Remember when safe spaces burst into a whole discourse thing? Maybe it was when the timelines got crazy around Harambe. I couldn’t pinpoint it but somehow “feelings aren’t facts” turned into a slur instead of commonly agreed upon consensus reality.
And now everyone is slinging insults to land points instead of finding a way to incorporate the duality of feelings and facts into civil society. Some trickster Demi-god is probably very pleased with his work. Maybe a goat or a Loki type.
There are many spaces that can feel unsafe depending on the context and the person. If I am aware that one of my choices provokes a strong response in another person, I may lay it aside for a minute so we can find common ground on choices and values we do share.
My sense of self is strong enough that I don’t have to hold every piece of myself tightly. I can empathize with someone I disagree with and find my way back to myself. Backbones and core beliefs are important.
I am finding myself in a number of situations right now where I wonder if I am too accommodating. My desire to empathize must meet the hard reality that is some people don’t feel safe empathizing with me.
Some of my reactions and feelings recently have left me feeling a bit abandoned and alienated. I am grieving for a lost matriarch in my family. And my grief manifested as a focused gratitude for finally seeing that I could live her lessons on my own every single day. And I have been living more joyfully because of it.
My reaction hasn’t been considered appropriate in some corners. I didn’t feel safe expressing my gratitude and focus and the happiness it brought me to have her thoughts in my head every day. And I realized then that not everyone will be able to feel safe with all your choices and decisions and emotions. Not every space can be safe for everyone.