“You made it seem so…” Hannah’s voice on the cassette tape.
Clay pulls off the headphones. “Easy? Is she kidding me? I was s— myself. She’s not telling the truth about the way things happened.”
Tony. “She’s telling her truth.”
The above scene is from 13 Reasons Why, a Netflix original series about a teen’s suicide, Hannah, and the tapes she recorded before her suicide. Clay’s tape was number 11. However, the late Hannah’s voice on his tape tells Clay he doesn’t belong as part of her reasons why as he is “good and kind.” But he needed to be part of her pre-suicide recordings to help explain why she did what she did. “I didn’t deserve you,” her voice tells Clay through the tape. “I would have ruined you.”
Clay wrestles with his insecurities that stopped him from pushing in, finding out why Hannah aggressively told him to go away before she died. He pictures a scene where he does probe to find out what is really going on instead of walking away with an ego bruised, and hurt feelings.
This past summer I found myself the centre of a Circle of Trust. Based on Parker Palmer’s teachings, the circle is a sacred space where one can show up exactly as they are. At first I was uncomfortable with the idea of no eye contact when speaking, yet the freedom from not judging or trying to read others while I talked let me show up in an authentic way I had not experienced before. And when I respected the space of others by listening only, I allowed them the safe space to be open, vulnerable, and true.
With gentle questions and spaces of silence, I could wrestle out my conflict, and express what I’d been fearful of ever saying out loud, or even admitting.
There was no judgement, no advise giving, no preaching, no telling me what God says is right and wrong.
And light was brought into my shadows.
Friend, I wonder how we can create safe spaces for people to show up completely?
Can we nudge our agendas, our bias, our own insecurities, our own truths aside to just love on people exactly as they are?
Can we allow others to just be? Can we go beyond our own fears if one walks a path different than how we think is the right way and just let them be open with us without trying to fix or control? And help them feel truly safe to share openly what is really going on?
As it is in the bringing ourselves fully into the light and in the receiving of unconditional love and acceptance in return, when healing and transformation can take place.
Allowing others to just be in unconditional spaces isn’t easy. My believes in the right way to live can get in the way–my own morals, judgments, and truth–to allow others to be completely open with me. However, I can continue to go deeper in a lesson from the The Parable of the Ten Virgins that each of us has to find and bring our own oil. I’m not to force my way, what I think is best, on another. I can, though, keep my lamp lit to help others see to find their own way.
Hannah in 13 Reasons Why carried deep secrets. Although a fictionalized portrayal of teen suicide, I believe it represents a clear reflection of how secrets, how fear of expressing our truth and our struggles can lead to despair within ourselves, separation from others, and pain to the ones in our lives who are “good and kind.” When we don’t give that safe space of no judgement, no agenda for another to open up his/her inner life, our whole world suffers.
And when we do give that safe, sacred space to another to be completely open and free we allow the light of unconditional Love to get through.
And Love always makes the world a better place.
“The highest form of love is the love that allows intimacy without the annihilation of difference.” Parker Palmer
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 The Message