Hello, Have you ever encountered another person who is dealing with something that you have no idea how to handle? Has a friend ever unloaded something and you either felt defensive, confused or judged them about? Do you know how to hold space for someone?
When you allow someone to feel all of their feelings, without comment or critique about the situation they are experiencing you are holding space. When you help them come closer to how they feel with questions that are open and non-judgmental, you are holding space. When you no longer push your ideas of what is needed for someone else, you are holding space.
So often we insert ourselves into a situation someone close to us is having. We want to talk about how we would do something, or what we think they should do or how they should respond. We may, while trying to be their friend, actually shut down their process of learning what it is they really want/need. When you hold space you give them the room to learn what it is they really want/feel/need. You provide the energy and security to delve into the places we sometimes don't know how to on our own. When you hold space you are giving that person the permission to follow his/her inner voice. It is truly being supportive.
I have had my share of interactions where I have held space well and others where I have not. It is a work in progress. I love the feeling when I have let go of myself in a situation that doesn't belong to me anyway. Learning about someone isn't about comparing or getting them to hear your thoughts on them. Learning is about allowing them to share, speak, feel whatever it is they would like to.
Practice holding space for someone, whether they are 2 years old or 82 years old. See how it feels to take yourself out of the situation and open up the space for them to express what they feel. Try to ask questions that are more reiterations of what they said instead of leading questions. Ask for clarity even when you believe you understand. Be there, be open, be love, and what where it goes.