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  • Ken Clark

Being Thankful for the Safe People In Our Lives


They’re the people that care so much, they could care less about the details. They live in our corner, they’ve got our back and they don’t need an explanation. They’re the safe people in our life who love us, like us, enjoy us and celebrate us even though we’re not sure why. Heck, they’re so safe that they can even call us out, tell us the hard things and take us out by the woodshed, and we love them even more for it.

A simple thank you will never be able to contain the depth of what it means to know that we are unconditionally accepted and sought out by these precious people. A lifetime of thank you’s will still fall short of returning the generosity with which they have stuck by our sides at the moments where we were stuck, naïve or arrogant.

Thanking the safe people is about honoring them by becoming the safe person for someone else, embracing a flawed person the way you’ve been embraced. It may mean taking someone under your wing or finally forgiving (and starting over) with someone that long since paid the price for their mistakes. Dishing out the grace and acceptance you were shown is the biggest way you honor them and thank them.

Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery (Especially When You Tell Them)

As with all things gratitude, keeping it to yourself robs it of so much of its power to create an exponential wave of positivity. Only when we tell people what they mean to us do we keep the domino effect of appreciation going. Even though our safe people would keep loving on us without us ever saying thank you, blurting out our desire to be “just like them when we grow up” fills their tank and makes the commitment to pay it forward real for you.

But, why stop at telling them that you want to care for people as well as they cared for you? Why not ask them to tutor you in the secrets of loving someone when it’s hard, not giving up on someone when they keep going down the same path or coming back for me when they’ve burned you yet again? Admiration without investigation is like telling your mom that you want to someday cook spaghetti as good as hers, but not wanting her recipe. Why not learn from the best?

Take your safe person to coffee. Tell them about this blog. Tell them (probably while doing an ugly cry) how important they’ve been to your journey. Then, tell them that you’d like to learn from them. Beg them to tell you their story, their journey, their light bulb moments that empowered them to be the person that made a difference in your life.

Imitation is not just flattery, but a form of gratitude as well. Declaring someone worth learning from is one of the highest forms of respect and admiration. Don’t be surprised when they tell you how good it felt, how helping you helped them and how they’re so excited for you to feel as important to someone else’s world as they felt to yours.

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