Emotional safety is measured by our ability to be who we really are with a particular person in a certain setting. It is a precursor to intimacy - "into me see." That means I have to feel safe enough to let you in, to share my thoughts, feelings, and experiences without fear of judgment.
For me, trust was an issue when I began this work so many years ago. Turns out, I made a vow as a child to 'get them before they get me' when it came to authority figures, mostly male. So you can imagine my disillusionment when I couldn't find a safe place in marriage, church, or corporate America. I was looking out there for the thing that would make me whole.
Some children, some marriages, and some jobs later I have learned a few things about myself and about trust. It's an inside job. Nobody is going to give it to you and nobody can take it away from you either.
My thoughts really did become things, my fears came to pass, and I reinforced the beliefs that were keeping me lonely. "You can't trust men, they only want one thing." or "I can take care of myself, I don't need a man." or "There are no good men left, all the good ones are taken." My thoughts were my protective wall. What I thought made me independent was squeezing the love and life right out of me.
My intention was to meet a man with whom I could bring all of myself to the table. I wanted true intimacy - intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I asked God to bring me someone I wouldn't have to 'dummy down' for, or pretend I didn't know what I know, want what I want, see what I see, and say so. I changed my mind, which changed my actions and my expectations, which changed my result. The rest is history-in-the-making.
In today's journal - even if you haven't done any of the exercises to this point - answer the questions below. Then re-read what you wrote, and write a 2nd paragraph about how you're feeling today. Now. In this moment.
Kim Halsey is a Human Resource professional, author, speaker, and Executive Coach certified in multiple disciplines to help people overcome life damaging habits and restore family relationships.