Updated: Apr 24, 2020
I think of a memory or person that makes me feel safe when I feel stressed out, especially during this abnormal, new normal. I recall a specific moment that I didn’t know then would comfort me after all these years. And, every time I think of this moment, I find deeper comfort and a sense of security.
It was first grade and her name was Mrs. Smith, my first grade teacher. Every morning, she would have a story of the day on the blackboard for us to transcribe, to practice our penmanship and expand our vocabulary and spelling. I really don’t remember what the stories were about, probably about the weather for the day, “sunny, cloudy, cold” and had words like “spectacular” and “fabulous”.
It was when we began this daily morning ritual that she gave me a piece of my inner compass and sense of safety that still holds me today.
I was in the last row of the classroom, diligently writing down the story of the day on my piece of paper. I hurried through the task and walked up to the front of the desk where she sat and handed her my paper.
I remember her saying, “Wow, what a nice paragraph!” and then she added, “Why don’t you try it again with spaces between the words?”
I looked at my paragraph and understood what she meant. So, I quickly went back to my desk and rewrote the paragraph and took it back to her.
She looked at it, then at me, and smiled, and then said “Wow, that’s really good.” and then added, “Now if you erase all the dashes between the words you be finished.”
I was so happy that I was almost finished. So, I went back to my desk and erased all the dashes that helped me to space out the words.
By then my classmates were handing in their paragraphs. So, I eagerly waited for my turn to hand her my completed work.
That’s it. That’s my moment. A moment that I have never forgotten, that gives me a sense of safety, of being heard, of being loved and being at peace during moments of stress.
I go to that memory along with other memories to fill me, physically and emotionally, that helps me feel safer when I feel stressed.
What is your memory or memories that you can nurture to feel safer when you feel stressed out?