What Is Holding Space? 

Crisis. It happens all around us every day in some form, from the child who cries a lot, to the friend who is dying of a terminal illness, to war and news and everywhere we turn we’re surrounded with crisis and news of crisis. We are often left feeling helpless, because as humans, our heart says “We have to fix this.”

I regularly practice caution in this arena. As a natural Empath, I can easily bring to my bosom, every pain in this heaving planet, leaving me somewhere lost in a great pond of sadness.

Once, when I was going through a deep struggle, a friend said, “I’m holding space for you.”

It is quite one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

So what does it mean to hold space for someone in your life? What does it feel like when you know someone is holding space for you?

When we see others struggling and hurting we want to fix it. We want to help them feel happy. We want to make it better because we love them. This is how beautiful we are underneath our masks which often give off the tone of apathy, a cover for the shame we feel that we cannot fix it.

The first rule of holding space is to NOT do it of you aren’t dedicated. The last thing anyone in crisis needs is am empty promise.

Here are some examples of how to hold space for someone.

1. Answer their calls and texts. Do so willingly and with love. Respond with “I’m so sorry. What can I do to help?” Let them know you are listening. Open the door for them to share with you.

2. Check in on them. Don’t wait for them to reach out. When we are struggling, many of us isolate and cannot find the strength to reach out. So check on us. Let us know when you think of us. You may be the very light we need in that moment.

3. Sometimes we just want an ear. So cease attempting to fix it all. You may say, “Hey, if you need support coming up with solutions, I’ll gladly brainstorm with you otherwise, I’m here holding space for you.”. It’s often best to just hold the space in support, because that one simple act creates these feelings in times of crisis.

We feel Safe
We don’t feel so alone
We become Hopeful
We are Thankful
We feel Supported
We become Motivated

Holding space for our loved ones means sacrifice. I believe that we have to be clear on knowing our own self-love boundaries so that we, as the person holding space, are not depleting our own strength. Holding space requires balance.

Most of all, holding space requires empathy, an ability to step outside of our own self and find the joy in being there for someone else.

Hold space, my friends. It is a beautiful gift to give.

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