Merriam-Webster.com defines Security Blanket with two full definitions:
a blanket carried by a child as a protection against anxiety
a usually familiar object whose presence dispels anxiety
I believe that for a child it can be defined both literally and figuratively. In the literal sense it is actually a blanket which is important while the figurative items may be an object or even a person/parent close to the child.
I also believe that humans keep a security blanket throughout their lives and it is not something that is discarded like a former childhood plush animal.
If a baby is introduced to a pacifier at birth, that becomes a very important security blanket and may become a difficult habit to break for a child. Eventually he/she may suck on their thumb as a substitute for that pacifier and that too can last for a long time (at least from my observations of children). Then the child may evolve into having a teddy bear as a buddy or even a cozy well-loved blanket. But the greatest security blanket for many children is a parent or another guardian who is close to that child. That is the person whom they run to for protection, affection and affirmation for many days to come. That individual may show unconditional love and support through the child’s life and become the rock that is needed at all times. It is only human nature to want to find love and to be loved and typically our parents are the first ones to show us love.
For many families it becomes the child who must endure the death and loss of the parent and to me that is the way the life cycle should be. When the parent is no longer here on Earth to comfort the child, the child eventually acquires something else to be his/her security blanket for the rest of their days.
I believe that Nostalgia becomes that Security Blanket. It comforts us during the most difficult times and also when life is rolling along at a regular pace. Isn’t it common to reminisce with friends and family during the bereavement process? We pull out old photos albums and watch videos and share stories with others about the deceased. It provides comfort for all who partake in the bereavement of someone loved.
Nostalgia is defined by Merriam-Webster.com as simply : pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.
I absolutely love that definition.
I notice that nostalgia becomes commonplace in our thoughts as we age and I know this because it has become that for me and I’m observing it in others as well. Maybe it is due to accepting our mortality and that we are quickly running towards that door or maybe because of the loss of a parent or other loved ones in our lives. I think nostalgia wraps us up in a safer, more peaceful time when everything was right in the world and we had no worries. It transports us to a place in our life when we were younger and actually living our lives and not worrying about death because death was for old folks and we were never going to get that old; or at least that is what we fooled ourselves into believing. We lived in the moment and never peered beyond the next week. Now as we age quickly, because time truly passes faster as we become older adults, we begin to reach inside for the Security Blanket which time or others can never take away. It comforts us because we now face a future which we thought we would never deal with. You quickly find yourself as an adult in a very adult world with adult responsibilities and worries and where lots of bad things happen which we have no control over.
I’ve been a dreamer all of my life so reminiscing and nostalgic thoughts come naturally to me and flow freely through my mind. I choose my nostalgia for pleasure to transport myself into that perfect world again. It is my Security Blanket in a world spinning out of control and makes me want to go back in time to experience it all over again.
What has become your Security Blanket and Why?