Creating Safe Spaces

When I went to my first official program to work on my developmental trauma 20 years ago, we were told to create a meadow in our head that had a dome over it so all the parts of yourself could be together. By parts, I mean that some people had lost their joy or sadness all the way to a complete dissociative split or what’s now known as DID.

The program was in Florida and most of the girls were from Florida (it was a 10 woman program), but I was from out west and knew the exact meadow I was creating in my head as it’s a place I have been, not a theoretical construct.

I have gone here often over the years, but I was always with other people, so while I would want to linger in this real place that was also my safe place in my head, I had to hurry along as I couldn’t explain what this place meant. Today, I chose to go alone despite inviting many to come along.

When I was diagnosed with transverse myelitis 3 1/2 years ago, I didn’t believe I would ever hike again. I was the most sad that I would never make it to my meadow.

It’s been a rough week. I knew to lift my mindset, I had to get to my meadow. I’m about 75% wheelchair bound these days, but I have forearm crutches designed for hiking specifically for people with disabilities. Today was my day!

I hiked 4.39 miles. Arriving at my meadow, I fell to the ground sobbing as this is truly my peaceful place. It’s the most spiritual place on earth for me. It’s been number 1 on my bucket list to get here.

When your body becomes so sick and disabled, it gets hard to lose sight often that there are good times to be had. Throw in some emotional upset, and it can make life feel empty and alone.

So all the pictures are of my beautiful meadow. It’s a real place, but it also became a beautiful representation in my mind of safety and harmony from all the scattered discord that used to be inside my head.

I probably took 100 pictures and a couple videos. It is my favorite place on earth. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it back, but I did make it. I’m so proud of myself.

I’m proud of myself for pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. I’m proud of pushing myself to get to be back to my peace, and I’m especially proud of myself for making through one hell of a terrible week completely whole and content.

It feels good to succeed. I hope you can push yourself a little outside your comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be hiking mountains alone, but even something small. You will receive huge rewards internally of pride and contentment. I did. I love this place. I love the fearless and strong woman I’ve become despite having no reason to be so.



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