Holding space means being there fully for someone without judgement, passing comment, trying to influence the outcome or expecting anything in return. There will have been times where we have all held space for another whilst not even realizing it. Healers do it all the time. It is opening up our hearts and connecting with someone else by connecting to a deeper part within our own selves.
For me holding space for someone is one of the most intimate things we can do for another – it means being completely in the present with that person putting all else aside to bear witness to what the person is experiencing at that time, whatever emotion that is. There is nothing more precious than holding space for someone and giving our whole undivided attention, awareness and time to another being. In that moment you are silently saying to that person ‘I am here for you’ whilst allowing the person to go through whatever they are going through… no questions asked, no need to ‘fix’….. JUST BEING and ALLOWING.
I like the analogy that we are cocooning the person in a blanket of unconditional love, compassion and support – for me personally I have experienced this with loved ones as well as with people who are almost total strangers to me and each time is unique and special. One of the most memorable times was when I held space for my gran a few weeks before she died – it was a quiet moment, tinged with feelings of sadness, loneliness, perhaps hopelessness but also total peace all rolled into one – as it turned out out it was to be our final goodbye but it is a moment I always look back on with fondness. It is such a simple gesture but one of the greatest gifts we can give to someone.
Simply put holding space is putting yourself aside for a time to be completely with another person and in the process allowing healing to occur.