Holding space for others is just being present for someone, without judgment. It means you are all ears along with your heart without wanting anything in return. It would also involve practicing empathy and compassion.
In this whole process, you are accepting someone's truths, no matter what they reveal and are feeling at the moment. You have to put your own needs and opinions aside, and just let them be as raw as possible. It is an easy process but sometimes our own opinions and egos can get in the way which makes the whole process difficult to practice.
Here are a few things you can do to kick start your journey for holding space for those in need:
Start by practicing deep listening
Deep listening is just a way of listening mindfully which is done not just to hear what the person is saying but just to listen to understand. It involves not only doing the same with your ears but also your heart. In this process, you have to listen to respond and not react. Listen so that they feel supported, loved, and heard. Listen to be there for someone when they need you the most in their difficult times.
Listening without judgment
This one can be difficult to do, but it means not putting your own opinion in the person’s mind. We all as humans possess opinions, and it is in our nature to share them with others, but when you are trying to hold space for someone, you have to remove the opinions from the whole conversation and that space should only be of that person.
Make room for other’s feelings
In this, you have to make room for and just allow the other person to feel all that they need to feel. Be present for them, hold them if they need to cry, or even allow them to yell or scream if the situation goes bad.
Let go of the "fix it" mentality
A major human instinct is that one wants to offer solutions when we see the person is in pain and trying to solve the whole situation. But sometimes the other person does not want you to solve it. Just be there to listen only. The process of moving through pain is individual, and the only way you can help the other person is just sitting with it and maintaining the approach of this too shall pass.
Use the power of your breath
Deep breathing is often utilized to stay connected with yourself, which will, in turn, help and allow you to deepen your connection to others.
Holding space is something wherein you have to support your loved ones, the ability to sit with them through the dark and the light and offer the same amount of love and acceptance in both situations. It is about being present in that moment while intentionally holding space and witnessing the person.
If you find yourself lost or find someone going through a similar phase and there is a requirement of pure and clear attention of unconditional positive regard and it’s not available around you, you may reach out for professional help.