Some time last year, I wrote about holding space for each other. It’s something we do when a friend needs us to be present with them. There’s no judgement, no criticism. Physical presence is not even required – They only need to know that you are there, holding a space for them if and when they want to occupy it. My friends have done it for me. It is amazingly comforting.
I am blessed to be surrounded by some strong women who have survived a great deal of grief, overcome some tremendous challenges. We get together to laugh, play games and socialize. Our focus is seldom on our histories as we prefer to enjoy the present. But when there is one among us who is facing a difficult time, we bare our scars like warriors and circle our wagons around her.
But space is not the only thing we hold for one another during troubled times.
When we take ourselves too seriously, for example, we hold humor. You see, I firmly believe that it’s a healthy thing to fantasize about (or even plan) the unfortunate demise of a soon-to-be ex who is causing pain to a close friend. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
If we get pulled down the rabbit hole of self-destructive thought, we hold balanced reality. Just because someone believes it or says it, doesn’t make it the truth! It’s easy to feel your own convictions slip when you’re overwhelmed or being manipulated. It’s our friends’ job to hold up a mirror and reflect our own self worth back to us.
When we lose sight of hope, we hold a vision of a better tomorrow. In the midst of chaos, we hold a peaceful future. We know it’s coming because we’ve been where you are. We survived and it made us stronger. You will, too.
And we’ll be right here, waiting for you. (We’ll try not to say ‘I told you so.’)