Sheltering Walls: Shaping Space

Walls can divide, but they also create space.  When I went away from home to college, I lived in a dorm for the entire time.  My dorm room  my first year was tiny.  My dorm room my senior year was not much larger.  Over those years, I heard my dorm mates say to me several times–enough that I began to hear the message:  we like being in your room.  It always feels good.

To this day, I cannot tell you what it is that they saw, and I will admit that it’s a little weird for college aged men to make this sort of comment.  What I can say is that the space that I am in every day needs to feel good to me.  And so, my home which I share with my wife, my classroom, my space where I study, read, exercise, the yard around our house–those spaces need to feel good, warm, welcoming to me, and I work at making them feel that way.  It’s very intuitive, and I cannot explain it.

Walls come in all kinds of shapes. They may be literal.  They may be relational.  They  may be spiritual.  They may be psychological.  They may be soulful.  Regardless, the walls in our lives are those elements that help us shape space around ourselves.

How do you shape space around yourself?  When others encounter it, how does it make them feel? How do you know how your space makes others feel?  If you become aware that you have shaped space in your life that is making you and/or others feel  lousy, what actions can you take to reshape that space?

My dorm mates liked to hang out in my room because it felt good.  That was one of life’s earliest lessons to me that I had some power–power to create and shape space that could affect how others experienced life.

We all do.  Today, let us all be aware how we shape the spaces that we walk and live in. Whether we do or not, it will affect others.

Bob Patrick

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