Creating sacred space is so important for healthy individuals, families, and societies. So, what is sacred space? It’s an energetic cocoon of safety where you know that whatever you say, feel, or do will be accepted nonjudgmentally. It’s a place to feel like a equal and stand in your power. This is something we don’t teach, expect, or know how to give.
When We Don’t Have Sacred Space, These Things Can Happen:
- our feelings or secrets get thrown back in our face
- we retreat into distrust
- we don’t let ourselves shine
- self-judgment can be extreme
- guilt and shame increase
- loneliness increases
- we can’t reach our full potential
- we don’t feel supported
Most of us have experienced sharing something intimate or not easy to say with someone only to have it used against us later. Most of us have long to be seen for who we are, but don’t want to risk being rejected. Some even go to extreme lengths to make people laugh, gain approval, or know they are good enough. This doesn’t have to happen if we create sacred space for each other.
When to Create Sacred Space
Sacred space is not for every day conversation. Friends can go back and forth about which version of Pride and Prejudice is best or whether or not a call in the last NLF game was fair or not. Conversations about mundane things don’t require sacred space.
When you ask someone for honesty or vulnerability, make an offer of sacred space too. This can be done formally with spoken words such as, “Let’s move into sacred space” or informally with your unspoken agreement to keep what is said and done sacred.
When someone offers you their secrets, their heart, or just to show you their soft, tender underbelly that doesn’t get much exposure, it’s a gift. It’s a sacred trust. When you don’t hold that dear, your conversations become a game of Russian Roulette. You never know when your words will come back to haunt you. Consequently, there are a lot of people out there who trust no one because sacred space is not part of the culture at large.
So think of this as an invisible bubble of safety that is set apart from the ordinary world. Within this bubble, everyone only acts from his or her heart space. This doesn’t mean that you can only talk of poetry and peace. Tough topics can be shared too, but always come from the heart, not anger, revenge, spite, or any negative feelings. Even if you are in disagreement, the end goal is to maintain peace and harmony within sacred space.
How to Use Sacred Space
The rules of sacred space are simple.
- What’s said here stays here. No one else gets to hear of it.
- One person speaks at a time.
- Listen with an open mind and open heart.
- Take your time. Speak only of your truth and keep it succinct.
- Don’t comment on what is said to you unless asked to. Even then, use “I” statements.
Some people find it hard to listen without trying to fix things. Offering feedback can send the message, “You are wrong. You can’t do this. I know better” or something along those lines. Sometimes all a person needs is to feel heard. When given the time and space to hear both sides, we can often figure out our own issues without any help. This can help us to stand in our own power, become more capable, and build stronger relationships.
When you take that away by rescuing people, solving their problems for them, criticizing, or judging, you do just the opposite. You could potentially run them down and damage the relationship.
I invite you to do this now. Don’t wait for a special occasion to try it out. Whomever you share this with will appreciate the healthy boundaries, intimacy, and trust. It really will make your relationships better. I’d love to hear how it goes.