Space for Expression
"Filter flowers not people" reads the shirt of a dear friend of mine. It reminds me that what I want to do in holding space for others is to make room for authentic expression, being a person and in a place where people show up as who they truly are.
As much as politeness and courtesy can be appreciated, it is no match for the flourishing of genuine goodwill. As much as neutrality can be of advantage to avoid extremes, accepting and embracing others in whatever state, whatever they're feeling, however it's given... this is what holding space invites. Far more than I want someone to be "how they should be," I want to know who and how someone is.
Holding this kind of space for authenticity can be chaotic. What about when people feel things strongly? What about when there are strong differences of perspective? What about when people feel hurt or act out of their insecurity? Accept it. Embrace it. From this space what is needed next will emerge.
Without felt freedom, there will not be self-expression.
Many of us know what it is to put our head down and "just get through" circumstances, not risking showing ourselves or sharing too much. This is also a crying shame! When we decide against this space for ourselves or others, we all lose. We may preserve some sense of order, but we begin to dull ourselves to the ineffable spark each and all of us carry.
Authenticity can be chaotic. I'll take the risk of chaos any day over the numbing and dulling effect of conformity. Be you. Be true. Hold space for others too.