Naming Difficulties in Brave Spaces

Be Brave Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures
Image Description: The words ‘Be brave,” are written in black cursive from within an uneven, circle-like shape of pink. Public domain image.


When people share similar sentiments across various community groups I’m in, I tend to give special notice to them. Multiple times last week, in different groups altogether, people voiced aloud,

“It’s so helpful to be able to name difficulties in this group without knowing you’re going to be (judged, dismissed, discounted, or told to ‘get over it’).”

I am thinking about this even more intentionally after hearing various versions of that sentiment.

This is one of the greatest gifts community can provide, particularly if the community culture feels safe enough or as someone said recently, like “a brave space.” Being brave, of course, doesn’t mean people need to be stoic or have it all together. In fact, brave spaces often invite the opposite.

It is extremely valuable when we can trust people to hold pain and difficulty just as it is in that particular moment. We don’t need to clean it up. We also don’t have to assume it’s static and immoveable.

In fact, sharing it changes its reality just a bit. We’re not alone, and we’re loved and accepted as it is and as we are.

Renee Roederer

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