Explorations of mind, paths, and life

Holding Spaces

Posted on March 10, 2011 - Filed Under beginnings, fear, feelings, gratitude, self reflect

I find myself swimming in the waters of self doubt in the last week or so, uncertain about how much of it is me, how much of it is my monkey mind, how much of it is my inner critic, and how much of it is hormones. Either way, it feels a little dark, a little uncomfortable, and a tad curious. I am in another whirlwind of changes, between work (or potentially the lack of it) and a blossoming new connection that is different beyond anything I have experienced. I am not used to being treated with such deep respect, in a way that every communication feels honoring and soft and well paced.  I keep bumping against my own conditioning, what has felt normal in my life has not always been what I wanted, and faced with possibilities of something very different I hesitate, staring at all of it with such uncertainty and some fear… staring at it as I would with a creature I have not seen before. Communication without judgment, holding needs like soft little stones, until the weight of them transforms both the bearer and the carrier.  Talking in a way that is filled with curiosity and make-shift grass huts of safety – not guaranteed but at least afforded the care to even exist. Make-shift grass huts – smelling earthy and familiar – yet not the environment I have learned to exist in. So, I found myself taking steps back this week, stepping back and contemplating possibly turning away… because I am not sure I am ready for disappointment or grief or any of the other feelings that accompany building a relationship with someone who creates a feeling in me of being seen, feelings that accompany a deep need to matter, a need for expressing myself without fear, expressing myself without anxiety about how it will land, or how it might be consumed.

Then the question: Would it feel more comfortable for you if I were more judgmental? This is not an offer, it is only a question… (then the space for my answer)

My immediate answer was no… but as I sat with that a few more breaths I recognized that little energy in me who is so accustomed to battling the judgments, and she was  saying, YES, YES… isn’t that NORMAL? Isn’t that the only way I should be treated? …and when I heard that murmur I was filled with grief, a sadness I couldn’t figure out where to place, what drawer to stuff it in, what energy to give it.  Yet, quite visibly, that is not what I want my relationships to look like, but that is how I expected to move through my experiences.  That is what I keep expecting to happen… I keep vigilantly watching for, so I can put on my battle gear and work the wheels of making myself matter enough that I am accepted by a partner without lists of conditions, dependencies, and insecurities. Instead…

I can hold a space for this, just where you are, just where I am, Evelyn, just as it is.

Are you kidding? I have never been asked to share where I am at and be met with that level of patience… I have never been allowed to be scared, and withdrawn, and anxious without being met with a lack of regard, or calls to action, or demands for how I must change, or anxiety that where I am is NOT OK. What was I hearing? I can just be here? Be scared at what is so unfamiliar and yet touches a longing in my heart for being connected and safe and loved.  Be in the presence of someone who easily mirrors the values I hold for connection and yet the unfamiliarity of it makes me second guess intentions and direction.  I never expected I would find this level of ease, nor that it would make me so unsettled.

It has been a few weeks since that conversation. I am riding the flow of this awareness… working hard not to let my own self judgments root, staying conscious of the ways I might be self-sabotaging, and finding a certain safety in the space he creates for me to be mindful and curious and even anxious and uncertain. I am walking carefully, and mindfully. Every living word starts with a breath, a certain centering, to check out if it really is what I mean before I say it. Waiting for what lives in him afterwords, then what remains there in me beyond that. Feels a bit like tossing those pebbles back and forth until the sand and grit wear off, and beneath there lies some soft orb of energy, splendidly conscious and alive… and I am grateful for the spaces, for the gentleness.


3 Responses to “Holding Spaces”

  1. Paul on May 8th, 2011 9:04 am

    Evelyn this is beautiful…

  2. mamita on May 8th, 2011 8:26 pm

    It is the expression of a soul that knows and holds its own. Be not afraid for you are dear, love and cared. You are the question and the answer. Live life like the butterfly, from place to place, trusting always in finding what your are looking for
    because it is there.

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