DINK #181 Holding The Space

Posted on : 17-09-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized



I was first introduced to the concept of “holding the space” when I was a member of a weight loss therapy group about ten years ago.  The way it was explained to us was that “holding the space” was a way for each member of the group to give room to each participant for having their feelings in a respectful way without trying to “fix” them. This enabled each of us to feel safe to have our feelings no matter what came up without worrying about how the others in the group would react to tears or anger or even laughter.

A few years later, a very good friend of mine suffered a series of people in her family dying in close succession.  First it was her grandfather who she had been very close to, then six months later her father passed away and about a year after that she lost her youngest sister unexpectedly.  I had never been close to someone who had suffered that much loss in such a compact period of time.  You could practically touch my friend’s grief as if it was it’s own entity always by her side.  I knew that there was pretty much nothing I could do to relieve my friend’s tremendous pain except to hold the space for her to have her grief and for her to feel safe whatever way she expressed herself.  The first few weeks, often times all we would do is sit and not say one word. This was back when we were both smoking cigarettes, so sometimes we’d just go out on her back patio and smoke silently.  This was someone who I was used to having non-stop conversations with but somehow Divinity had a hand in my being able to just simply be with my friend so that she could just simply be.

Fast forward to today and I’m co-leading a group that is working through the 12 steps of AA.  We’re on Step Four, which is about taking a personal and moral inventory of ourselves, which can be a very frightening step for many people to take.  It’s during this step that many come to realize why it is important to have a good foundation of understanding with the first three steps before embarking on this kind of an inventory.  I realized during our last session how important the art of holding the space for someone could be.  Holding the space means loving someone fully and accepting someone fully without any expectations of any kind of reciprocation (this is my opinion mind you so please take what you want and “delete” the rest….).  We can hold the space for someone to allow them to feel supported and cared for as they walk through their fears.  We can hold the space for someone to help them to take off their rose colored glasses and look at themselves and their world as it really is for maybe the first time in their lives.  We can hold the space for someone when they learn to admit to themselves the truth about themselves and the part they have played in the world.

The more I get to know and experience the art of holding the space, the more I love what it is and what it can do for me and you.  It sure has helped me to let go and let the God of my understanding handle whatever situation is going on that I feel very powerless over (like when my friend’s family members died).  Holding the space feels like a way for me/us to expand our defense mechanisms away from our hearts so that we can allow more love to come into the picture.

Where could you hold the space for someone else to allow him or her to be in process with only love coming from you rather than interference?

Comments (2)

Love this!


Thank you maaaaaaa, I mean Moooooogie!

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