Dark alleys, leering stares, gossipy rumors, circled fat, salmonella poisoning, terrorist attacks, rapists, murderers, abusers, molesters, cultures that devalue women, risk of having Alzheimer’s, child getting Lyme disease, genocide, female mutilation, the sex trade, child getting West Nile virus, gangs, child developing Autism, mafia, house catching on fire, disease ravaging our bodies, kidnappers, exploited on social networking sites, Big Brother, germs, spiritual warfare, noises in the woods, getting lost…This is an incomplete list of what we fear. Barely scratching the surface with those.
I took your comments from Friday’s post titled, “What DoWomen Want” and found the most prevalent answer kept focusing on security. Based on your input it became obvious—women want to feel safe.Time for a little psychology 101. Did you know that on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid the need listed just above our basic physiological needs being met (hunger, sleep, etc.) is safety?
What threatens our safety as women—what weakens our ability to feel secure?Besides the very real danger some men present, and even some women offenders, our greatest opposition when we’re fighting to feel safe is oftentimes our own fear.
Women are masterminds at worrying. Michael Hyatt wrote a thought-provoking post about how worry and imagination are like two sides of the same coin and he also highlights the profound differences between the two.I wonder if some of us cry wolf in particular scenarios so habitually that we play out, in twisted strokes of misfortune, our own self-fulfilling prophesy. We imagine ourselves to death. There are proven statistics detailing how much damage stress can do to the body.
All this to say there’s no denying horrific events occur every second. The world can go dark in a flash. Our fears are grounded in glimpses of reality.There’s a book every woman would benefit from reading called, The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. The book helps educate women about the difference between true fear and unwarranted fear. I’ve reflected on this book numerous times when I’ve faced potentially precarious situations.
Because I love advocating for women I’m wrapping up today’s post with a list of things that contribute to women feeling safe.
KnowledgeStatistics, resources, places to go for help, the unlikelihood of acquiring said disease or having our child kidnapped can diffuse the firestorm of worry that explodes in our minds. Understanding what we need to focus on helps us let go of all of the extraneous weight on our shoulders.
Strength in NumbersWomen, we are such a phenomenal and valuable resource for one another. We’d benefit beyond belief by uplifting and encouraging one another in lieu of playing competitive, jealousy-based games.
PerspectiveEvery so often repeat these two words: Reality check. One of the best ways to face down our fears is to gain a sense of perspective.
HonestyOne of hardest, but most important ones. Truth really does set us free. You are not alone. And you need not stay stuck.
EmpowermentMartial arts, yoga, kickboxing classes, schooling, learning to read, speaking out on behalf of women, telling the truth, writing stories communicating issues and themes important to women, volunteering, giving, giving, giving.
Hope & FaithThis one goes deep for me. My way of viewing the world changed drastically when I understood for the first time this is not my home. And as hope flaps its wings inside me I embrace and live in the truth that nothing can stop me. Including fear.
What makes you feel secure? Insecure? Are you able to turn worry into creative and positive visualizing?
*photo by stock.XCHNG