A tornado warning sent me into a family friend’s storm cellar when I was growing up in my rural Oklahoma hometown. Down there he had flashlights, a battery operated radio, stored food items and blankets. The storm passed after several minutes, but we could have stayed down there for days. We would have been safe and warm down there as we ate Spam and listened to the best of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
What is your safe place?
We all need one. A place where we have little or no fear of rejection. A place where, even if we are corrected, we know we are still loved. We need a place where fear doesn’t override our sense of joy, peace, adventure and imagination.
This safe place is behind the miti-gate. A gate that reduces our risks. It protects us from the ‘outside’ world. It keeps out the critics and accusers.
But we all know we can’t stay in our safe place.
The same cellar door that kept away the storm would have also shut us off from our lives. We would miss friends, work, baseball games and the beautiful sight of an Oklahoma wheat field set aglow by the setting sun. We realize that is not a good trade-off, yet in other areas of life we sacrifice wonder, beauty and adventure for a little safety. We don’t risk having that critical conversation. We avoid creating something amazing. We don’t attempt to learn something new, challenging and rewarding. We keep the cellar door shut as we peel open another can of Spam.
Safety in the form a small brick of meat… coated in gelatin. Pretend all you want that it’s delicious, you’re tired of the taste. We all are.