There’s hardly a kinder gift we can be to another person than be a safe person; with them and for them. Where we can neither hurt each other nor be hurt by one another.
The counsellor is quintessentially a safe person. They provide an inviting and open space—implicit with safety—for the client to partake in their therapy of healing. It’s the client’s process the counsellor works with, not the other way around.
Not many of us are professional counsellors, but God calls us all to care for people in such ways as to develop and deploy some of the counsellor’s skill set.
We call this love.
Trusting and Enjoying the Safe Person
We all need safe people in our lives; people who we can trust, who will listen to us, and who will give us good advice when we either seek it or need it.
We all know that feeling when somebody gives us advice and we haven’t asked for it. It feels like an intrusion and we think we are suffering pride; no, perhaps it’s a matter that our personal dominion is compromised—we don’t feel safe; we don’t feel relaxed; we are defensive and we don’t want to be.
Trusting and enjoying the safe person is about finding such a person. Then it is about simply relaxing with them, and being ourselves. It is God’s will that we are able to be ourselves, without pretence, masks or walls. We can only really be ourselves around safe people, unless we are the safe person—in which case we can be ourselves anywhere.
The Greatest Gift of God to Ourselves
Could it just be that just is willing us to become safe people—to be with, to enjoy the journey of life around? Could it be that this ‘calling’ to be a safe person might be the greatest of God’s gifts to us—a gift directly sponsored of the Holy Spirit? I tend to think so. In fact, I know so.
It’s the greatest gift to ourselves because of the tangibility of the relationship scenario.
God reinforces the idea of love, helping us to love and be loved, in the context of our relationships. We need to experience love in relationships in order to enjoy the confidence of living the full, abundant life.
When we venture on a journey to becoming a safe person—by embracing our own healing—which is tackling and accepting our own truths (yes, the sordid ones)—our experience of love abounds. Love is the greatest gift and becoming a safe person is the way to enjoy the presence of such a gift.
The safe person is one we trust and enjoy and can be ourselves around. We can share with them and they listen and their advice feels safe and wise. But we too can be safe people; indeed, it may be God’s greatest gift that we would nurture within ourselves the notion of becoming or being a safe person to be around.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.