Processing in a Safe Place

August 22, 2016

One of Merriam Webster’s definitions of the verb “process” is “to subject to examination or analysis.”

In relationships, we often “process” a hurt, a misunderstanding, or a betrayal, by thinking it through from its beginning, re-examining all the “he-said-she-said” history, and reflecting on our own part in the whole saga.  We do this in our heads, our hearts, sometimes out loud alone, sometimes out loud with others.

Processing out loud with others can be tricky.   Many of us have had the experience of sharing too quickly, too often, or in the heat of the moment, only to learn what we thought was a confidence turned into grist for gossip; we processed in an unsafe place.

Processing in a safe place takes practice, discernment and patience.  If we have an inner circle of friends, family members and professionals who we know will validate our feelings, support our wholeness and treat our confidence with gentleness and respect, processing in a safe place gets easier.

The rewards of safe places are great.  Freedom, opportunity to express ourselves without fear of betrayal, and an open atmosphere of forgiveness can create the environment where we can grow, learn and expand – all Intentions underpinning our well-being.

Processing in a safe place starts with being that safe place.  For ourselves and for others.


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“Forgiveness has deeper rewards than excusing someone for how they have hurt us. The deeper healing comes in the exchange of our resentments for inner freedom. At last, the wound, even if never acknowledged by the other person can heal, and our life can continue.” – Mark Nepo