As much as we might sometimes wish to be able to create some changes, we will never be able to achieve them on our own. They are collaborative.
We can’t make anyone love us, be our friend, feel safe, or see us as we want to be seen.
And yet, we try.
And yet, we expect others to do it.
In a recent event, participants wanted to establish safety for everyone and were discussing ways to do so.
It didn’t work.
They had remained focused on the result of feeling safe. Hoping that they could make others feel safe or have others make them feel safe.
This never works.
What can be done, however, is to create conditions in which people may feel safe. The work to be done here is to pay attention to the process. It does not matter that there will still be occasions in which people may not feel safe. What matters is, the possibility to feel safe, to create a space people will be willing to use as a ground onto which they can develop trust.
It starts with being willing to listen and being curious about the other.
It requires letting go of the idea that we can reassure others. It involves welcoming insecurity.
It is allowing others to choose how and when to feel safe with us.
Feeling safe is just as much a responsibility as the willingness to create conditions in which others feel safe.
It only happens if and when we care.