I was watching Super Soul Sunday today on OWN with Eckhart Tolle. The discussion reminded me of some of the steps I took to feel safe in the world.
The beginning process of recovery from childhood sexual abuse is so confusing and overwhelming. I was grateful to have friends who allowed me to just be with whatever emotions I was experiencing, and more importantly, provided a safe place to hangout. They were outside the realm of my family and felt like they were out of reach. They fed me, distracted me, listened to me, and kept a level of normalcy when other areas of my life felt like they were falling apart.
As my mind became clearer, I learned to become more aware of my surroundings. I remember shopping at a mall, either for Christmas or just getting household items for my new apartment, and I was in my head a lot as I walked up and down going in and out of stores. I vaguely noticed one of many men sitting in one of many areas for resting or waiting. I didn’t think much about it until I was on my out to the car with my hands full of packages.
As I went to leave the mall, I turned fully around so my back pushed the door open. The man was following me and was starting to walk faster. I looked him straight in the eye. I’m not sure what was written on my face but he slowed down and put his arms up as though saying, I’m backing off. As far as I know, that was the closest I ever came to being attacked as an adult.
I have built my safety moment by moment. I have learned to check whether my fear based thoughts were coming from the past or the now by looking around and self-talking. If I couldn’t see anything to be driving fear in the moment, I took a deep breath and found the safe feelings within. I let myself know that this was what safety felt like. There was nothing to fear. Those bad things were in the past. No one was trying to hurt me now.
I consciously decided the universe was a safe place and looked for examples to back up these thoughts. The genuine people I was meeting. The places I went and nothing happened to me. I placed my trust in good and my faith in humankind grew. There is more good in the world than bad and people are wanting to support others if given the chance.
On the flip side, I trust my instincts when I do feel the warnings. Not everyone is to be blindly trusted and I unfortunately know what pros manipulators are towards others. I am hyper-vigilant when needed but not as a continuous state of being. I listen to the little niggling thoughts that won’t go away and they allow me to interact with others with my eyes open.
I trust my perceptions and decide my course of action accordingly. If I am in doubt, I allow it to be so as to gather more information to make a decision. The appropriate answer always comes.