If someone has a friend who is going through a tough time, they could end up telling them what they need to do to get through it. This is then going to be a time when they will try to fix or rescue this person.
Simply being there for this person is not going to be enough; they will need to go even further. So regardless of whether their friend wanted them to do anything or not, one will take on this role.
Their Modus Operandi
Clearly, then, one is going to have a strong connection to their masculine element, the part of them that relates to doing. Their feminine element, the part of them that relates to being, could generally be offline.
One could believe that it is down to them to guide others, and that this is also what other people want them to do. Even so, this doesn’t mean that their friend will be pleased with how one has behaved.
Their friend could come away feeling as though one wasn’t really been there for them. Instead, it could be as if one disregarded what they are going through and was more interested in directing them down a certain path.
As a result, it is not going to be a surprise if this person feels ignored and invalidated. In the future, this person might think twice about telling one what they are going through, preferring to open up to someone who will simply be there for them.
If one found out about the effect that their behaviour had, they may find it hard to understand what is going on. As far as they are concerned, the best way to assist another person could be to give them advice.
Simply being there for another person could seem like a complete waste of time. It might then be necessary for them to look into why they believe this and to see if these beliefs have any basis in reality.
After reflecting on why they behave in this way, they may find that part of them believes that their value is based on what they do for others. Therefore, unless they do things for someone, they won’t value them.
Furthermore, they may find that being around people who are not in a good way or who express how they feel makes them feel uncomfortable. Thus, doing what they can to deal with another person’s discomfort stops them from experiencing inner discomfort.
A New Approach
With all this going on within them, it is naturally going to be a challenge for them to be present when another person is going through a tough time. They will need to do something to stop themselves from getting pulled into the experience.
Now, one could decide to be there for another person and not to do anything, but unless they can truly be present, this can end up being another technique. One will then be doing what they can to be present as opposed to simply being present.
The First Part
It could be said that the first step will be for one to be able to hold space for themselves and, once they can do this, holding space for others will be natural. When they can do this for themselves, it will involve being with how they feel.
This means that they won’t need to change or repress what is going on for them. So in the same way that a loving parent will be there to sooth their child, part of them will be there to sooth the emotional part of their being.
A Powerful Process
When this takes place, their intellect won’t have to turn their ‘negative’ feelings into ‘positive’ ones – this part of them will be able to sit back. Through being there for their emotional self and not resisting what is taking place, they won’t add any more energy to what is going on within them.
This will stop them from feeding into what is going on within them and making it even harder for them to handle how they feel. And if they can’t handle what they are going through, they will be able to reach out to someone else who can hold space for them.
The Second Step
Through having the ability to hold space for themselves, they will know how powerful it is to do this. When they do this for others, they will be in their body and listening with their heart.
The other person is then likely to feel their presence and this will provide them with the support that they need. One is not doing anything during this time; they are simply being with the other person.
But while one won’t be doing anything, the other person will be receiving exactly what they need. Ones presence alone can allow the other person to feel seen and heard, and this is because one won’t be invaliding their experience in any way.
This person will be able to express what is going on for them without having to worry about being judged or having their emotional experience dismissed or minimised. After this has happened, this person can feel lighter, gain a new perspective and it can allow them to feel more integrated.
Having the ability to hold space is likely to be something that their friends, family and their partner (if they have one) will appreciate. If one finds it hard to hold space for themselves, it may mean that they have some inner wounds to work through.
These inner wounds can be worked through with the assistance of a therapist or a healer. By working with someone who will hold the space for them, one will be able to go where they wouldn’t go by themselves, and in turn, their presence will grow.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.