Once when I was too exhausted to talk about an unresolved issue, too frustrated with hearing myself tell the same story again and again, too convinced that there really was no solution that I felt comfortable with at that moment, a dear friend of mine told me: I am holding a space for you if you ever want or need to talk about it.
Holding a space for me. Holding a space for me. I repeated her offering several times in my mind. Each time I said the words, I envisioned my friend’s cupped hands outstretched before me. I could sense the rumble of everything going on around her, but that space that she was holding for me was safe, quiet, calm, and most of all…it was there. It was there waiting for that moment when I might want to talk or just sit with my emotions. And just like the image I was envisioning, I knew that when I did, I would be nestled in her hands. Even if the world spun uncontrollably beneath my feet, she wouldn’t let me fall. That vision comforted me. Just knowing that the space was there. Just having someone save me a sacred spot. What a beautiful gift.
I thought about the spaces that I hold for the people and things in my life that matter dearly. Suddenly my comforting vision turned into a collage of outstretched hands. Only this time, they were my own. I was holding many spaces, but I wondered if the people in my life felt the same depth of sincerity, the same strength, the same security that I experienced when I received this precious offering. When others nestled in my hands, could they feel in their core that this space was just for them? Was I holding them too tightly? Had I let some people and some things fall through the cracks? And why, I wondered, were some of the hands I was envisioning sealed together in prayer? Who was I no longer holding a space for and was it possible to reconnect? At times, perhaps this person was me. Was I holding a space for myself?
I don’t know the answer to all of these questions, but I am convinced that the spaces we hold for ourselves and others is what connects and sustains us. I hope you find yourself somewhere in this space. I hope I find myself. No matter what you might be struggling with, remember: I am holding this space for you and for me. I am holding this space. Gently.