In order to heal you must first have an awareness of how you are feeling and thinking internally. But recognizing and accepting your pain and anger and all of the other feelings going on inside of you is not enough. Healing comes through relationship—relationship with God and relationship with others.
The problem is that not all “others” are safe people. To share your heart with some folks would be like inviting a psychopathic killer with a knife over for supper. With these kinds of people, the odds are that you are going to get hurt.
…As I think about my own journey, my experience has taught me that safe people:
- Accept and love me unconditionally.
- Are comfortable with grief. They don’t try to lighten the mood or distract me or do something to stop the tears. They offer a shoulder and they cry with me.
- Don’t gossip about me or my husband.
- Don’t try to fix my problem or offer solutions. They simply listen, encourage me, and pray.
- Don’t need my love or approval to be okay. They can handle my angry outbursts and stormy emotions because they know who they are in Christ.
- Are aware of their own brokenness. Humility and integrity are the hallmarks of their character.
- Are more concerned about relating to me and loving me than about giving me advice.
- Are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s work in my life. Only believers can be truly safe people.
–Melissa Haas, The Journey: Book One