The only people who change, who are transformed, are people who feel safe, who feel their dignity, and who feel loved. When you feel loved, when you feel safe, and when you know your dignity, you just keep growing! That’s what we do for one another as loving people—offer safe relationships in which we can change. This kind of love is far from sentimental; it has real power. In general, we need a judicious combination of safety and necessary conflict to keep moving forward in life. Richard Rohr
This is an amazing statement. It is important that we feel safe. That safety has nothing to do with being safe from accidents, guns etc. It has to do with having a safe ground beneath our feet. A tree is able to grow to great heights if its roots are deeply set in the ground. The same is true of us. We can endure the winds of life buffeting our branches if we have that grounding. We can survive and be strengthened by the challenges in our lives. We can grow tall and strong.
This follows Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Safety and security are the base of his pyramid. For him it has to do with food, safe home, basic needs fulfilled. Rohr recognizes that there is more. We all need someone in our lives to acknowledge our existence and to show us that we matter.
Change is inevitable. We need to know where our roots are held fast and then we can move with the change. We may find that grounding in God, in a person, or in a community. Where is not important. Find your ground.