By Henry Amador-Batten
There has been much talk recently about “safe places,” especially after the massacre in Orlando.
I touched on this topic in a newspaper column I write and the responses I received only served to feed my desire to dive in even deeper.
Some people just do not understand how a night club could take on such importance to a specific group of individuals.
To that I will say that the answer is complicated but it is truly interesting if you begin to wonder how and why we feel compelled to need to feel safe anywhere at all.
The womb may be at the root of this conundrum, the desire to feel safe and protected. After all it was in that first, safe place, that we grew and thrived. It was there that our core needs were met, where we were sustained and fed. That little home was where we, without even being aware of it, could just be.
Now the spiritual me will argue that our first safe place was found even further back than that. That space would be bigger and grander and far less isolated than the womb that was to come.
These thoughts led me to some interesting conversation about the bigger picture, the, circle of life, if you would.
From whence we come, we shall go.
Ashes to ashes dust to dust.
At the end, we find the beginning, etc. etc.
All of those things we hear or read that imply that life is a big circle.
So in an ideal and happy world, what would that look like?
Where would each of those safe places lead us?
What is the big plan, the magnificent design?
I do believe we begin somewhere bigger than us all.
A collaborative and indescribable space some may call heaven, the cosmos or the universe.
Different people from different times have called it different things. Please choose the one that fits you best.
In this space we are given unlimited access to all of life’s secrets, we are given keys to solve all its problems. We are loved and nurtured and indulged with anything and everything we might need to embark on a journey of a lifetime, our very own lifetime.
We are packed up, loved, hugged and bidden the fondest of farewells as we magically, happily and intentionally enter our first safe place on earth, the vessel called mother.
My guess is that, back in the perfect world I mentioned earlier, this first of many safe places would naturally and organically meant to lead us to the next.
From a spec in the universe, to a seed in the womb, to a child in the arms of a chosen family.
From there we are introduced to the safety of the extended family.
With time, we find safety with friends and with schools and as we grow and learn that safe space should naturally grow to include our adult circle of friends.
Through faith, if so inclined, our safe spaces begin to grow even larger by way of our spiritual communities, in form of a church, mosque, or temple.
All the while we remain safe and expanding in these ever-enlarging spaces.
Remember though, only in an ideal world.
Our world continues to expand as we find love and start families of our own. We invite in new perspectives and beliefs and individuals that are attached to broader circles and safe in ways we only now begin to understand.
As we age, we use the universal knowledge that came with us to understand that the concept of space and safe are even larger than we could have imagined.
We reach out to strangers and lend a hand; we learn new languages in order to continue to make larger our space. We begin to love others in the way we love ourselves so that we can begin to feel safe and secure wherever our life might take us.
A successful existence would find us older and preparing for the next phase of our journey having created a world where our safe space was nearly as large as the one we were created from.
But again, that would be in the ideal world I speak of.
When a great tragedy occurs and we find ourselves threatened in a safe space we are all too often prevented from enter our next larger one. For some of us it’s a temporary delay and for others, long enough to prevent us from completing the real journey.
Child abuse, family neglect, school shootings, college attacks, hurtful relationships, church bombings, city attacks, and yes, even a night club shooting in a space that your heart of hearts told you was safe can cause an interruption to our soul’s intent that does not just impact us as human beings but that impacts us as spiritual beings as well and all of mankind in turn.
Hopefully, as we ponder on just what makes a space safe, we can remember that your success, your safety is conversely mine, mine is yours, and that each of the paths we cross are actually all headed in the same direction. Some of us just may have been forced into the most unexpected of detours.
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