A friend touched base yesterday, checking in to see how we’re doing. She was such an encouragement as she entered into our sphere while welcoming me into hers. We laughed, we cried and we prayed. She’s a safe place to do such things.
Do you have a safe place? A friend? a mentor? A person with whom you can share real things? A place where you don’t need answers and where you don’t have to brace yourself for answers?
I think we all need safe places.
A safe place listens without condemning, without judging. Yet a safe place is willing to gently love through words of perspective so that we might be able to see more clearly from someone with a view from above, outside, or beyond the reeds. A safe place settles in alongside, walking while nudging forward as we nudge each other.
A safe place is for, not against. Safe places invite raw honesty, spoken and received. Safe places avoid accusations. Safe places are humble. Loving. Available. Long-suffering.
Safe places don’t quit. Safe places are full of grace and of mercy. Safe places are kind. And help us to be kind to ourselves.
In order to have a safe place, we need to be a safe place.
Are you a safe place?
Another friend texted me this morning. She was wondering about school. How we’re doing with all the kids, at different stages, facing different schooling options: in person, remote learning, hybrid, home-schooling,. .. The last one, we know isn’t in my wheelhouse – which became crystal clear (as if it wasn’t already) with March – May 2020 online learning. Yikes!
“It’s almost too much,” she said to me. “The options and uncertainty.” Which certainly can be said of more than the school landscape. Then she said, “I think I need Soul30 to get some grounding.” She’s sweet to have played along with one of my harebrained ideas.
“Me too,” I replied.
“Great,” she texted back and added, “I’m not joking.”
Soul30 is practicing gratitude, kindness and mercy for them for 30 days. It’s good for our thoughts, for the soul. It’s helpful any time, but especially in times of uncertainty or stress.
Soul30 acts like a work-out/healthy diet of sorts for our thoughts – a mental fitness regime that is simple and transformative. Gratitude, kindness and mercy when pooled together invite pockets of peace and chance encounters with thin-places where boundaries between heaven and earth collapse on any given day. Safe places woven within uncertain landscapes.
Last week I happened upon an episode of the Peter Crouch Podcast where Prince William shared laughs, sports and his take on mental fitness. I love that term. “We talk about physical fitness; we all want to go to the gym stay fit. (Yet) we never really talk about mental fitness. And it’s the kind of same thing that we all have mental health we all need to stay mentally fit.”
They reference locker room and sports pressures and stress. I wanted to say, see also: parenting; see also: school, jobs, etc. — and the need for healthy thinking and safe places to share. I think that’s why we keep gravitating back to our goofy Soul30 and the grounding it has faithfully provided.
Research has shown the benefits of thankfulness, kindness individually, but from our experience the magic occurs when they are practiced together. Practicing them, putting into action healthy thought patterns, deepens the impact through experience.
So, I’m up for my friend’s challenge. If you could use it too, feel free to join in. Or join along. I’ll daily post on Instagram (@kaywyma) and a couple of times per week here for the next 30 days.
Since we could all used some safe space as well as safe friends (having and being), a little practice can go a long way. And since kindness and mercy invite safe, let’s hone our skills together.
Thanks for walking the road with me.