Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Find Your Safe Place - Safety Pins and Colors

So the election is over and the populace are slowly recovering their minds. I think we're all a bit shell-shocked and looking for a safe place. I made a long statement on Facebook yesterday about why I wasn't changing my profile picture to the all black square so many people are sporting since the election. I seem to have hit a chime - lots of likes and some shares. The positive reaction and my refusal to blend into the dark background made me think of safe places. If there is any such place in your life, where is it? Care to share?

Understand that anyone in need can look to you
for support and help. You don't get to pick and
choose. You don't sit with the bullied child but
ignore the Muslim woman being attacked who
looks to you for help. The pin is a responsibility,
not a fashion statement. 

I see a lot of people wearing safety pins now, both plain and embellished. I guess I see the embellished ones because I sell to very crafty people and there's something about a plain safety pin that irks us. We want to embellish everything. But will the meaning of the safety pin disappear when it is embellished? Will it still be recognized as a signal/symbol of a safe place? For a lovely blog post about the rights and responsibilities as well as how to de-escalate a bullying situation, check out this blog post.  

If you choose to wear the safety pin, you are agreeing
to do the things in this list, and perhaps other things to
help make people feel safe. It may never come into play,
but it could be dangerous for both the target and for you.
This isn't a trend. If you put the pin on, understand the
responsibilities you are embracing. 

Not everyone will want this responsibility, and that's OK too. We all have to find our safe spot before we can venture out of it. My statement of "I'm not going to join the anonymous many in the dark cave. I'm going to wear my rainbow colors and be proud of the equality we've managed to obtain in this nation over the past century," may not be, and most likely is not, yours.

I have a banner similar to this as my Facebook avatar and
have used it for years. I haven't changed it since before the
Supreme Court approved gay marriage and have no intention
of changing it. People don't need to see my picture, they need
to see who I am. This is a much better description than
a picture or a black square. 

Escape to a safe place, however, is essential to help lower stress, and that, in turn, is essential to physical and mental well-being. Do you have a safe place? Are you willing to admit that you need to retreat to that safe place now and again? Is it a physical location, or is it an activity instead? A safe place doesn't have to be a mountain, waterfall, garden or cave. A safe place can be picking up a brush and your watercolors, or writing in your journal, or pulling the kids around you for a Finding Nemo", "Finding Dory" marathon.

You can always settle for a marathon movie event with
the kids. The ocean not your thing? How about "Ice Age
1, 2, 3 and 4"? Want angst instead? Go for "Gone With
the Wind" and "Titanic". That should work. Just
find your safe place and cocoon for a while. Relax. 

Whatever and wherever your safe place is, make sure you use it when needed. It's going to be a rocky and very stressful four years. Have a great Tuesday. One of my safe spaces is the pool and I'll be there, swimming my mile, in about an hour.

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