When someone we love is angry with us. Or experiencing emotions we don’t quite understand. Or has pulled away. We have choices.
One choice is to continue loving them. Believing in them. Holding space for them. Yes, we feel our own feelings. We honor that we are sad or hurt. And we nurture ourselves through those feelings. But despite what we are feeling, we remember we love them. We let ourselves see who they really are, the very reason we love them. And we recognize that they are going through something. That something is part of their processs. Part of their Becoming. So we take a deep breath and we love…
Lets be clear, holding space doesn’t mean we are approving of the other’s behaviors. Just that we are letting go. Holding a vision for the Highest Good of all involved. That we have enough wisdom to remember that we ourselves have done, felt, said things that we later could see were not in alignment with who we want to be. Holding space means we understand that being human is sometimes difficult and that sometimes life is hard. Holding space means that we understand that each of us has lessons about living to learn. And that some of us learn quickly and others of us have to take more difficult paths. And most importantly, I think, holding space means we stay out of judgment and reaction. That we do the inner work that allows us to be at peace while we are experiencing difficult or painful situations.
The other option often feels much easier, because it is comfortable, we are familiar with it. Used to it. We let the others behavior become part of our story. (When I speak of “story” I am speaking of the things we tell ourselves about who we are and how the world sees us) What that means about us. What that means about them. What others might think about us. And the story grows. And the feelings about the story grow. And the story, the one we just made up in our head, becomes our truth. When it actually may not be based in reality at all. When it’s really only one possibility in a magnificent ocean of possibilities.
And I wonder, is the story really just an escape route from feeling the original feelings and looking at our selves; a bypass around the work we need to do on ourselves to evolve. What part did I play in this? Where do I need to grow or change? Why am I reacting this way? Do I need to set boundaries or is it time for my boundaries to change? Am I being called to act from a Higher Perspective? Am I being asked to trust or surrender or forgive?
If we react to the situation, we may be losing an opportunity to evolve, to raise consciousness, to be the change we want to see. If we react we may cause harm to the other. We may burn bridges that we don’t want to burn. We may slip into depression or withdraw. Because when we react, we are reacting from a place of hurt. That place that Eckhart Tolle calls the pain body, holds all of the hurts from the past. So reacting from that place of hurt causes our reaction to be bigger and stronger than is often appropriate. And reacting from there reinforces the subconscious belief that I am not responsible for my actions, my feelings and my choices.
It’s hard to be open, honest and vulnerable with ourselves!! That’s were growth, evolution beings. And it feels like “holy cow! Now I have to do what!” But when we see things happening over and over in our life, we have to go within. And find the lesson. Then, once we have taken an honest look, we can be grateful for the teacher.