I was recently introduced to a term I had heard before but had given very little thought to, "holding space". I pondered the details surrounding the conversation in which it came up and I wondered if I truly even understood the concept, so I did what any modern day yogi would do, I Googled it!
What I found was this definition:
When you hold space for someone, you bring your entire presence to them. You walk along with them without judgment, sharing their journey to an unknown destination. Yet you're completely willing to end up wherever they need to go. You give your heart, let go of control, and offer unconditional support.
Whoa. I read this and I felt immediately that THIS IS LOVE. Bringing your entire presence to them, walking side by side with them, sharing a journey into the unknown, giving your heart unconditionally. I was convicted that this is what I want from those who love me and do life with me and this is what I should give to them. Sometimes I am good at it, but the closer I feel to the person, say my husband or children, maybe the more I hope to control and the less I am able to let go. I hold on too tightly just wanting us together, happy, enjoying the same destination.
In my yoga classes I often use the lyrics to a 38 Special song that says:
Just hold on loosely But don't let go If you cling to tightly You're gonna lose control
I see it in my teenagers reactions, I have clung too tightly at times and offered what may look like conditional support in my efforts to gently nudge them in what I feel is the right direction. I see it in my marriage to my wonderful husband of 21 years, starting off as high school sweethearts there has been a lot of growing and changing in those years and when I get nervous that the changes might mean we are becoming too different I want to pull him back my direction so as not to loose him; again clinging too tightly. I am beginning to see that it is better to "choose to let go of control"
as the definition of holding space would offer than it is to "lose control" as the song lyrics would suggest.
I think I will work toward holding on loosely, trusting that the great God of the universe has it all in His hands and remind myself I am not in control anyways. I will work to hold space for my loved ones and friends instead of grasping on for dear life. I will walk my own journey and hope they will walk with me in love and non-judgement; in turn I will attempt to allow my steps to fall in line next to theirs in a cadence of support and unconditional love. Maybe we will still all wind up at the same destination but all having taken a different route?
Ask yourself today, are you holding space for those you love to walk their journey through this life on earth or are you holding on tightly and maybe suffocating them or your relationship?