My safe haven

Or where I never felt safe until I found it in the most unlikely place

You have to die a few times before you can really live  – Charles Bukowski

It’s crazy but I cannot remember much from my childhood. A lot of the memories have faded away. But I’m quite aware of the fact that I’ve suppressed a lot of memories, memories too painful to remember. And with those painful memories, the good memories disappeared too. I do remember a few scenes. A few pleasant ones that always took place in the mountains. I know I was happy there as a kid. I remember picking flowers from lush alpine meadows. Chewing on hard boiled eggs, covered with salt. Begging for a chocolate treat, hidden deep in my father’s pack. But sadly, most of the memories are too painful and prevent me from recalling my childhood.

The mountains have a very special place in my heart. I feel safe in the mountains, where many people would say they don’t. How can you feel safe in an environment that most likely can be lethal? That most likely can kill you in a blink of an eye? The wild animals live where you go. You, just a mere visitor, entering their world. It is in this place where you don’t find yourself on top of the food chain for once. Where you have to be agile, adaptable, flexible in order to survive. Where anxiety is highly necessary and useful, because this state of mind can save you from a grizzly attack. Where the weather can strike in an instant. Where you can find yourself caught in a thunderstorm on top of a mountain ridge one moment, and surviving a heatwave, craving for a water source the next.

It may sounds strange to you, but I feel safe in harsh environments like this.

Because it is here, I cannot get hurt by people. I cannot get triggered, tramped on.  People can’t leave me. They can’t lie or cheat or treat me badly. You know, this is why: I have never felt safe in my life (not even as a child growing up with my parents). So the mountains became my safe haven. When I’m there, I feel just as important as the rocks surrounding me. The lakes that I pass. The trillion trees that are coloring my life green. I feel one with everything around me. Being in nature is a very humbling experience, I can tell you that for a fact. My mind gets more clear. My senses are sharpened. I can think better, hear better, smell and taste better, see better and feel better. Because all of the distractions that are there in daily life have been removed.

Safety is a very important element in my life.

So is authenticity. Being able to be myself, fully, without holding a mask in front of my face. Most of the time I feel unsafe to show myself, and I hold back, but there are also people I trust , where I can show myself and shine my light. Just most recently, I received a beautiful imprint of feeling safe with someone, being able to show myself fully, even let him see all my shadow parts, some of which I feel deeply ashamed of still.

When I’m in the mountains, I can be myself, I don’t have to hide and be afraid.

I am also aware of the safety within me. There is always this safe place deep within myself. I can always go here. I just have to sit down and close my eyes. And connect with myself. My safe haven is within me.

Imagine you are a diver. Ready to submerge the ocean underneath you. On the surface, the sea is wild. Ongoing high waves, maybe they make you nervous. But when you submerge, you enter this calm space, this deeply relaxing place where it is still. Where you are safe. Underneath all thoughts, emotions, feelings.

A place which is always accessible. Where you can go anytime.


  1. Wow Viola, I was really touched by your beautiful written piece. Enjoy your time in the mountains!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s