My home just sold. After twenty-some years living in a small mid-western town, I am moving back to a larger city. Never having locked my doors here, I search for a key to give the new owners at closing. The home I will move into has an alarm system. My sister tells me that’s a good thing, as a single woman moving to a strange place. I have two dogs who would feign protection, but truth is, their affections can be bought with cheap lunch meat. Commandos we are not.
Last night’s news told of the growing number of women buying firearms (now, THAT’S scary!) and taking classes with them. I won’t be among them. It isn’t that I begrudge them any sense of security this might provide, it’s just that I can’t believe in it. I suspect that, like violence, fear begets fear. You see, I am invested in overcoming the familial habit of being afraid to participate fully in life…My adorable mother lived most of her life afraid of just about everything, from spiders in the basement to the greedy salesman out to take advantage. At the young age of sixty-nine, the cancer of her fears overtook her.
“In my defenselessness my safety lies” has long been one of my favorite lessons from A Course In Miracles. It isn’t speaking of physical strength, but rather of a conscious approach to life. I have learned through personal failure that I scare myself far worse than anyone else ever could, and I have come to treasure my vulnerability.
For a period of time, I may live with the new security system as I get to know my neighborhood. I doubt I’ll keep it. My gut will direct me to right action. Grief was the tuition exacted for having learned to be comfortable in my own skin, to learn to trust my intuition. I am not about to relinquish my hard earned security to the world.
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life, and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I’ve wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keefe