- September 15, 2016
- 5 minute read
- by Staci Gray
Many of us were raised in homes or spent a significant amount of time in very unsafe environments for our heads and our hearts. That’s not meant to point fingers or blame anyone—it is what it is. Once we left those environments, we found ourselves in intimate relationships that mirrored those same destructive environments. And so, the story had gone—but that’s all changing now.
We each have specific triggers that send us off into an out-of-control downward spiral given our dysfunctional background. We want to guard against that. The key is to not put ourselves in situations that compromise our ability to make mindful choices that keep us safe.
Safety is much more than just physical safety—it’s emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and financial. It’s keeping our internal safety intact—peace, confidence, and happiness.
When we are scared, frustrated, anxious, uncertain, stressed, hungry, tired, insecure, or lonely our ability to make mindful choices is compromised.
This isn’t suggesting we aren’t capable of making mindful choices when we are physically and emotionally being pulled in multiple directions—we can. However, why make things harder on ourselves? Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. It’s time we end the vicious cycle of sacrificing our own well-being.
As you know, I value my mind and my energy. When my mental clarity is cloudy and my energy level is low, I find I don’t have the gusto to operate at the level that makes me feel good about myself. When I don’t operate at the level I’m happy with—I get mad at myself. When I get mad at myself, I revert to former coping. Let’s just say—it’s not recommended. In addition, it’s unnecessary. Keeping ourselves away from danger is far easier than repeatedly starting over because we chose to play with fire. And not just any fire—the fire that has already burned us.
Just like it’s easier to stay in shape than it is to continually get out of shape and get back in shape. Same with guarding and nurturing our healing process, it’s far easier to simply do the daily habits that keep us safe, happy, and healthy than it is to start over.
Short-circuiting our healing process by wanting to be at step Z when we are at step C is self-sabotage and completely unnecessary. Feel free to save yourself the heartache. I already paid full price and learned the lesson—please learn vicariously through me instead. 🙂
Our peace and our happiness is an inside job—nobody can do the work for us. We can’t give that power to anybody else. It’s not fair to them and it’s dangerous for us. Therefore, the Holy Grail in the healing process is to guard our minds and energy levels fiercely. This allows us to make mindful choices that are in our best interest.
Oftentimes, the biggest threat to guarding our minds and our energy levels is other people. Well-meaning people, people just trying to help, can say and do things that are the exact opposite of helpful.
We must learn to be self-aware enough to know who is safe and who is unsafe to share our healing process with. Some people we can chat about the weather with but would never share our struggles with. We must exercise vulnerability with wisdom when exposing our healing process to others.
Our awareness may lead to adjusting certain, non-abusive relationships. We may find ourselves restructuring with a family member, co-worker, or friend, because as we have become clear of our values, the dynamics are no longer working for us.
For instance, a family member told me that my choice to exit a relationship was a sin. God hates sin and I would rot in hell for the choice I was making. It wasn’t the family member that was evil—the legalism was appalling. That person at the time was very unsafe to me.
This encounter happened immediately after I had exited an abusive relationship, I didn’t know how to handle the situation. All I knew was I did not like being treated that way, so I stopped communicating with that person for nearly eight months.
Later, a wise person told me that the word “no” is a complete sentence. My actions clearly stated, no. I appreciate the help, but no thank you. I decline your words in my life—please keep them to yourself.
Whether that situation was handled optimally or not on either end— I’m not here to judge. Learning from that experience has proven to be very helpful throughout my healing process.
When we choose to restructure relationships—we sometimes feel like we have to explain ourselves. The word “no” being a complete sentence feels a bit harsh for my communication style; however, explaining my decisions to others is misleading them into thinking they’re entitled to know everything I do and the decisions I make. And they’re not.
Establishing in our own minds who is safe and who is unsafe for our minds and our energy levels while we are in the heat of the healing process is crucial.
Since up until a certain point, I had never had a safe home environment—I created a household rule. This rule was right out of the gate in my healing process—I chose not to speak with any unsafe person while I was home. Because for the first time in my entire life, I finally had a safe place that I called home and I wanted to guard it.
It was a simple boundary. Yet, it was the start of me valuing my values and respecting my healing process. I didn’t need anyone’s approval to nurture and protect my mind, my heart, and my happiness anymore.
I hope you join me on this journey of guarding your head and your heart. If you need some additional guidance, check out the ebook.