I’ve been thinking about security and what makes people feel secure and stable. What are the things that make us feel grounded and safe? We all need an internal foundation that allows us to cope with all those events in life that can rock us some days.
For me, it is my home. I need to feel I am truly in my own nest, to the point where I have to feel I am completely in charge of it too. This has been really difficult when I’ve been in rented accommodation or in a house that’s been part of my husbands employment package. I am most happy when I know I can paint my walls, choose my own furniture and make the house a real home. Do you feel this way?
When we lived in Lagos we were to be the first family into a new specially built compound. I was able to choose all the furniture and furnishings which was wonderful because the new house really felt like mine, and spending someone else’s money is always fun! I’m not sure what our successors thought of my taste but I adored the fresh bright colours I chose and it helped me feel more secure in a difficult place.
For others it might be a certain level of income or money in their account. It’s a very brave soul who can leave everything to travel the world not knowing where the means to live is coming from. The security of a regular income is vital to some and I know one of my greatest fears is to be “old and cold”.
Then there’s support. For the expat community it is so important to feel part of a community that will help and support you. To be content you might need to be surrounded by people who have the same values and interests, especially if they have to replace loved family and friends back home. This is true wherever you are. To be an outsider, or considered different makes us feel disconnected and lonely. A sense of belonging is essential, whether it is to the local painting club, mother and toddler group or church; we all need to feel part of a group where we can relax and be our authentic selves.
What gives you a feeling of security is unique to you. No-one else will have the same needs, experience and personality. I’d love to know what makes you feel grounded, connected and secure. Tell me!