We are all energetic beings.
Therefore, every time we interact with another being we are sharing and exchanging energy.
The term “holding space” surfaced with great popularity in my friend circles a few years ago. It started short, with statements like “Thank you for holding space for me, I really appreciate you.” But as it continued to be used, I found myself more curious about understanding what holding space really meant and how to do it the right way.
After all, most of us in this binary society experience a craving of wanting to be right, right? (More on this in posts that are in the works that go into binary understandings in this dimension and how they limit our ability to be the super-humans we all are. If you are interested in expanding on the binary topic, reach out! I would love to collaborate and hear your ideas)!
How do you hold space?
It’s a funny concept to think of, right? Reaching your arms out and grabbing the air to just hold it around someone. Or for yourself.
Holding space for someone the way we’re discussing here isn’t rocket science. But it does take heart, and tapping directly into the higher frequency of this place: love.
When you are holding space, you are channeling the super human actuality of your existence. You are abandoning, for a period of time, any idea of judgement, repair, or control. You are releasing the need to give advice. You are letting go of the need to provide overwhelming information. You are not shaming.
Holding space for someone is showing up by their side and allowing their experience to play out, with your love and support as it does.
Many people have experienced someone holding space or have been space holders before. It’s unfortunate that this space holding is commonly felt in the more challenging times of life- grieving, sudden changes, bad news, negative experiences. There are also times when space can be held for exciting and celebratory times- weddings, babies, birthdays, successes and accomplishments.
Holding space takes practice. It’s not something everyone is ready to do and there’s nothing wrong with that. It asks for you to remove your own ego from wanting to fix another or control another’s life and just be. With love.
… and authenticity.
To genuinely hold space for someone, regardless of when and why, try to remember these important concepts.
- It’s not always about you. Releasing the craving to make the situation or conversation relatable because you have similar feelings or experiences is best. Egos just get in the damn way. Let that ego GO! Holding space for someone doesn’t ask you forget about yourself, but you create a compartment of self that is there when you return to it.
- Safe is important. Giving someone a place to express themselves and openly experience deep emotions is powerful. Sometimes it is the only place someone feels safe enough to be exactly who they are, as they are. Safety allows for failure and mistakes allow for growth. Failure is a part of the journey, not the end. This is a good read from the Peace Corps on creating safe spaces.
- You are not the fixer. It’s human tendency to fix problems. But in this case, providing the space is the solution.
- Don’t take someone’s power away. We all need autonomy in making decisions. There may be times when someone needs help making decisions (addition, trauma, emergencies… I have a list of resources at the bottom of this). However, if that is not the case taking someones power of autonomy only results in that person feeling incompetent and useless.
- Allow them to be different than you. This is huge and kinda relates to number 1. Every experience of this life is different. There should be not judgement or redirection for someone who is making a decision or experiencing differently than you feel you would or should. When we hold space we choose to release control and honor the variety of this place.
You (just as you are) are magic, every one is.
When you show up as your authentic self, in confidence, you obtain the ability to set aside the ruckus that may be happening in yourself in service to another. This is hands-down a personal choice. It’s not required. But damn, if you’re going to support someone or hold space for someone, try to remember these ideas and not just take over the pilot seat. Each of us are the authors of our life story, and that is the beautiful reality of this experience.
If you or someone you love is in a crisis that needs support there are resources! If it’s an emergency or there is a threat to life/safety- call 911.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
SAMHSA Hotline: 1-800-662-4357
One thought on “Holding Space with Authenticity”