am i safe with myself?

by michelle on April 22, 2013

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Some years ago at a silent meditation retreat I was introduced to the following Metta, or Lovingkindness, phrases:

May I be safe and protected.
May I be peaceful.
May I live with ease and kindness.

Throughout the week we did several Metta meditations, silently repeating the phrases to ourselves–first about ourselves, and eventually inwardly offering the Metta to others.

Each time I repeated, “May I be safe and protected,” I would feel a little disconnected from the phrase. I don’t generally feel unsafe. I rarely feel threatened or in danger. I basically wrote off this Metta phrase as something directed at an unnamed person in another country, someone who lives a life very different than mine.

Until… one meditation when the teacher offered a bit of context around the phrases. She suggested that maybe this was more than literal safety. Maybe this was safety from the harshness of our own minds. May we be protected from our own criticisms, brutal judgments, and self-hatred.

Tears welled in my eyes.

Yes. May I be safe with myself.

* * *

A couple of weeks ago I attended an iRest® training. iRest, or Integrative Restoration, is founder Richard Miller’s take on the very old practice of Yoga Nidra, and could be described as a mindfulness practice that allows one to tap into a deep core of relaxation.

About mid week, Richard offered the affirmation I am safe with myself.

There it was again — the opportunity to be safe from self-inflicted wounding, to be aware of the wicked ways of the mind.

* * *

What I realize now is it’s not just the absence of the violence against myself  – that’s certainly the first step and critical to feeling safe. But creating a safe environment also includes soft, tender gestures that allow for The Guard to go off duty, the nervous system to ease into relaxation and restoration mode, and the mind to stop telling me to look over my shoulder for the person or thing that’s going to come and take my place unless I knock it down (and really, our judgments of others only point to the deep sadness of our own self-wounding…usually tenfold).

This second layer of safety means caring for and about myself…. nourishing, loving myself.

* * *

So here are my Metta phrases for today:

May I be tender in care for myself.
May I be all things to myself first.
May I be safe with myself.

Because if we can’t be safe with ourselves, who can we be safe with?

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy April 22, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Love this. So much. YES.

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Tami (Teacher Goes Back to School) April 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm

May I be safe and protected.
May I be peaceful.
May I live with ease and kindness. <=== love this.

mine is

may i be filled with lovingkindness.
may i be well.
may i be peaceful and at ease.
may i be happy. <===there is a good chance i got this from you. it totally helps me.

i am so interested in hearing more about the training. obvs!

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Rebekah April 23, 2013 at 8:43 am

love love love….

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Holly April 25, 2013 at 10:19 pm

May we all be safe and protected from our own minds. Such a good lesson!

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