May 27, 2020

Why it’s so Important to Hold Space for the Ones we Love.


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I have found a deeper meaning to the simple phrase, “holding space.”

There is so much beauty and magic within it.

Nearly all of us have experienced disease in communication at some stage of our life. Often, in our daily conversations, we are simply waiting for our turn to talk; sometimes we even interrupt the speaker.

On the other hand, we’ve all experienced times when, after we have gathered the courage to share something intimate with a friend or confidant, instead of finding a receptive listener, we have felt judged, patronized, or dismissed.

Unfortunately, these are common communication breakdowns, and they sometimes can drive us apart when the speaker’s intent was truly to draw us closer.

So what does it mean to hold space?

It is when the listener or the person bearing witness to the speaker actively creates a sacred, safe space between people—a space where one can share openly and speak without being judged, interrupted, or receiving unsolicited advice. It’s a state of reception and witnessing in a way that is completely present, non-judgmental, trusting, and authentic.

We don’t need to be a psychologist or a trained counselor to listen with total presence. Remaining present can offer a special kind of medicine for both the speaker and the listener alike.

Not only does complete presence permit the speaker with the opportunity to speak his or her truth into existence, but it also fosters a much more intimate connection between the speaker and listener, and, in turn, improves the very fabric of human relations underpinning our culture.

Humans have a need to share in a safe, supportive environment that is free of judgment. The healing that flows from that kind of interaction is evident.

How does holding space work?

It is well settled that feelings are to be expressed and not repressed. When we hold feelings inside, they can cause many ailments, physically, mentally, or spiritually. The simplest way to express our feelings is through words. Having a receptive, non-judgmental, and present listener provides the perfect grounds for expression.

As we give the opportunity to the speaker to listen to themselves as they talk, they come to find their wisdom and medicine within.

In this unusual time, which is both intimate and distancing, we all need to hold space for one another, to listen with total presence and without judgment, interruption, or trying to give advice.

Profound magic happens when we hold space for another human being.

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