You are probably familiar with this: “Space…the final frontier.”
So dramatic. Yet when it comes to finding or creating a personal space, whatever form that may take, it can have a pretty massive impact on your overall mindset and wellbeing.
Introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, everyone has a need for space. You need somewhere that you can call your own in order to reset, rest, regroup, and otherwise find yourself, by yourself, from time to time.
Space is not necessarily tangible. It can also be an intangible notion, a place that you can turn to in order to escape from people and things in some form or other.
How you define or create your space is going to be unique to you.
My space is my own
I have an awesome home office. In this space, I have my desks set up just so, and plenty of natural light from the windows. I have music and my bookshelves and various trinkets that evoke some emotion or other in me.
Some guys get into the whole notion of the “man cave.” I get the concept, but it’s not what I seek. For me, it’s the study. My office space is exactly that, my place where I can do my writing, podcast, meditate, and otherwise do the things that I desire to do.
This is not the only space, however, that has this effect on me. Inside my car feels like this, too. That’s another space that is as I would have it, and it brings me comfort and contentment.
Additionally, when I go for a walk or I meditate, I also create a space that I can call my own. These times allow me to be present and work on better mindfulness of the thoughts and feelings that drive my life.
You probably have your own spaces, material or immaterial, that you go to for your sanity. Everyone needs to have a place that centers them, whatever form that takes. There is no right or wrong answer — unless, in the creation of your space, you are denying space for someone else or otherwise taking away their right to space.
Which leads to a very important point.
Personal space is not a selfish place
Let’s cut right to the chase here — it is not selfish to take, find, or create personal space. EVERYONE has a need for a space or spaces to call their own. That’s a part of human nature.
Whether the space in question is physical or not, you are not selfish if you are spending time in a personal space.
Yes, I recognize that I have a certain level of privilege when it comes to the ability to enjoy the personal spaces that I call my own. The home my wife and I live in allows us each to have a personal office space, and I have a car. Not everyone has these things. But having them and utilizing them is not selfish of me.
Why? Because I am not denying spaces to anyone else. Selfishness is when you take an action that intentionally takes things away or denies access to them from another.
For example, let’s say you have a pizza, and it is cut into eight slices. You are one of four people sharing that pizza. Mathematically, each of you gets two slices.
Selfishness is when you intentionally take three slices for yourself, denying a slice to another. Similarly, if the price of the pizza is $2 per slice, and you pay $2 but take three slices, that’s selfish. You are intentionally taking without also giving back your equal share.
Ergo, selfishness is an action with intent behind it. Much of what may appear selfish, based on intent of the action, really isn’t.
Why does it appear to be selfish? Because you are inundated with examples of people who are truly selfish, and the fear of being like them tends to make you and I overly cautious and sensitive to the issue.
Why do we need personal spaces?
No matter what your mindset may be, you are going to have both good days and bad days. Lots of things that happen on any given day are completely outside of your influence or control. Thus, odds are that you will get overwhelmed from time to time.
This is a totally natural human experience. Because you are the only one inside of your head, as unlimited and abundant as you are or could be, there is a point of oversaturation. So you need space to take a moment and reclaim your center. To do that, you need a space you can call your own.
Personal space is exactly that — the space you use for your personal needs. Maybe you need to meditate, or play a video game, or sit quietly, or read, or just do something for and by yourself. Whether the space in question is material or immaterial, you need to have somewhere to go for this purpose.
Mindfulness belongs to nobody but you. One of the best ways to become more mindful is to take some space for yourself in order to draw your thoughts and feelings to consciousness, and the present. When you get overwhelmed, a lot of your processes become subconscious, which can inadvertently lead you to places physical, emotional, and spiritual you would not otherwise choose of your own accord.
Personal space helps in the development of better mindfulness.
Space and time are not the same things
I know if I spend too much time on Facebook scrolling through posts, I get flustered by news of current events, negativity from friends and loved ones, social awkwardness, and other things that can be upsetting. If I allow myself to fall down that rabbit hole too far, my subconscious takes that negativity on. Before I know it I am feeling depressed, hopeless, angry, or some other negative emotion or combination of feelings.
Taking a time out is one thing, but because of the finite nature of our perception of time, space is a broader approach.
Why? Look at the sky on a clear night. Seems to go on forever, doesn’t it? Look at a clock (preferably with numbers and hands.) It cycles on and on, but always within the parameters of twelve hours at a time.
Human perception tends to skew time and space. Since we tend to see time as being a part of the past, present or future, we limit it. Space, on the other hand, feels much more infinite. There is an entire philosophy on this topic, as well as the notion of Spacetime in physics, which I am not going to get into any further here.
In the realm of personal space, time can be a part of the space you take for yourself. Personal space, tangible or intangible, is the where to time’s when. Finding, creating, and/or having such a space provides a place to make use of to better get to know and understand yourself.
You deserve your space
In conclusion — personal space is important to everyone. Know that you do not need to be someone particularly more special than you already are to find, create, and have a space you call your own, tangible or intangible.
You are worthy and deserving of having your own personal space. Take that to heart, and use it to be more mindful and to live the best life you possibly can.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done, you matter, and you are worthy and deserving of finding, creating, and having personal space.