Tuesday, June 15, 2010
A Safe Place
My dog Tillman is not very fierce (that is unless the other party happens to be a skittish cat in the same household.) In fact he has always been quite the chicken. And on a summer afternoons when thunderstorms quickly come upon us, Tillman can get quite nervous. When he hears the first rumbling of distant thunder, his ears perk up then droop, and he heads for safety, which is always somewhere near me. I love my old four legged, one eyed friend, and I am honored that he can put his trust in me. I am glad to be his safe place. It is important for all of us creatures to feel safe and to know that there is a safe place or safe person when we need it. I used to ask my anxious, troubled patients, "Where do you feel safe? Where have you felt safe in the past?" Identifying it seemed to calm them. On Maslow's hierarchy of needs, safety is right above those things we need to sustain life. So this afternoon when the rumble of the expected thunderstorm begins, Tillman will probably be at my side, nervous but safe.