Safe Space, Safe Space, Safe Space.

Sometimes, we get lost in a fog in relationships.  That fog squeezes you tightly and makes you feel small, muffling your voice.  You become trapped and lose the confidence to speak your mind, and it thickens when your partner shuts down your ability to have a safe space to question their actions.  This confuses our self-worth, and blinds us—we can’t see clearly, even though the answers are not only in front of us, they’re inside us. The fog just gets too heavy, filling you up.

Looking back that fog followed me everywhere. I could not seem to shake the fear and bitterness and hopelessness and it hurt me to my very core. I thought about how he professed a love of our safe space and how he’d ensure that no matter the ebb or flow of our lives together I could always rely on “our safe space.” But not so, he claimed every inch of that space and I was simply denied access because I was the problem. I asked why too often. Days and weeks went by and I spiraled into a deep vat of nothingness. I would dream of my freedom and sometimes awaking from my sleep in cold sweats repeating “but its not supposed to be this way?!” After returning home from a short weekend filled with events of sadness and fear, I choose to make a run for it…No I wasn’t in grave danger. I simply found the strength to say it was time to walk away from the boundaries and chains that held me captive. No more questions about why there was no safe space, I simply created my own.

It’s normal to ask questions in a relationship.  And it’s even more common to ask what your partner is doing, and why he or she is doing it.  But if they’re continually putting up barriers, not letting you in, and not permitting you the freedom to ask questions, they’re disrespecting your rights as a partner, and if you’ve already made the decision to move on, your decision needs to stand firm.

So I moved on in mind, body and soul. You can too!

Not allowing a safe space for inquiries starts to develop that fog.  You feel small, worthless, and controlled—like what you think or ask doesn’t matter.  Instead of feeling supported, your concerns are invalidated, cast aside like a trivial matter.  But the truth is, if something is important to you, and you want to ask questions, you have every right to.  A healthy, strong relationship means everything is out in the open. No secrets.

Sure, it’s true that no one wants to lose their individuality in a relationship—you can’t (and shouldn’t want to) share every moment together, and you have to distance yourself in some way to retain your true sense of self, whether it’s going on a solo day hike, or running some errands by yourself—even a mind-clearing steamy bubble bath with petals and scented oils does the trick.  But when you reconvene, your experiences should be like a grassy plain—everything is out in the open for eyes to see and ears to hear.

If you’ve made the decision to move on from confinement and restrictive conversations, be good to yourself.  Stand firm.  Don’t fall back in.  Rebuild your confidence.  Relearn that it’s OKAY to be inquisitive.

By doing this, you’re setting yourself up for your next relationship—and there lies freedom of expression, questioning, and a safe space to speak your mind without boundaries.

Love and Light, Coach Cai