By Eileen Martin, Root Words Contributor
Let’s face it, we live in a society where grief is only tolerated for a short period of time. People are expected to pull up their bootstraps and move on. When someone we care about is hurting, we often want to fix it for them by offering advice or telling them it is not as bad as it seems or we want them to quickly feel better because we are feeling uncomfortable. I mean it is really difficult to see people we love feeling sad and hurt. We want to do something to help ease the pain. This is an honest reaction, but this reaction has more to do with our own uncomfortable feelings rather than the person in front of us who is hurting.
Can you remember a time when you were struggling with something where you may have been grieving, felt lonely or frightened and in your vulnerability you shared your feelings with someone who just seemed to let you express your feelings without expectations or without providing you with all the answers?
They just listened.
And you could just be.
And you felt safe with them in your vulnerability.
If you can recall such a moment in time, then you were more than likely given the gift of holding space.
How can we learn to hold space? Well, in a world where we are used to instant gratification and providing answers to problems it can be a bit challenging. However, you only need to have “twenty seconds of insane courage” to recognize your initial reactions to someone else’s pain and do nothing more than take a deep breath and sit and listen with your heart open. It is in the nothingness where holding space begins.
It is putting your wants and needs aside for a time. It is really looking at the person and recognizing their strength. Holding space for someone means you are providing them with a nourishing, non-judging, non-fixing mindset. You are nurturing growth and healing and offering trust that they are capable of overcoming their challenges. It is sitting and staying a bit with no expectations of the outcome. It is a powerful gift you can offer those who trust you enough to share their pain.
Root Words is an inspirational and motivational blog grounded in the latest research that challenges us to get us back in touch with what is truly important in our lives. It prompts us to dig down deep to reconnect with the root of who we are - with our true, authentic selves. This is essential for genuine and true and lasting change, for the connection that we have with ourselves is the most important connection of all.
Root Words was created by Dr. Kelly Graves, Read about Dr. Graves and the full Kellin team here.