“Space; the final frontier!”
So, opens Star Trek.
But I don’t want to zoom around the galaxies seeking out new civilisations, going boldly where no man has gone before (notice I avoid using the famous split-infinitive here).
I would like to investigate the concept of space being somewhere we can go or be in order to experience recuperation from our daily encounters with life.
We hear a lot of talk about ‘invading our personal space’ if, for example, another person gets a bit too close or pries into our lives with detective-like efficiency. But it seems that we’re too often busy to take a conscious step to create space for ourselves where we can be alone & recharge. So, whilst we want our personal space, we don’t really want too much or it may become a threat.
I think many of us find that the most difficult person to live with is ourself. We may want to withdraw & be alone, but even when we are, we find it difficult to live with who we are, very often because of what we’ve done or thought. So, perhaps we are also one of our own biggest barriers to finding the space we need … because it’s uncomfortable; threatening; scary; unknown … whatever word we may wish to use.
In my daily life I meet so many people who are afraid to meet themselves so they crowd their life with activity, purpose, direction, helping others; anything other than sitting down quietly & taking stock of who we are & how we can develop.
For some of us this is just too painful because of our background, our life experiences etc. For others it can be too threatening because we’re afraid of what we might find; we’re afraid that we won’t meet up to the remarkably high standards we set ourself. For others we actually can’t be bothered (though this is often a ‘cover’ for fear of what we may discover).
In a world that continually sets standards beyond our reach whilst it meets none of those standards it sets, we fear failure, imperfection, blemish or, dare I say, admitting that we’re human? We take in each day the false world portrayed by air-brushed adverts, slippery advertising slogans & two-faced press. We become victims, trapped inside a world of false expectations that are unrealistic, usually unachievable & to be quite frank, that actually does not exist!
So finding space is a threat because we’ll discover all those things we’re subtly taught to despise; faults, failings & other human traits. Our digital age tries to squeeze us into a digital mould when we’re actually analogue people, for who no amount of attempted conversion can work properly 🙂
The good news, from personal experience, is that once we accept that we are flawed & have faults we can begin to identify them & rather than seeing them as problems, we can look for opportunities to use them to make a change for the better. After all, we can’t work on what we don’t even know exists. It’s like guessing an answer when we don’t know the question.
If the idea of spending time alone is too much of a threat at first, find someone whom you trust & work through a few basic things (perhaps just one observation) first. Be open to what the people you trust tell you about yourself. Be very careful to choose trustworthy friends as this is a risky step that can end-up as an opportunity for abuse on the wrong hands. Listen to what these people say & also ask how you could improve. Listen to their answers but take the time to consider these in the light of what you know about yourself …
Which brings me back to the idea of exploring our personal space.
Spend time learning about yourself; you may not always like what you see but use that as an opportunity to improve rather than a baseball bat to beat yourself with. Accept that you will find faults but also accept that this is perfectly normal; it’s all part of being a person 🙂 Learn & grow; learn & grow.
It isn’t always easy & may take real courage, but the change in perception & confidence is well worth the risk. As you start to see small changes having a positive effect/benefit in your life, grow in confidence & then move on a bit more.
Simple words to a complex issue but I don’t think we can move forward until we’ve had a go, because only then do we begin to appreciate that many of the things we thought we could never do, become things that we never thought we could do. If necessary, find experts or people you know that have been through this process.
I think you’ll be amazed at what you CAN do & what you CAN achieve; I know I have been.
Until next time …