Creating Safe Spaces for Emotions

“This is my job. I’m not here to make things better, to end the crying, or to distract them from missing their mommies. I’m not even there to soothe them any more than I’m there to ‘good job’ them: that is not my job. Becoming soothed is their job. Cheering for their own accomplishments is their job. My job is to be with them when they’re crying and when they’re cheering, speaking truth, and creating space for them to feel exactly how they feel for as long as they need to feel it. It ‘works’ every time.”

—Teacher Tom, “The Thing That ‘Works’ Every Time.” December 12, 2022.

This is probably the biggest mistake we make with one another. When confronted with strong emotion, many of us, especially men, try to ‘fix’ the problem rather than being present, making room for the feeling to be felt.

Feelings cannot be fixed. They can only be felt.

P.S. Also reminded of this little chestnut.