Thursday, 23 July 2015

Holding Space

" I've never been given a clear definition of what it means to 'hold space', but intuitively I know what it means" (David Dear).

Holding space is hard enough to maintain with those we like, know a little or meet for the first time, and on meeting  recognise a kindred spirit, a sympathiser or just curiosity. We meet and can keep an open heart, allowing them to be where they are, giving them a safe and non-judgmental space while they have opportunity to heal - or not, move closer to us - or not. Trusting the silence, we give them respect...

It's a bit harder to hold space for those we dislike or distrust. But we do need to give them the same respect, cut them the same slack as the others - we might find it easier to do this if we can surround ourselves with the same space,  trust ourselves and keep our own integrity.

Holding space for those we love and have invested in is hardest of all..
As a grown child we first discover our parents are mortal (enough shock in itself) and later discover they are fallible (such a betrayal it seems of our questioning and unquestioning!). From this point on we can choose to hold space for them in the same way - attending to them, offering them the respect of silence and trust, while their lives and ours, and our relationship, shifts, rebalances and shifts again - constantly in a liminal state, potentially delicious if we hold them lightly..
And then our children - oh how hard it is to hold space for them - harder than for our parents and our friends. For we have invested in them - physically, emotionally, mentally (and fianancially!). But we do well to offer them that same space again, and here it is crucial to respect the silence, keeping it in mind that is is not actually about us..
Ah and others - both our closest friends and those with whom we fall 'in love'. All these catagories are rolled together here and, unsurprisingly, all the same conditions apply - keeping an open heart,  allowing the Beloved the same space to be where they are and grow through  their lives - or not - as they must; healing, non-judgmental space, trusting them and ourselves with the gift of silence and, in spite of our involvement, keeping in mind that it is not entirely about us...
And I speak as much to myself as to you..

1 comment:

  1. Really helpful reminder, especially the bit about holding space for those we dislike or distrust! Thank you