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safety firstSince safety is one of my core values, I am always asking the question, “Does this situation feel safe? Is this person safe? Do I have a doubt about my safety – in this car, in this house, in this job?”

Women who are Starting Over Single often list safety as one of their core values. When we’ve been abused, rejected, abandoned or deceived – safety becomes a major issue.

One helpful resource is “Safe People” by Cloud and Townsend. This book describes how to look for safe relationships and how to avoid repeating the same drastic mistakes. It validates the importance of safety and gives practical tips for marching forward in life.

Sometimes we react with fear because we don’t feel safe. During those times, we need to be careful not to run away just because something is uncomfortable.

Sometimes we need to push through our comfort zones in order to grow and learn something about ourselves. It’s important to find the balance.

For example: just because the car’s engine is sputtering, that doesn’t mean that a major repair is in your future. It might just be a hiccup or some gasoline that has too much ethanol.

Or … maybe it is time to have the oil changed and a maintenance check-up. No need to fear, but it is important to feel safe.

So what are some practical ways we can check the balance for safety issues?

  • If you feel uncomfortable, wait before you do anything. Time and patience are often indicators of safety.
  • Make a list of red flags for relationships. Check the list often and set your boundaries against dangerous risks.
  • If you need to make a decision and it feels unsafe, ask several friends or a trusted counselor. The wisdom of others is often our best resource.
  • Never make a permanent decision based on a temporary circumstance.
  • Pray and ask God for wisdom. “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).
  • Journal through the issue. Sometimes our best decisions become apparent through journaling.
  • Ask yourself – am I afraid because this is a genuine danger or am I afraid because I’m growing beyond my comfort zone? The answer to that question will help you make a decision.

Above all, take care of yourself and set boundaries around your heart. Then after you’ve made the decision, journal about it again and share it with a trusted friend.

This is how we learn and grow so that the next decision won’t be so difficult.

©2015 Starting Over Single – GateWay of Hope