What does it mean to hold space for someone?
It is a very important practice but most people don’t even know what it means.
It is a place of holding and witnessing without trying to change anything.
It is a place of being with someone as they express their emotions that need to move through.
First let’s talk about what it is not.
It is where you aren’t trying to convince them of anything.
You aren’t trying to talk them out of their feelings or experience.
You aren’t offering advice or how you would do it or when it happened to you.
You aren’t saying things like ‘don’t cry,’ ‘don’t be angry,’ ‘try to see the bright side.’
You are just being present with another to hold the space for their emotions and voice to be held and seen.
This is a very uncomfortable place for many to be.
They want to fix and make it better.
But what every person wants is to be seen and heard, exactly as they are, without fixing.
As a sensitive person, my sadness, my overwhelm, my fear, even my joy, came out in the form of tears.
Since I was a little girl, I have always cried, and often.
I still do.
Tears are the natural way the body releases emotion and self regulates back to homeostasis.
My whole life, from the masculine energy, I was told, “Don’t cry.”
Masculine energy wants to fix. It is their nature to want to make things better.
But, what it created in my subconscious mind was the belief that I couldn’t express myself because it was too uncomfortable for everyone else.
It caused me to question my feelings, if they were valid and ok to experience.
It had me ignore my internal self-regulating expression of crying and doubt the wisdom of my body.
It has taken a lot of conscious work to release this programming.
I have now re-learned how to hold space for myself first.