You might hear people, including me, talk about 'safe space' or 'holding space', and wonder what the hell that means, so I thought I'd share what it means for me.
Over the years I've encountered and had relationships with lots of different people - all sorts of relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, being a daughter, sister, cousin and more - and through these relationships I've learnt that we all have a different energy and reason for 'being'.
Each interaction with the people in my life is different, and sometimes I hold space for others, and sometimes they hold space for me. For me, this means creating a safe space for people to be vulnerable and authentic. A place where there is no judgement or fear.
Not everyone is able to hold space, and that's not a bad thing, as these people can do other things, but I've learnt (sometimes the hard way) how to identify the people in my life that are a safe space for me. It's also important to remembers that someone might be able to hold space one day, and not the next depending on what is going on in their life.
When I'm feeling particularly vulnerable or sensitive I am very careful about who I let into my space, as if I open up to someone who says 'get over it', or 'harden up', or similar, these comments bruise me and make me feel that it's not safe to be honest and vulnerable. I'm not expecting people to wrap me in cotton wool, I get that this is real life, but that doesn't mean we need to be assholes or harsh towards people.
As a teen my mum was always telling me I take on my friends problems and need to let it go, and I think looking back that this was part of me learning how to be a safe space for people - as I believe this is an important reason why I'm here. I'm here to ensure people feel heard and are able to voice how they are feeling, and often through voicing things out loud they can work through it and resolve whatever is going on. I just provide the space for them to bounce it off, safely.
I have some amazing people in my life who I know can hold space for me, and this help fill my energy cup so that I can in turn be there for other people.