SAFE SPACES

Fall Altar

If I look back at my student years, when my inner struggles became more and more obvious to me, I realize that there haven’t been, or better to say there were only poor options, where to turn and deal with my “problem that didn’t seem like a problem”. In fact, my life was worthy of envy – being lucky enough to have a healthy supportive family, an opportunity to study, and even a student job. I was living in a country with beautiful nature, clean water, not even to mention a peaceful society. A country without war, that recently entered European Union, together with all the promises of the “brave new world”. All this should be more than enough for me to bursting of joy and living a fulfilling life. But despite all of this, I was struggling, waking up every night in tears and emotional pain, carrying heaviness and enormous sadness in my heart, that I didn’t really understand. The more I was thinking about the cause of my sadness and pain, the less I could find the source of everything that was happening inside of me. Being all the time called into my depths made me even more sensitive to the world around me. I was studying philosophy and languages at the time, but even a wide horizon of knowledge and the opportunity to discuss some of main questions of human existence didn’t give me a space where to turn with my emotional chaos. The struggles became even harder, when I realized, that the outside world functioned in total opposite way, compared to the great thoughts of the great thinkers through the history. It seemed as if none of our leaders have never ever read a “normal” book in their entire life and most of them probably actually didn’t. My mind overloaded and this pushed me into an even deeper depression. I was totally aware, that if I was to visit a doctor, they would easily prescribe me pills, but there were already very powerful recreational drugs around at every corner and I have already learned, that getting high brings you even more deep down after a while. Ending up in groups of drunk and drugged, devalued humans, who were faking happiness, by killing their feelings and pointing a finger on the outer world, blaming everyone for all the problems around the globe was maybe fun but honestly, never felt the right thing to do. As I said, I only had bad options, but my emotional carousel still urgently needed to land. Except for the very expansive therapists, there were almost no alternatives. Luckily, I had art, sports and was bold and curious enough to look deeper around and inside me. 

Yes, there are churches and families and partners and friends, but most of the time, we only get bombarded from all sides with various advices how to be, or how to act, or how we should feel in tough circumstances. “Be more positive”, “Be love”, “Be light”, “Don’t think too much” “Be in your heart”, etc. – Yeah sure, as if some kind of a switch that can change our inner confusion in a second, really existed. Every painful surprise (and life is full of them) felt to me, as if a sword, stuck in my heart since ever, would be only turned around and stabbed even deeper, with listening to all the colourful collection of advices. The only option, the world seemed to offer, was the big offer of consumerism world. The Idea of being a part of the collective consumerism slavery never made me very happy, but without guidance while fighting inner demons, most of the souls bound with stupid things and ideas, because it seems that there is no other way. We become a hybrid of unaddressed emotions and build-in outer fillers, so we wander around the world like a ticking time bomb. No wonder, if everyone sits on their own seed of pea the unprocessed emotions explode, usually not at the right time and not in the right place following by being judged for showing our tears; or even worse: if escalating in an aggressive way, the consequences and aftermath can change our life (and of others) forever. No time to process, no time to transform, no time for growth, just endless suppression and quick escapism – the black hole of losing our great potential for achieving our peaceful states of being. The world offers us so many places to escape, for quick relief and destruction- from shopping centres to night clubs, where we can run away when we need to “clear our rubbish”, but only in temporary escaping to ease the pain, we can’t really expect that we will ever be delivered from it.

Fall Altar (by Monika Kalayova & me)

From what I see and feel now, the future urgently calls out for new spaces. Spaces where we are welcomed to face our inner “divine comedy”. Where we get guidance and not be left alone in the pain that sometimes knows no measure and can push us into unexpected and unwanted states. Places where our hearts can come to rest. Where they can come, to drop off everything they have to carry and where every emotion receives the respect and gets its time and space. Where we have our right for the moments to feel, what it wants to be felt. Where we can learn step by step how to dig in our inner mines and have the time to find our inner diamonds, so we can avoid escaping in grasping the “first bad aid”. Where we learn how to build our own safe space in our hearts, and later don’t have to spend hours, days, months or even years in hospitals, to heal the pain that we stored in our flesh and bones. We need spaces, where we can learn all the benefits of compassionately loving ourselves first. Safe spaces with guidance and all the support on how to pull out the sword from our heart and how to do it on our own.

From one direction to another, from one life situation to another, a basic skill for our inner space hygiene is missing that nobody teaches us. We don’t get it at school, we don’t get it at work and in most cases, not even at home. The religions have left us all hanging and the therapists are way to expansive, for everyone who needs a safe space to develop the inner potential for stillness and growth. Thankfully, many communities already offer safe spaces where we are welcomed for all that we are and everything what we might have felt and go through: the fear, the shame, the guilt, the helplessness, powerlessness, worthlessness, you name it – they welcome it. We receive the time and space for honouring our softer, human side, and in this way in which we can build a respectful verbal and energetic exchange at the highest possible level, that is decent for a human being. Our biggest concern in (uneven) economic growth and the all-powerful technology, which takes us away from being in touch with our inner world, as we have to admit by now, is not noble enough. The lack of healthy relationship with everyone and everything – between all the nations, the elders, the children, all genders, the women, the men and our relationship to everything in nature – the water, the air, the plants and the animals – can (and should) make us only embarrassed as human beings, since deep inside we know that we are able for much more. The pain is in all of us, all of it is ours, and we all have it in common. It is so crazy, that we can’t learn how to share it, in a nice, peaceful, respectful and safe way. 

Safe spaces. Where nothing remains hidden. Where hearts meet at the level of the heart… Where we are welcomed, to safely pour tears of our pain and beauty. Places, where our pain, joy and pride can arise – to be alive and be allowed, to walk around our beautiful Planet as simply human beings.  

It’s time to remember.

I feel, you feel, we feel. 
My world, your world, our world <3

Photo by Marin Šimičić