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Safety ? Are You OK?

Safety is an interesting concept. When we think of safety we almost intuitively think of its opposite, danger. Some people say that "our thoughts create our reality." I would differ with that in one important way. I would say our thoughts create our perception of reality or our interpretation of reality. That is not the same thing, but it is at least as important. Byron Katie says "Reality is kinder than our thinking."

There are many things we cannot control. We cannot control the weather, though we have tried. We cannot control the events and situations in our lives. Boy howdy, do we try to control that! And believe it or not, we definitely cannot control other people. I know we try that all the time. But it never works out the way we want it to. Have you noticed?

Do you know the Serenity Prayer? When I first learned this prayer, my friend, Lisa, defined each of the phrases for me very carefully. She said, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. That means everything outside your skin." Well, I didn't like that one bit. My boyfriend was certainly outside my skin and I really wanted him to change a lot. Phooey.

Then she told me the next line, "the courage to change the things I can. That means some things inside your own skin, but not all of it." Oh dear. I was feeling totally out of control now. That seemed dangerous. And last, but not least, "and the wisdom to know the difference." Well, at first I thought I was done for. If I couldn't control anything outside myself nor control everything inside, either, where did that leave me? That sure didn't strike me as safe.

But from that simple prayer and that key realization, I began to develop trust and faith. I wasn't growing my teeth or beating my heart or remembering to take every single breath. Something was, though. I learned to realize that I was really safe from the inside out. I changed my perception of "reality." It looked like reality changed, but it didn't. I changed. And that meant I was safe, safer than I even knew.

About this writer

Renee Mettaroy is a former therapist who is now much in demand as a safety inspector. She recognizes the need for both internal and external safety. You can read more articles about safety at GSA Safety

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