Safe Space Doesn't Exist
This is safe space! I’ve been hearing that term all summer at the various gatherings where I’ve been teaching and it pricks at my ears. There really is no such thing as safe space. The idea that anyone can ensure our safety is not really possible. The world is just not a safe place and thankfully so.
Safe space indicates the idea that in the ‘safe space’ nothing is going to happen to upset you or trigger your wounds. How unuseful would that kind of healing space be? How can we gain tools and grow past our barriers? If we never approach our edges, how do we meet them, work with them and feel our growing strength to navigate around them.
In the classic Pixar film Finding Nemo (my all time favorite!) Marlin the dad clown fish promises his son Nemo, because of past trauma, that nothing will ever happen to him. Dorie, in her innocent wisdom comes back with “well, that would be pretty boring. If nothing ever happened to him then nothing would ever happen to him!”
In substitution of safe space, there is conscious space. Conscious space expresses the idea if something might happen , those present in this conscious space will remain with you. To help you navigate your way through. Conscious of the fact that although we can’t prevent you from experiencing your pain, we can be with you to help you move back toward balance.
No facilitator can know how or even begin to promise safe space, but a good facilitator can promise to stay with you until you make your way for yourself. To help you fashion the tools and inner strength until the space space you are looking for is created inside of you.