When we are confronted by our partner’s upset feelings (especially if those upset feelings relate to something *we* did or said but even if those upset feelings are about something unrelated to us), it can be so hard to just “hold space” for our partner. Holding space is skill that takes practice. Like a whole lotta practice. *
What do I mean by “holding space”? When your partner is upset and you hold space for them, it means that you commit yourself to resisting the urge to:
Holding space for another person is about becoming a container and simply allowing them to be as they are. Your stance is one of presence, curiosity, and validation. *
Like I said, it’s a practice. For many of us, it’s a knee-jerk response to offer advice (if the problem is not about us) or an explanation (if the problem is about us). But watch what happens when you actively and consciously shift to the stance that Dossie and Janet are describing here. Spoiler alert— we all tend to move through difficult feelings more quickly and gracefully when people hold space for us.
One more thing~~ I read these words in their book, The Ethical Slut, which my students have been telling me about for years. Damn! What a book! Even if you have zero interest in exploring non traditional expressions of sexuality, this book is wise and generous and healing for anyone and everyone!!! #lovingbravely