Seeking Safety in a World at War.

Jenny Arndt Love

I cried today for a really long time – finally, I haven’t done so in more than a year. I have been holding it in, keeping it together, head down, moving forward. But then I began to feel the violence out there pressing in on me and I don’t know why but it opened me in a way that I desperately needed. This energy of war – the violence was felt deep under the surface, because it is sad and dark, but also because I am at war in my own life as well. Violence and intense conflict are part of my current reality, every single day. And to have the outer and the inner collide like it did gave space for me to take it all in.

In my little life I am fighting for my freedom. For liberation.  I started this. I am the one who opened the door but I had no idea the tidal wave of anger and hatred that was going to be released. But so it is and so I go.

Today I cried for the citizens of Paris, for the citizens of the world, for the people of California, for the refugees with no homes, for our leaders who have to find their way to peace. But I also cried for my own kids and for myself. For the father of my children and for our families.

And what of these bringers of violence? My sadness finds its way to them as well. Because only someone filled with fear acts out in this way and only someone terrified creates terror such as this.

I am not really sure what to do with the emotions I am experiencing right now except to feel them fully. We are all processing the events that occurred over the past few weeks. It impacts all of us; our sense of security, our safety.

Here we are moving through our own worlds. There is money to make, people to love, life to be lived. And then something like this happens and it takes the ground out from under our feet, whether we realize it or not. We no longer feel safe because it reminds us that anything can happen at anytime, that things can change drastically in a moment – sometimes violently. We will die. People we love will die. Our mortality is real. And so what do we do with these feelings of insecurity?

Now more than ever we are seeking safety. Of course we are feeling sadness for the people involved, the families, those that lost their lives. But underneath it all we just want to feel safe. It is our most basic human need and we can’t escape it.

I have been seeking safety since I left my marriage, but even before. In truth it is why I left. I am slowly (and sometimes painfully) learning that I had the safety I am reaching for all along. It isn’t attached to any outer circumstances but lives within myself in this hard to define way. I have yet to find words to adequately describe what I have discovered but it is real and true.

We all carry insecurity with us because we look for our safety in places where it does not exist. It causes us to shutdown and we build big strong walls so we feel protected. There are alot of people looking at the world from behind their walls. And this is why war exists in the first place, why the violence happened in Paris, in California and why it occurs around the globe everyday. We disconnect from humanity and forget that we are all just people trying to feel safe. That we are all basically the same.

I wish I knew how to fix it, how to create a wave of certainty and security that blankets the world in a real tangible sense of peace. But I don’t. I am still trying to figure out how to make it so in my own little world. But what I can do is refuse to build up my walls. I can stay open and I will give it all I’ve got. I want to promote safety and to have the ability to acknowledge the humanity in each and every person. That is what I want for myself  - but right now it is a work in progress.

If we continue to tear down our own personal walls I believe our world will indeed become a safer place to exist. These barriers are what make us feel alone and filled with fear. And when we are afraid our actions reflect the instability we feel inside.

I know very well that being open can feel vulnerable and uncomfortable but that is where our safety resides. Within the openness we can see things as they really are and hear our own voice more clearly. We are able to respond instead of react because there is wisdom in the openness.

So while I feel sad about the war raging outside my front door and the one inside my own home, I know that life will continue to move forward and there is always be beauty to be found – we just have to be willing to go looking for it. The wisdom that comes from being open tells me that ultimately we are all safe – but in a way that we cannot fully understand from our human perspective. We need to engender a sense of trust in something beyond what we see.

And I do pray. My prayer these days is that we can trust life enough to take down the barriers that cut us off from each other and that we can turn away from fear and towards love – always, in every situation.

The world needs as much light as it can get these days. We have a choice to bring the light or hide in the shadows. There is really nothing to lose.

With the biggest of love and one million megawatts of light. J


Jenny ArndtSeeking Safety in a World at War.