In this video, I talk about the “gap,” “safety” as an internal experience of the “real,” labeling, and how we can more effectively notice and verbalize in ourselves our experience, needs, and internal sensations as it relates to safety.
The Irish, instead of saying “I’m sad” will say “I have a sadness.” Similarly, we can talk about anxiety, depression in this way. Either, “I’m anxious” or “my brain is doing a thing, I am having an anxiety.” With others, sometimes we say “You made me mad” instead of “I am having a reaction to what you’re doing, I am feeling an anger (which I recognize as tension in my muscles, a fight-reaction, etc).”
What I want to suggest here is that we can do the same with our conception of safety. In establishing our own bodily sensations and experience of safety, we can start to verbalize this as “I am having a safety” or “I am having an un-safety” in this particular situation, moment, in this relationship. Rather than saying “You’re un-safe,” we can talk about how, from our own experience, my body / my brain is telling me a thing. We can notice our own experience, be open and curious with it. In this space of openness and curiosity with ourselves, we can then extend this to other people. The alternative can be, in the social milieu we are in (where counseling is generally and openly accepted, hooray!) these terms are weaponized, used as pejorative labels — “You’re toxic,” “You’re bad,” “You’re abusive.”
I invite you to taking the internal space, noticing and being curious about your own experience in the moment, and in this openness and curiosity (and compassion), engage with others in the same way.