Being A Safe Place

*dislcaimer: I might be wrong.

“We are all just walking each other home.” - Rumi

There’s this beautiful movement happening out there that envolves courage, vulnerability, and “telling your story.” I’ve watched, read, and listened with tear-filled eyes as people break the chains that have bound them for years by stepping out into the light and being known. They name their struggles and speak them into existence.

The moments are holy.

My good friend Janna publishes a magaine called “Under The Gum Tree” and the whole premise is “telling your story without shame.” I laugh and cry through every issue. It’s incredible.

It’s the women sharing her struggle with addiction.

The teenage boy coming out to his family.

The staunch believer confessing doubt.

I’ve also experienced this power in my own life. Being able to share who I really am is one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done. I wish I did it more often.

This brings me to my thought for today.

I think there is an element of this conversation that is often overlooked. As much as it is important to freely share your story and who you are, I think it is just as important to be the kind of person or community that can lovingly embrace someones story.

The reality is that not everyone is safe. Not every community is ready for the truth. The internet can be especially brutal. Peoples faults and mistakes are public and used as weapons for shame. Many families suffer from the trauma of having to hide themselves from one another.

I don’t have a 3 step process or radical idea for being this type of safe place. I do know that it’s almost impossible to be this type of person if you’ve never come face to face with your own limitations. My own failures (especially in recent years) have changed the way I look at nearly everything. My reaction to stories of hated and violence have moved from anger (the unproductive kind) to heartbreak. From judgement to an open heart and mind.

I simply hope to encourage us to be the kind of people and communities that others can be themselves in and around. That we might be safe harbor from the pounding of waves that demand we have it together. We need to find safe communities for ourselves, but also work hard to be one for others.

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