The "S-Word": the 6-letter one

My vocabulary of “no-no” words is ever growing lately.  Remember I told you about my new “F” word, the one with 7-letters…forgive.  Unless you want to irritate me, don’t go there.  Oprah has a great definition of forgiveness.  A friend shared it with me and the first time I read it, I cried.  Oprah says forgiveness is “letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different.”  There is a lot of wisdom in that.  I cried because while I love the definition, I am so not ready to go there.  Don’t start…

My “S-word” with 6-letters is Safety.

I shudder when I hear it.  Ok, maybe not shudder…cringe.  Yes, cringe.  I’m serious.  A couple months ago in church someone said, “There is safety in the gospel.”  That struck a sensitive cord and sent me into a spiral that took me 2 hours to recover from or if you consider I am still working on it…2 months and counting.   It wasn’t just that comment, but the idea of safety in general.  It is a concept I simpy cannot believe in.  As a child I was not safe, one of the people that was supposed to take care of me was abusing me.  My home was not safe.  Though it pains me to say it, my inner child says, even God didn’t save me.  Thus, there is no such thing as safety.

Peter Griffin

One day I got caught in one of those rooms in my Haunted Mind. It was a room full of a child’s anguish and fear of not being safe.  I cried and cried.  I rocked and I mumbled, “no safe places, no safe places”.  On some level I, as an adult, was observing all this and I thought I must be having a nervous breakdown.  I worried that my husband would come home and find me in a fetal position muttering, “No safe places, no safe places.”  Fortunately that didn’t happen.  But now you know why I seriously cringe when I hear that word. 

One day I mentioned to my 14 yr old son, Caleb, that I was struggling with the idea of being safe.  (I don’t know what possessed me to do that.  I don’t usually tell the children those sorts of details, but please believe there was some good reason for sharing, even though I can’t remember what it was.) 

He said, “You know, Mom, I don’t believe in safe places either.  Since I was a little kid I have been afraid of something bad happening. What if someone breaks into the house?  What if there is an earthquake?  So I don’t believe in safe places, but I do believe in happy places.  A Happy Place doesn’t mean you are always safe, but it means that you have family and friends to support you when bad things do happen.”

So there you go…thank you all, my friends, for being a part of my Happy Place.

Photo Attriution: Peter Griffin


  1. Hi Leslie, just dropped by to say hello, and that I care about you!I have a rather haunted mansion too, tho a number of the old doors are rusted shut with time. Trying to open some of them to let some fresh air in, hehe! You are a good example to me…

  2. So sorry your experience as a child on this earth has not been the way it should be. I am thankful that you have a Father in Heaven with whom you were, and will always be safe when you get back…. I believe you will find that here too, your on the right path! Kim

  3. Oh my this is so good. Authentic is the word I think that comes to mind. Children can teach us so much. I hope that someday you can feel that safety. I know it's something that has not at all come easy to me, and a lot of times I do not feel safe. So, I get it. For me, safety is snuggling up with my daughters. I even asked my 9 year old what her feeling is and she says, unprovoked, "safe". So, that's kind of a nice thing.

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