How to Hold Space for Healing...
When trauma healing is concerned, I cannot stress the importance of keeping your philosophical/mystical musings to yourself.
A poignant memory is shared, painful emotions burst forth as the listener, the space holder, begins to worry, to think, to attempt to “fix” the emotionality unraveling before them. They don’t want to see their friend in pain. In a world that uses every technique under the sun to bypass feeling raw emotion, the hunger to stifle emotion in others is often brought forth from a place of misdirected empathy.
Let me share with them my healing philosophy. Let me remind them that all darkness is necessary to assimilate deeper into light consciousness. Perhaps if I explain away the pain I see, I won’t have to deal with the shadow parts of me that feel pain too.
This is not to criticize anyone who has purposefully or accidentally silenced those who have vulnerably shared their healing journey, as we have all been there before. No one trained you on how to hold space for another. Of course your first instinct was to philosophize their processing into a state of instant happiness and cure. No one taught you there is a way to be comfortable, to even feel loved, while simultaneously connecting to old pain that is simply looking to be felt, understood, and held.
No one taught us to pause, ground, and breathe as we enter into a level of listening that is poetry in its own way. A powerful listener replies through their capacity to feel the journey of the speaker, emitting an energetic tone that says to the heart of the processor, “I am here. You are safe to feel everything. I am exclusively present in this sacred moment with you. I do not wish to fix you. There is nothing consistent with feeling emotion that needs fixing. Your courage to emote is inspiring and I hold your heart in absolute admiration, as you not only bless me with the grace of your honest emotional experience, but you grace those around you by bringing forth an even deeper, more integrated, you, as you piece together parts of you that were perhaps not seen until this moment of emotional uncoiling. What an honor it is to see your heart set free.”