I want to chat for a minute (or ten) about safe spaces.
Sometimes the places you think you should be safe aren’t, and the places you are afraid to be vulnerable are the best places to do just that.
Have you ever noticed how like attracts like? People with similar (I’m going to call it for the sake of this discussion) trauma seem to find each other. Sometimes people on the outside of your hurt, no matter how close to your heart, cannot understand what you’re going through. There’s a reason humans create support groups, that we seek experiences like our own.
If you are going through something painful, difficult, confusing, or emotionally draining I want to encourage you to seek out a safe place, with safe people, to talk about all that these kinds of life experiences encompass. You might be surprised what and who that looks like.
Your safe place might be with family members. Or it might not. It might be with close friends. It might not. It could be that your safe place is with a professional counselor, or with a group of strangers…gathered because they share a similar need. Someone to understand.
There should be no judgements in your safe place. Dirty laundry isn’t dirty in a safe space. You’re allowed to be selfish, angry, hurt, raw, or whatever you need to be in your safe space. You’re allowed to not make sense, you’re allowed to say bad words, to ugly cry.
Sometimes our traumas need to be held by more than one body. Sometimes we need to spread the burden a little and hear we are not alone in order to cope day to day with the huge thing overshadowing everything else in our lives.
When you start to look around you and decide who is allowed access into your safe space I want to encourage you not to allow guilt to follow those people in. In your safe space there’s no room for guilt over who’s included and who is not. It could be just one person, or it could be a whole group of people. Size doesn’t matter; that’s true for so many things and especially here. What matters is building a trust that gives you the freedom to get brutally honest. What matters is people who love you no matter what ugly stuff you have to say in the moment. Let’s face it -trauma is ugly, pain is ugly. People who hear you and let all of that be ok -that is beautiful.
That is a safe space.
Even if you are thinking you don’t need that, you’ve got this thing handled. Let me just say, oh friend, we all need it at some point. And the blessing of needing a safe space is that when the tide turns you have become someone else’s safe space in the process. That is surely an amazing calling. Being trusted that much, loving someone through the most difficult days of their lives…well, there’s divinity in that, and we might all pray to be so blessed.
Don’t be afraid to mindfully create your own safe space. Don’t let past let downs keep you from trying to find just the right people to let in. Sometimes there’s set backs, no body is perfect. But when you find just the right people, when your safe space comes together and actively holds up that burden for you a little…well, there’s magic in that. I hope everyone is touched with that magic at some time in their lives even when it hurts to get there.
To the people who make up my own safe space -thank you, I love you, I’m so thankful for each and every one of you.