When my kids are scared, I tell them, “You are safe and you are loved.” In these frightening times I’m holding these words close, for we can either freeze in panic or move forward in the belief that we are safe and cared for.
Try rolling that phrase around in your mind for a minute or two. “You are safe and you are loved.” It calms something down that’s anxious in you, doesn’t it? It helps. Nothing outward will change, but if you are slightly more peaceful, it makes everything a bit easier to bear.
The problem comes when we forget that we are safe and we are loved. We begin to descend into panic, our palms sweaty, our tummies roiling, our minds racing ahead with all of the “what if’s?” that will never really go away. But for now, in this exact moment, we are safe and we are loved.
I’ve had a series of separate discussions with people in this last week about the situation developing in America. Some have said that they aren’t political and are just waiting for it to blow over. Others have expressed concern but have stated that maybe it’s all meant to work out this way and there’s not much we can do as Canadians to make our voices heard.
I have a few American friends who voted for Trump and I love these people and have a history with them, but I cannot bring myself to talk about this with them as his election is simply too fresh and upsetting to me. So I’m practicing making space in my heart for opposing beliefs. I’m summoning as much grace as possible, for me and for my friends and for those who are desperately angry, terrified and affected by his sweeping and unjust policies.
It’s hard. It hurts. I want a gentle, peaceful world and we are on the precipice of war, violence, narcissism, bigotry and the misogyny of a patriarchy I had hoped was becoming a thing of the past. And yet here we are, trying to explain these horrible headlines to our children when we cannot begin to understand them ourselves.
But this I do know: I am safe and I am loved. I will wrap it around me like a coat and wear it to keep warm. I will be excessively kind and attempt to encourage as many people as I can. I will march and protest when the availability arises and if it doesn’t, I’ll organize one myself. I can dream of the kind of peaceful world I want to live in and do my best to create it on a daily basis and then hope it will spread like wildfire to the hearts of the refugees, the innocent children, the marginalized and those who believe the U.S. is moving in the right direction.
Let’s join together, if we are afraid, and reassure ourselves. Let’s whisper, “You are safe and you are loved.” We need each other’s hope and assurance, more than ever before. None of us are alone. We are safe, we are loved, and together we are powerful.