i had a beautiful conversation with a friend recently. sometimes we meet people that both mirror and contradict us. this is one of those friends. we are alike in many ways and different in many ways. one way in which we are different is that my friend is very very open. it is a beautiful trait but one that has implications if we are not careful. we cannot go spilling our deepest darkest thoughts, ideas, dreams, and plans to every person that we meet. it is dangerous for us.
the example that I provided for her was this:
imagine that you have a baby.
would you leave your baby in the care of everyone that you meet?
think about all the people that you love.
would you trust each and every one of them with your baby?
i doubt it.
not because you necessarily think they have ill intentions but what if their home is not child friendly? what if they don’t particularly like children? what if they are not a very responsible person. does it matter that this has been your best friend for 20 years or do you make the wise decision for the safety of your delicate newborn baby? Okay because you are the baby. Your thoughts, feelings, ideas….consider them your babies. Do not take them to spaces where they will be unsafe.
In your search of a space to lay down your emotional rawness, your wildest desires, your deepest hurts, be thoughtful about how and where you lay them down.
A person loving you does not make them a safe space.
A person being “nice” does not make them a safe space.
A person being in your life for a long time does not make them a safe space.
A person asking you what’s wrong does not make them a safe space.
Do you know what makes a person a safe space?
The capacity to listen without responding.
Capacity. (Don’t dump on anyone without asking if they have the capacity….they may need a safe space too.)
Individuality (Some people will attempt to steal your ideas, feelings, and even your problems because they don’t have a mind of their own).
Keep in mind that this is fluid. A person may not be a safe space today but that may change in a month. It also may vary based on what you need a safe space for. We are blessed with different people for different reasons. There may be a person that you love to talk about your biggest dreams with but they don’t really feel space when it comes to your darkness. You may have people that are safe for everything.
Evaluate and move accordingly.
Remember, you are the baby. Handle yourself gently and only lay down in places that are safe.