Any successful person says they are successful because they respect risk. I’m afraid of hookworms thus I rarely go barefoot. I don’t invest in stocks. I wear sunscreen–lots of it. I brush my teeth and floss religiously. I take supplements, use non-toxic cleaners, buy organic (mostly), and always nag my offspring about safety. Not sure whether I’m perceived as successful but others but despite my lack of risk in some areas I still feel somewhat successful. Thriving is a perception of well-being or happiness. Does that make it less real?
Children have nightmares, fears, phobias and we as adults try to negate their reality, which is a perception that they are not safe. When you have teenagers, they tend to negate their parents perceptions because their reality is that they are safe riding their bike without a helmet, staying out after curfew, playing in the snake infested bayou.
We have a culture where nurturers are expected to provide safety for their offspring, elder parents, co-workers, employees, clients, patients, or students through lecturing, boundaries, threats, fear-mongering (you get pneumonia and die), and other unhealthy perceptions. Numbing fear/discomfort/pain/shame and encouraging others to do the same leads to more perceptions of being unsafe. Being vulnerable, according to Brene Brown, is the birthplace of joy.
Those we nurture will feel safe when they feel worthy and loved. We can help others feel worthy and loved by:
- Feel worthy and loved yourself, fake it till you become, and let yourself be seen by others no matter what your state of well-being.
- Love with your whole heart. Thinking about, acting upon, and practicing loving self and then others without guilt or shame in being imperfect.
- Practice gratitude and joy. Say thank you and smile every day.
- “I am enough.”
May you thrive in your vulnerability and perceive your reality of safety.