Sunday, May 14, 2017

I Learned A New Word, No Two Actually

Hold Space.  A friend of mine shared an article recently which talked about 'hold space' and I had never heard the term until then.

I encourage you to read the article for yourself as the author, Heather Plett explains it really well.  No point reinventing the wheel, right?

I have both been on the receiving end and the giving end of "hold space" and it is a real privilege to both receive and give.

Heather Plett addresses what my siblings and I did for our Mom a couple of years ago; although some days it feels like it was just yesterday.  It was a honour to provide care for my Mom as cancer was robbing her of energy and she sometimes did not have the strength to do even the simplest of tasks or when she did and she wanted to just remain independent a little while longer, she was wiped out for a long while after.

These are Heather's words from her post - I believe she articulates what it means really well:

What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.

On the surface it may sound easy, but far from it because the tendency is you want to fix it and take all the hard stuff away from the person so you can save the person from the trouble they may otherwise have to go through.

To 'hold space' for me means being there to support the person, being sensitive to the person's dignity and having open conversations so you understand as best as you can when you need to offer help despite what the person may think they want or need at the time.  Yeah, it was hard sometimes letting my Mom do some things when I knew she would be really tired after but Mom chose life even in her dying days.  She was an incredible woman, my Mom.  It was even scary sometimes when I felt out of my depth and that is why I am incredibly thankful for those who were there to 'hold space' for me during this time.

Those special people have continued to 'hold space' for me since that time, too.  I would be lost without them, too.  They are my 'Jesus with skin on' people.  There are far too many to list them all, but in the days, weeks, months and now two years since Mom's death, I have been supported by many who continue to 'hold space' for me.

Which leads me to how I went to bed last night - with a heart full of gratitude.  Yep, that's right.  Despite all that the last couple of years has brought - grief and loss, and more grief and loss and yet more grief and loss and then my own scare with possible breast cancer (but I will save that for another blog post) and more grief and loss and a few falls and one a bit more scary which required a hospital visit (check out the link here if you perhaps are not on Facebook or just missed it) and then more recently being there to 'hold space' for my sick and dying fur baby Jessie who was my baby because I am childless not by choice and all of this in the midst of bureaucracy and weeks of insomnia, I am grateful for so many things.

I could start a list and I will name a few - my loving and incredibly supportive husband Peter, a wonderful step-daughter Chase and her thoughtful boyfriend Dale, Jessie's surviving fur brother Jake who displays unconditional love (I think it is interesting that dog spelled backwards is God - a wonderful analogy of my Heavenly Father's love), my wonderful parents Bev and John Tough and I could go on and on and on.

There are a couple of blogs that I follow and Rory Feek's blog This Life I Live is one of them.  I have referred to Joey and Rory in my previous blogs and their family Heidi, Hopie and Indy.  Their story is a sad one, but Rory stated in his most recent post called Three Mothers 'I try to mostly write stories that are positive and filled with hope.'  Rory acknowledges that there is sadness and pain in our lives and it hurts and he openly shares his feelings and cries, too; but he wants to share that there is a message of hope, too.  This so resonates with me and that is exactly what I shared with my counsellor - yeah, life has been hard, but because of that, my testimony shines perhaps a little brighter.  I feel it.  Some days are still hard; I am still engaged in battle on a couple of fronts; but I have so much to be thankful for, not the least of which are those who 'hold space' for me.

Let me finish with this question for you all......what are you thankful for, this Mothers Day, Sunday, 14th of May in the year of 2017? 

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