Crisis and Safety: Two Ways to Surrender

Mar 31, 2023

Crisis and safety both inspire surrender.

If you're accustomed to crisis, a partnership in which crisis inspires the surrender, vulnerability, and investment will feel just right to your nervous system.

A crisis does not require a specific event in the world. It's an event in one's perception, an event in our nervous systems. Though there are events in the world that will reliably produce this event in a nervous system, some are able to overcome such causation, and most are able to experience crisis without an external event-crisis.

We create and participate in crisis when we are operating within the victim-perpetrator-rescuer triangle. The crisis may be an emotional outburst, a minor wrongdoing, a major wrongdoing, an external event, or a chronic condition of need in one form or another.

A crisis is a consumptive event, requiring time and energy as a matter of morality. It is the perfect control tool, because it demands attention reliably. You have to be a monster to turn away from a crisis. In the midst of a crisis, we all surrender to "what has to be done."

Many of us were oriented toward emergencies as children and find ourselves (innocently!) involved with partners who were similarly oriented. In these situations, we participate mutually and equally (but in ways that look different) in the creation, maintenance, and addressing of crisis after crisis to experience ours and others' investment in the relationship.

This truly is innocent, on the parts of both partners in MOST cases. It's all the more tragic for that. It's crisis after crisis *on behalf of the desire for love.* It's an expression and pursuit of love that is entirely doomed, energetically unsustainable, a factory of resentment and depletion. Loving people only use it because they never learned sustainable surrender.

When we heal our addiction to crisis, we find a new surrender available to us. It is the surrender we find when we experience SAFETY long enough to orient toward it. In crisis, we surrender to the one thing that must be done. In sustainable surrender, we surrender to the best of what life has to offer.

Safety is not a condition of the world. It can NEVER be a condition of the world. From a human perspective, there is no way to create a "safe" world.

Safety is an experience. If it was not offered to us as children, we can only receive it by cultivating it for ourselves. It is an experience that circumstances can prevent, for sure, but not an experience that circumstances alone can create.

Safety is a nervous system regulation and an attentional orientation. Safety is relaxed. Safety is not looking for threats or oriented toward threat. Safety is not in any hurry, fears no consequence, looks with gentle, loving, understanding eyes on the world. Safety has patience and plenty. Safety begins with trusting the self to stay non-negotiably nourished.

Safety is only available NOW.