and changed your hair…Or when your boss doesn’t seem to notice that you, not any of your coworkers, are the one who comes in early and stays late to get it all done…Or maybe it’s when your spouse seems to care more about being on time and prepared for outings with friends than being totally present when the two of you are together…That kind of stuff really does hurt and it can make you want to hide.
And to that I say, ” I get it! But hold on just a second before you go into hiding!”
In my experience, most of the time we want to hide because we either feel invisible or like we’re falling short in some way and we’re just not enough. Ouch, that’s painful. Take a look at the examples I mentioned again. There was the feeling of being ignored, unnoticed, overlooked and even taken for granted. All of those feelings just plain suck.
But here’s the thing, when you go away and hide, you are making yourself invisible. When you hide from your life, you are the one making it possible to be ignored, go unnoticed, get overlooked and so on. You’re the one doing that and you see that, right?
Listen, hunkering down and “hiding” when you are hurting or when you are scared has a real value at times and I’m all for it. You just need to make sure you don’t stay hidden too long because you cannot be the best version of yourself and live your best life if you are invisible.
When it comes to “hiding” to escape hurt, all that does is guarantee that you are going to have to distance yourself from your real life, and it doesn’t in any way keep you from being hurt.
Face it, even if you are hiding, your friend, family member, coworker, and yes, your spouse too…they are all going to do what they are going to do. Everybody is going to do what they are going to do. (And that’s not one bit of a ‘throw your hands up’ resignation, that’s simply the truth!) YOU don’t have any control over them and how they are showing up in their lives so your hiding from what they may or may not do or say doesn’t keep you safe. At least not the kind of safe that we all seek and deserve!
The only truly safe place is inside yourself. And if YOU are your safest place, you don’t need to go anywhere to hide. You live your life from the safest place of all, all the time!
You can be your own safe place. You can build and decorate it however you’d like! But I believe it all starts with a few core building blocks. I’ve listed the 5 truths/beliefs that are those building blocks below:
You are enough, right now.
You are doing your best and your best is enough.
How other people treat you is about them.
How you treat other people is about you.
It’s what you do next that matters most…
Imagine living from there. Tell yourself those truths over and over again. As many times as it takes for you to believe them. And when you do believe them, watch what happens.
When you show up in your life giving your best, realizing that not just you but everyone is doing the best they can, and owning your own decisions and letting others do the same…That’s the safest place I know.
Become that place for yourself. What you do next matters . . .