'Me-Space', 'We-Space', 'Them & Me Space'

I find occupying Me-Space very easy…it’s where I spend most of my time most comfortably. Hermiting. It’s my hiding place…it’s where I retreat to…away from others…and I often bring with me a feeling of 'just leave me alone please’. I don’t like to feel that I’m being pulled out of Me-Space by a request from We-Space. I recall I wasn’t always this way but I think events in later life (many years of overwhelm and unmanageable uncertainty as a single parent) led me to this way of being. It’s a strange impulse when I exam it because I felt so incredibly isolated during those years and yet my response is to isolate myself. Funny!

So, We-Space is a tough nut to crack for me. It asks me to be more vulnerable and interactive. I’m great at parties and social activities but it’s the day to day idea of interacting with others in more mundane and intensely intimate ways that makes me feel vulnerable and unsafe and trapped. If it’s an interaction that isn’t framed by ‘I’m here to have a brief period of playful fun and I can leave whenever I feel like it…’. then I just want to get back to seclusion…‘Me-Space’ with a sign on the door reading ‘Do Not Disturb’.

In the ‘Which-Real-Skills-Matter-To-You-Right-Now’ thread my mind immediately is aware of which skills are more oriented toward a We-Space or a Me-Space. I noticed, not surprisingly, that the skills I chose could easily be seen as primarily Me-Space oriented. I also noticed my reaction to those who chose very obvious We-Space skills and my sense of almost disbelief that someone (in their right mind) would choose something that so obviously involved people other than themselves!! That’s how oriented away from We-Space I currently am.

I feel it even in our Tapping Circle…somedays I feel a part of it and many days I feel apart from it. It’s a dynamic tension.

Most often to me my experience of We-Space is felt as ‘Them and Me Space’. That feels lonely…self-isolating and I don’t like it. I have a desire to be more involved and intimate with We-Space but I’m not sure how to start that…it feels very threatening to me. I think there’s a lot of feelings of shame…shame around failure…not being good enough…that sort of thing, that I’m wanting to keep secret. Something like that…

I think you could even think of people as belonging to one of two camps…those that default into Me-Space and those who’s default is into 'We-Space. Of course most often it’s a spectrum of dynamic shifting in and out but my guess is that we are fundamentally most comfortable and feel most at home oriented toward one or the other. When feeling stressed and seeking comfort, security and certainty do you orient toward being a part of We-Space or do you orient toward Me-Space? I suppose the type of stress can alter that orientation.

I remember a time in life when I really could feel a sense of We-Space and I recall how warm and soothing and comforting and reassuring that could be. I’m also aware that We-Space isn’t only rainbows and unicorns and farts that smell like sugar & cinnamon (!! is that even possible?!!)…but I feel a sincere longing to have access to that experience again in my life.

I’ve also been curious if others detect differences between ‘spaces’ that seem similar in terminology. For example, is there a difference for you between ‘Me-Space’ and ‘My-Space’ or ‘I-Space’. Is there a discernable difference between ‘We-Space’ and ‘Us-Space’? I sense a difference but have trouble putting it into words.

2 Likes

When I think of Me-Space, I do think of the “prerequisite” that the person is not operating from their primitive brain. I didn’t realize I felt that as a prerequisite until you described how you were feeling Me-Space. Flight / Hide / Avoid in the sense that these are reactions are, well, good and useful in helping to self-regulate.

My preference for Me-Space and We-Space attunement is how we are when we’re not in primitive brain reactiveness. Me-Space becomes a free choice for solitude to renew, replenish, reduce sensation and hear-feel-know… Me.

To me again the “I don’t like requests from We-Space” feels like primitive brain again. There’s a difference – subtle? – between being in Me-Space and not open right then to requests from others… and that kind of reflexiveness I also feel when I am not self-regulated (and I’m not open/able to co-regulate).

Being a single parent is absolutely HARD on the primitive brain. We love and want to tend, but when we’re overwhelmed and cannot “escape” – it’s like there’s a “vow” that can happen that once we get free of this obligation we’ll never let ourselves get trapped by… love? – ever again.

I need an exit… if not always immediate, I need to know that my partner has my well-being in mind, as I do hers. We build trust over and over again by choosing to be aware: including when either of us feels that edge-of-trappedness and needs to know we can escape for a bit of Do Not Disturb time.

Not having that I’ve observed means a lot of re-calibration and conscious expression of boundaries to rebuild trust and grounded freedoms.

It feels in my experience of you that you’ve more than “started.” We have a We-Space here, and you’re engaging in a way that feels very We-Space to me. And, you’re also tending to your Me-Space.

What I look for are remnants of Obligation – have to’s, should’s, and the shame that rises when we don’t. Tap tap tap.

You pointed out in another message how whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re ALL part of We-Spaces! I believe that we’re in the process of cultivating better (and more conscious and shared) Agreements about We-Space… and Me-Space tending, too.

“I have 20 minutes to play, and then I will pause and go back to my studio. Would you like to… ____?” To me that sets a container, a we-space NOW, and what you’re inviting and your limits.

I’ve been doing that more and more with Emerald (he’s 7 so it’s easier than when he was 5 or younger for sure). It helps! I feel freer and the we-space is getting sweeter.

Are some people not We-Space folks? I do believe that whether by nature or nurture/trauma, some people don’t take others into account. Their frame of reference is Me! My World! My Life! Indeed, I think it would be accurate to call that a My-Space orientation.

And, yeah, I coach people who suffered from such oriented parents (and cultures) when what they really would thrive in is an emotional world where of COURSE they could take care of their needs and personal desires (Me-Space) and of COURSE they would enjoy being of service to others, too – even generously! – and reaping the harvest of others being generous with them, too!

That’s the kind of ecosystem I thrive in.

Thank you @Glenn! Would love to hear from others on this as well!

1 Like