In therapy one of the things I have worked on is using a safe place when I am feeling anxious or I am in an uncomfortable situation.
I had to close my eyes and imagine somewhere that felt safe to me, it could be somewhere I had been or it could be made up. I had to think about what I can see, what I can hear, if I can feel anything, what smells there are and focus on the feelings that I felt in that place.
As soon as I was told to think of a safe place I knew exactly where it would be. It’s somewhere I have been a few times and it has a special meaning to me for many reasons.
It is in Wales, me and my fiance went on our first holiday together in Wales (I had never been before) and we have been back every year, sometimes twice a year. We have walked for miles, climbed mountains, ran around the Great Orme, and generally just enjoyed ourselves, but my safe place is more specific than a country.
In Wales there is a village called Abergwyngregyn. In this village there is a walk that leads to a waterfall. The two of us went walking here the first time on our first holiday in Wales. We followed the path that led to the falls and when we arrived the sound of the falls was incredible, that water was falling so fast and creating loads of spray as it hit the rocks. I was in awe.
So Aber Falls is my safe place, it was the first place I saw a waterfall, the first place I tackled a scree slope and did some scrambling, the first place I tried to cross the top of a waterfall and the first place I ever felt I had conquer a big climb up a massive hill (I always think of it as a small mountain).
It is also the place we got engaged; he told me he had a present for me when we reached the bench at the top of my mini mountain, I really wanted to get engaged and I really hoped that would be my present, but it wasn’t. He presented me with my teams football shirt, I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t a ring but it was a lovely gift, he told me to turn it round and look at the back, here he had got his surname printed, I moved the shirt to look at him confused and there he was, on one knee holding the most beautiful ring. I was overwhelmed.
So obviously this place holds many happy memories for me.
I can imagine the spray from that waterfall, I can smell the sheep, I can see the sun shining through the sheets of rain. It was too powerful not to use it as my safe place.
I also have a special tool that is used when my safe place isn’t enough, it is like a key moment in your safe place, for me I look back to the moment we got engaged and the feelings I felt.
I really love my safe place and I can’t wait to go back for our honeymoon.