A Safe Place

You need a safe place. A place where you can share the things that are uncomfortable, or brutally honest, or depressingly sad. A place where people won’t try to top you with how miserable their lives are.

You need a place where you can open up and share your story without judgment or pity. A place where people actively listen with empathy.

But it’s obviously not a physical location — it’s the people you have around you that make you feel safe or unsafe.

And sometimes it’s hard to find the right people when you need them. But what’s just as likely is that you’re afraid to speak up and risk finding out they don’t want to hear what you have to say.

You should consider taking the risk, knowing that the reward for opening up might be a much stronger friendship. You’ll be able to figure out if a friend is safe pretty quickly. If you can trust that person with what hurts you on the inside.

Too many friendships are superficial and lack any significant depth of connection. Too many “friends” end up talking about the weather or the news. We avoid the deep topics because it makes us feel incredibly vulnerable.

But you know what? It’s okay to be vulnerable.

Or maybe your pride is getting in the way. You want to be perceived as the one who has it all together. People think so highly of you, and you can’t let them know you have weaknesses. Or maybe you have taught yourself to be strong and that weakness will not be tolerated. Maybe you think men can never cry and all of that macho stuff.

Pride is a stupid reason to suffer silently and alone — yet it happens all the time.

You just might discover some friends that needed you to open up, so they could, too. They’ve been hoping they would find someone like you, brave and vulnerable.

Otherwise, you risk never finding a safe place, doomed to wander through your misery alone. What’s the point in that?

What prevents you from opening up?