Holding The Space For Healing Others
Question from a reader:
Holding space is about healing others.
“I have heard the term “holding space” a few times this week, I would be interested in reading a bit more what that entails?”
The thing about healing is, you can’t fix another person. They have to heal themselves. But what you can do is help them along in the process.
When it comes to emotional healing, the way we do this is by creating a safe space in which that person can go about their own healing. For therapists, this means creating a safe, nonjudgmental environment where a person is free to speak about their feelings and explore their personal story. Through that process, with guidance and direction from the neutral observer who is providing that space, they may come to have several epiphanies about themselves and what’s been creating their issues all along.
These epiphanies are the healing, because all healing is, is a shift to a higher perspective.
This higher perspective allows you to see your past wounds and the events that caused them more objectively, not only giving you the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes (if there was another involved) but also understanding your own role in it, how it’s shaped who you are, what you learned from it, and then changing your perspective of the experience. Seeing the value in it and becoming thankful for it and for those who chose to give it to you.
The ultimate thing that we are all learning/remembering/becoming in any given lifetime is unconditional love. Unconditional love for our self, and then unconditional love for others (which are, in reality, the self as well).
It is very difficult for someone to hold space for another if they haven’t already gone through the healing process themselves. It also requires a lot of unconditional love to be given from the person holding the space to the person within it. It’s that unconditional love which helps the healing process.
If you haven’t already gone through the healing process yourself, then most likely your own shit is going to be triggered and get in your way and you won’t be as effectively able to hold that space for the other person, especially if the emotions and situations they are attempting to work through are somewhat similar to your own. A high degree of self-awareness is necessary.
Lastly, you cannot heal someone who does not want to be healed. They must be committed to the process. You must be committed to each other.
They have to be willing to allow you to guide them and to listen to what you have to say with an open mind and an open heart, just as you have to do the same for them. There is total vulnerability for both parties.
That vulnerability leaves you both open and emotionally exposed, but it also builds trust and love, and that love is the space in which healing occurs.