It’s a funny thing, that sense of security. Sometimes I crave it, other times it feels suffocating. And it always seems that what I want is the opposite of what I have. Right now, so much in my life feels — not volatile, or precarious, or any negative thing, necessarily, but… not anchored. Not certain. Not whatever-positive-thing I feel like I’m missing. But as I was also reminded last night, “security” in most situations is false. Careers are cut short with no notice, relationships fall apart after months or years or decades, people and places are destroyed in freak accidents and natural disasters. So is it really that important for me to have a permanent job, or to be in a committed relationship, or to own property?
It’s no coincidence that the antonym of “secure” is “insecure.” My insecurities are what drive this desire for external reassurance. My tendency to search out and focus on what I see as my shortcomings and flaws, rather than recognizing all of the things I love about the person I am and am becoming. The irony is that, in those moments when I feel like I need my sense of security to come from outside, I’m presenting a bundle of worry and fear, not my best self who knows she’s pretty awesome and appreciates, but doesn’t need, reassurance from others. My best self who knows, for example, that if I’m not offered a job, it’s not because I wasn’t good enough, but that someone else was better suited in some way. And that doesn’t take anything away from me and the things I am and have and can do, so why should it feel like I’m somehow less than I was before?
So, it’s time to refocus on mindfulness and presence in the moment, to express gratitude for my abilities and my capacity for growth, and to remember that my thoughts shape my actions and I want both to be full of love, hope, and faith in myself and others. The beautiful thing about steering myself back onto this path is that it’s becoming more familiar each time I realize I’ve started to stray – it takes less time, less effort, to find my way when I’m not dragging myself out of the deep bracken of perceived failure. Hey, look at that – I’ve already started. :)