by Sr. Prisca Ovat MMM Nigeria 04.10.2023
The love of a mother to bring to birth the child in her womb ladens her with the extra responsibility of protection. She feels responsible for this child and must see it through life (if all goes well). A typical Nigerian mother would remind you of how she carried you in her womb for nine months and suckled you, beating her breasts. It often comes across as an emotional blackmail, to get you to do their bidding. And they will fight anyone who crosses your path before they’ve had time to ask whose fault it was. Animals too understand the concept of maternal safety.
My community in Eldoret had taken to poultry keeping and one season we experienced an avian flu outbreak. All eleven chickens died, including several cocks and hens but this one survived. How? It was a question we could not answer. With a new batch of older chicken in the poultry, its only safe haven was its mother hen. It only eats where the mother eats, sleeps where the mother sleeps even when she is laying, runs to her when threatened by the others.
As humans, often we experience varied forms of anxiety triggered by anything. We go through life frightened of exploring the source of our fears and may dismiss this as a gene from one of our fearful parents. We daily survive through this pain because looking at pain becomes more painful. In truth, a lack of safety is the primary activator of all our fears. Many have no real knowledge of what it means to be safe. Often when parents fail in their protective responsibilities; it leaves us feeling insecure for the rest of our live as a result. Certain events would have altered our growing up without an adult’s safe interventions. Feeling safe means being self-assured and ditching self-doubt. It means waking up in the morning and knowing deeply that you deserve to live in a safe space and have the contentment that it brings. What then should be done?
The initial stride to safety is acknowledging the existence of safety which everyone deserves. And then developing an awareness of the different integral composition which sometimes define themselves as either child, loving and caring men and women, or revengeful adults. Fear is often triggered by an underlying cause, and only a discovery of our loving and caring selves can convey reassuring messages to guard our sanity. We each deserve to find a safe haven starting from within our being.