Life is filled with insecurity. The nature of life is change, unpredictability, and uncertainty. The fact that we don’t have a predetermined script for our lives is both exciting and anxiety-provoking. For those of us who are risk-averse or challenge averse, the unpredictability of life may generate emotions ranging from annoyance to worry to extreme fear. Those of us who love and seek challenges or are easily bored by predictability often welcome the uncertainty and excitement associated with change and may not feel as fearful about uncertainty.
Security is the imagined antidote to uncertainty and insecurity, but security is real in some ways and illusory in others. Each of us seeks and desires different forms and levels of security. We may seek security in the form of having adequate food, comfortable shelter, stable relationships and enough money to meet our basic needs with a little left over to handle emergencies. Alternatively, security may take the form emotional security within oneself or in relationships, a sense of belonging within our families or communities, and/or a sense of religious or spiritual security. Most of us long for security in one or several of these forms.
Some of this security is at least partially attainable. We can do our best to save money to ensure our ability to meet our needs in retirement. We can buy various forms of insurance so that we are taken care of in the event of a serious accident or illness. We can do our best to choose wisely when selecting friends or a partner with whom to share our lives, but none of this completely erases uncertainty or risk. Let’s discuss the topics of security and insecurity in our individual lives:
- What is your fundamental orientation to security in life: are you comfortable with uncertainty or is insecurity a large driving force in your emotional life?
- Have you felt basically secure throughout most of your life or basically insecure?
- In what areas have you felt a sense of security and in what life areas have you felt most insecure?
- How do you define security? What forms of security are important to you personally?
- Have you come to feel more secure or less secure as you get older?
- How do you personally cope with the unpredictable nature of life?