Holding the Space...
I’m a doer, so when it comes to sitting tight and holding the space, things get a little uncomfortable for me. However, as anyone fortunate enough to have experienced someone holding the space for them will know, it’s an extraordinary gift to give to another human being.
According to Heather Plett, holding the space means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold the space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support and let go of judgement and control.
Holding the space is one of those things that goes around and comes around. Someone can be holding the space for us as we hold the space for someone else, often at the same time. It’s when we are there for a friend and then go home and cry on our spouse’s shoulder. It’s showing up when someone is struggling saying nothing more than this is hard, I’m here. Holding the space is what we pay therapists for. Sadly, it’s a rare skill and few people have the ability.
So now what? How do we go about learning to hold the space? How do we get our inner healer to awaken? To really be able to hold the space for someone else, we first need to learn to do it within ourselves, with our own emotions. We need to discover what is means to stay present with our own experience, as we are experiencing it, without changing, fixing or rejecting it. We fully feel our anger, joy, or vulnerability without trying to change or impact on what we are feeling. Yo, that is no small task! How simple it sounds but how very difficult to do.
Imagine not judging your own feelings? No guilt, no shame, no feeling bad about feeling what you feel, whether it’s anger, excitement, love or despair? Imagine giving yourself the time you need to heal from what has hurt you, not rushing yourself because of someone else’s, or some societal, agenda, but allowing yourself to grow at your own pace? Imagine feeling good enough, that you are okay as you are, no matter how messy you are in that moment?
As we are reminded in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, there is a time for everything. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Holding the space is allowing ourselves, and others, the time to go at their own pace. It’s offering unconditional support with an open heart. Our time and gentle, focused presence truly is a precious gift we can give to others.
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I'm a Personal Development Life Coach who specialises in L.I.F.E (Living Into your Fullest Expression). Based in Richards Bay, on the East Coast of South Africa, I live with my long-suffering husband, (his description!), two much-loved dogs and care for my elderly father who has Alzheimer's.
Read more about me here.