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  • Writer's pictureDiane L. Dunton

Safety: Reality or Illusion & Why It Matters

August is National Wellness Month

In an era of global economic uncertainty and political instability, we are given reason to pause and ask, “How safe and secure are we? How safe and secure am I?” These plunges into the depths of uncertainty have many treading water and assessing their relationships with money, material goods, jobs and even other people. What can we feel safe about? How can we thrive when turbulent waters swirl all around us?

A sense of safety and security are essential to a person’s well-being, yet I believe that safety itself is an illusion—a human construct. Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts and precautions, things don’t turn out as we expect. Divorce, illness, job loss, death; all can shatter one’s personal sense of safety. We can spend our time worrying about the future and all of life’s “what ifs,” but consider this: Life is how we spend our time now, not in the future.

Hawk in Flight (copyright D.L. Dunton Photography)

If a sense of safety is essential to our well-being, yet safety itself is an illusion, what are we to do? It’s important to look at how we spend our time because how we spend our time is how we spend our life. Working to let go of the illusion of safety can release us from striving to attain (or hold onto) those things in life that may not bring us true joy. For me, creating this sense involves assessing how my time is spent. It is a process of integrating what was (experiences and memories), what is (my life today), and what the future may hold (hopes and possibilities sans the worry!).

Focusing on family, friends and giving back can provide the stable foundation that not only provides a feeling of security, but actually makes one wealthy in ways that money and material goods simply cannot. I think most of us do realize this, but don’t necessarily spend our time in ways that reflect this belief.

Ask yourself: Today…

  • How am I spending my time (my life)?

  • Am I investing in and nurturing my relationships with family and friends?

  • Am I grateful for what I have in this moment?

  • Am I making an effort to help others?

  • Am I doing work that fuels me? If not, how can I bring elements of passion into my life?

  • Is my relationship with money and material goods keeping me free from anxiety?

  • How can I simplify my life to create space to focus on the true enjoyment life itself can bring?

  • If I am experiencing anxiety, what can I do to come back to the present – since anxiety is often a future-oriented state of mind?

Where do you hold the illusion of safety? What would happen if you let go of it?


Adapted from the book Living, Learning, Healing: Inspirational Stories from the Heart by Diane L. Dunton (Rainbow River Press)


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