Want to feel safe? Yeah, same.

Hello all! How have you all been?

I have been a bit busy with my new cat, my first own cat. I got him last Sunday and we are now completing a week. It has been an emotional rollercoaster. I was very scared the first four-five days. I kept thinking ‘what if I do something wrong and harm this cat?’. Now I am getting used to being responsible for a pet, but this reaction of mine also got me thinking how the need for security and safety lies in the depths of our subconscious, whether it be for ourselves or for family or friends or pets.

A lot of our reactions can be traced back to this need. Our friend behaves a bit cold or different towards us and oftentimes, the first thought that comes to mind is ‘what did I do wrong?’ and if we take it further, ‘is he/she going to leave me?’. But we forget that that person might just be having a bad day. Or something unexpected happens and we immediately start thinking about the worst case scenario in the hopes that we prepare for it (which is what happened with my cat). This way, our minds can make sure that we are safe even if the worst happens.

However, constantly thinking about safety and making sure that things do not go wrong is a) very overwhelming, as there are many factors to consider and b) there are so many things that we cannot control that even trying to control anything seems to be an empty effort. Things happen the way they are supposed to anyway. We just end up mentally draining ourselves.

And I am guilty of this. One thing that helped me tremendously in the past year is learning to let go. In my case, I hope I learnt to leave things to God and this made me feel much safer because I was convinced that God is handling things anyway. This is in line with the notion of letting go, going with the flow etc. It is a process to learn this, for sure, but ultimately, the thought that our situations are being handled anyway makes us feel better because it gives us security without dismissing the need for security.

Given that, let’s discuss today how we can achieve this. If you have, share with us how you achieved it.


32 thoughts on “Want to feel safe? Yeah, same.

  1. A great post . . . I’ve been in the same situation many times over the last many months (years). If I’d learned to let go (and go with the flow), perhaps I’d have been much less stressed/anxious. But life is full of lessons, and each and every one of us has to learn them in our own way and time.

  2. This is something I struggle with. I often quote the verse, “Be anxious for nothing…” Of course, that’s ONLY when I remember – and after stressing over the thing for a good while first. I suppose it comes down to continuing to remind ourselves!

  3. The older I get, the easier it is for anxiety to sneak in. I think part of it is that the older one is, the less time there is to snap back. Once you hit your later years, recovery may take a large portion of your remaining life or not happen at all.

    If I injure myself, it simply may not heal. If I lose my money, I won’t be able to earn it back. If I lose a loved one, that’s it. I’ll just be that much more alone. If I make a bad life decision, there’s no fixing it. I’m more fragile than I used to be, I don’t recover like I used to, and there’s very little time left to recover in.

    There’s also the matter that my filter doesn’t work like it used to. Stuff comes bubbling up to the surface that never would have in the past. I start to worry about things that there’s absolutely nothing I can do about. It is foolish to worry about things beyond my control and more things are beyond my control every day. So why am I worrying more instead of less?

    Somehow my “Que sera, sera.” filter is failing.


    1. That is an interesting comment. It feels like regret is playing a big role. Regret may make us do things faster –or sometimes not initiate anything at all out of fear–. But there must be ways to handle this too?

  4. I’ve learned in my 52 years of life imperfectly to let go and let God. I try not to control outcomes but accept Gods Will in much of my life. This doesn’t mean I never worry but rather that when I find myself stressing I exercise that muscle to let go. Prayer and being adaptable really is key for me.
    Great blog!

  5. Hello Betul,

    Thank you for sharing this post with us. I hope that you and your new cat get along amazingly. I totally believe in letting go and letting God; and when we investigate our essential nature, we may be quite surprised that we’re not who we “think” we are. Through self inquiry, we knowingly recognize God within, right where we are.

    I’ll be looking forward to your next post!

    1. Very nice point! Once you turn within, you find so many things you would otherwise not have found. But this is for a good purpose! PS: The cat and me are getting used to each other!

      1. Thank you, Betul. I agree about turning within. So glad that your cat and you are getting along well! What’s it’s name? 🙂

  6. I struggle with the title of the post, because it’s a question with a possible answer.
    I essentially dis agree with the question, because it potentially leads you to been as safe as possible, which means not taking any chances, not trying anything remotely risky etc.
    This creates a life where you aren’t really living anymore!.
    You are here once only!, there’s no replay option.
    So trust in the lord, trust yourself, have faith in yourself, and go out and live a life worth remembering.

    1. Not necessarily. The way it worked for me, once I started being able to let things be, I both felt safe and was able to take chances. I do not think feeling safe and taking chances are necessarily mutually exclusive.

  7. I am guilty of this worst case scenario survival. I say survival because that’s how I survived my early 30’s. I was able to flip it into my advantage that made me on top of my game – at work most of the time, handling operations could be so exhausting but when I’m a bit calm and relaxed that’s when things go wrong. Fast forward to now, I’m 38, it took a toll in my mental health especially during the early stage of lockdown. Right now, I’m starting to get back on my feet. Starting over again and trying to avoid the worst case scenario survival mode. What’s good now is that I am aware of my action and of my limitations.

  8. I learned to meditate from cats. They represent magic and mystery in life. Congratulations on your new family member. Your cat will probably help you learn more about embracing letting go. A cat’s purr and lion’s gaze is good medicine for that. Thank you Betul.

  9. A thought-provoking post, Betul. Thank you for sharing.
    I chuckled at, “Our friend behaves a bit cold or different towards us and oftentimes, the first thought that comes to mind is ‘what did I do wrong?” My thoughts exactly!
    Until a dear friend of mine (whose advice is always sound) asked me, “why do you think it is always about you? Your friends may have things going on in her life, or they may be pre-occupied, or they may not be ready to share. There may be many reasons for your friends’ behavior. So once you have asked them if it is your fault, then step back and wait.”
    I thought about her advice and have changed my way of thinking. I still ask my friends if there is anything I have said or done that has made them a little distant from me. If the answer is yes and they explain the reason, I apologize. If they say no, it is about their personal life, then I accept and respect their answer and give them space until they are ready to resume the relationship.
    Enjoy your cat’s company.

    1. Yes, that is a very good approach! I have been trying to change this in myself too. I think it will lead to happier and healthier friendships. Also, thank you!

  10. Good that you have a cat, Betul! They are lovely creature! I have been living with cats for years, I would say about 30. I learned a lot from them, for instance that they live in the here and now. Safety and security for my cats was and is about avoiding humans (would you blame them for that?) but they would dare to jump on balcony gates even though I live on a 4th floor. I think it’s good when you have someone like a pet to look after, and a pet may also looks after you.

    1. I totally agree! I learnt how to align with emotions and needs from my brother’s cat and I am excited to see what my cat will teach me now! They are indeed interesting creatures!

  11. Wonderful questions, Betul. I don’t have any answers here, but I will tell you that I resolved not a long time ago not to live in fear. Most of the time it works and brings me a lot of peace. Robert and I both love cats and would love to have another one, but, unfortunately, we both have allergies. Enjoy your cat. Cats are wonderful and amusing companions! <3

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