Sunday 7 October 2012

Where Do You Find Safety? by Alli Vainshtein

How safe is it in a volcano?
How safe is it anywhere?
I grew up in a quiet family, all my needs were met. I had food to eat, clothes to wear, a green stucco house to live in. (I am second from the left)

Yet, I am not sure I have ever been completely safe according to society's standards, and I'm not sure I want to. There is something about my life that has always been edgy. I have always had health issues, many times life-threatening. I have always had more bills than income. I have always had enemies. I have always had challenges. I have always worked more hours than I rested. Maybe it's because I don't fancy the easy road. My grandfather used to tell me I had a spike in my head. It's a Swedish way of saying that I was politely and quietly stubborn, but at the same time, inclined to work hard to get things done. He explained that this was the highest compliment he could ever give me. I used to have a rusty railroad spike sitting on my desk to remind myself of that after he passed away. I wish I knew what happened to it!

I have always been attracted to the jobs that nobody else wanted to do. Somehow that makes it more attractive to me. I am also mesmerized by difficult people. I have this belief that there is a treasure in the heart of everyone I meet, and I love hunting for that treasure. If the person is unaware of it, that makes the pursuit more exhilarating.

I love the creativity in pandemonium. I love the opportunities that arise. I love the shaking up of the old to create something new. This is where I feel safe. 

I love living in tumultuous times. I love that change is becoming safe. I love that nothing is constant in the world anymore. When I discovered that the number one fear in America is public speaking, I enrolled in theater and speech classes until I learned to love public speaking. I no longer pass out when I have to stand in front of a group; I feel like teaching is what I was meant to do. I am the most alive now when I am speaking to a group. I love the connection.

The truth is that I feel safe in who I am. The world is not what makes me safe. The people around me don't make me safe. My job isn't safe. My money isn't safe. My health isn't safe. But in my heart, in my soul, I have a safety in knowing who I am and my connection to the universe. I won't be on the world forever. I just became a senior citizen this week. I don't have the money to retire. But I firmly believe that the only safety I will ever find is the safety of knowing who I am, being true to me, being transparent to the world, and following the passions that drive me. 

If I can feel safe, anybody can. I learned that the only person that I can consistently depend on to always love me unconditionally is me. I am the only one who will always be there whenever I need someone. I am the only one who knows me well enough to understand what I am going through. 

Once I learned to love myself and feel safe with who I am, my safety is guaranteed no matter what volcano I am walking across on my tightrope. It's all a matter of your perspective. No matter where I am going, my inner safety goes with me.

Alli Vainshtein is a business, accounting, and career instructor at Riverland Community College in Tropical Southern Minnesota. She loves to write (stories, lectures, blogs, letters, emails, etc.), paint, play piano, meditate, travel, cook, make new friends, and live like a Goddess. She is also a great fan of Jamie Ridler - Circe's Circle changed her life dramatically! 


  1. Wow, this is really thought-provoking, Alli! "If I can feel safe, anybody can." Thanks for the food for thought.

  2. Safety in your soul. Beautiful!