As I thought about what creates opportunities for healing, and what I want this space to be… I remembered the words my mentor Peg (nicknamed Yoda, please see previous post) used: “sacred space.”
Sacred space can be a place or a moment when a small or large miracle of intimacy can happen, when something forbidden – a secret, a flashback – can find the light of day, and is witnessed by another person and is not judged – simply witnessed, allowed to be.
The Cutting Edge newsletter was, and this website and blog space are, intended to be sacred spaces. All I have learned in over three decades of listening, teaching, and then listening some more rests on the ground of safety and acceptance. How can we heal or take risks if we do not believe that we have a place of safety somewhere as refuge? If we do not have a sense of being understood, accepted? For those who live with Self-Directed Violence (SDV) these spaces might be rare, or even initially nonexistent. That is not because of how “insane” self-injury is but because of how intensely it is reacted to by others (including many mental health professionals). That is why this journey of mine started not with professionals but with people who understood me… people who have lived with their own SDV.
I first organized a workshop space for people living with self-injury in 1988. Yup, that long ago. My only promise was that there would be no coercion, no calling of police or restraining or sending off to psych hospitals. People were free to come and go, speak or not speak, feel whatever they felt. Not a complex thing. But for me and those who joined me that first time together it was revolutionary. For most of us it was our first experience of sacred space.
So, as I continue with these posts and developing the web site and writing the book… I invite you to feel welcomed here… and hopefully at least a tiny bit safe.