Remember Your Safety Belt When You Are Under Stress

Create a symbol that will keep you from being tossed and turned
and thrown off balance when life presents you with a bumpy road

"Always fasten safety belt" - NARA - 513785You wear a seat belt in a car or on a plane for good reasons. They provide protection when you’re in an accident or when you hit turbulence that would otherwise toss you around. In the same way, if you’re walking on a narrow bridge over a rushing stream, it helps to have a safety net in case you fall.

You use this protection even though you may not need it. Why take the chance? You also buy insurance just in case you need it. It is also wise to be able to rely on this kind of protection when you hit unexpected potholes in the road of life.

So today I bring you an exercise I created several years ago for creating symbols of support — before you may actually need them. Then they can come in handy when difficult situations might derail you on a path you want to travel with confidence and peace.

First, before you even notice a bump in the road, make a list of all the hard-earned lessons you’ve learned over the years. Here are just a few that you most likely already know:

  • I am loved and love others, which is the strongest support of all, even though I alone must walk through trials I have been given.
  • I am neither as good nor as bad as I once thought I was.
  • I don’t need to be perfect.
  • None of us gets through life without pain, so I’m not being singled out when I get my share.
  • We all do our best, even when our best isn’t good enough.
  • Nothing is constant, so whatever my situation is at the moment—whether good, bad, or neutral—it too shall pass.
  • If something goes wrong in one part of my life, there are lots of other things that are going right.
  • There’s always tomorrow.

Imagine in your mind’s eye that you can weave these lessons into very strong and sturdy fibers that can be fashioned into a symbolic seat belt or safety net.

The next time you’re going through a particularly rough time, get out your list and read it. Then sit quietly in a chair and imagine as clearly as you can that you are held firmly in place with an imaginary belt made from those lessons. Allow them to remind you that you won’t be thrown off your chair — and that you can work through your challenging time with confidence that you’ve been through tough times before. You’ll get through this as well.

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