There's a concept in woo land referred to as holding space. It's a bit vague really, but to hold space essentially means to wait. On a person, a situation, a thing you can't quite sort out which way to go, what words to speak or how to feel. It's a permission slip to just be rather than to know and act and it's quite important to those seeking to live the most intentional existence possible.
And it's hard.
The past two years of my life can be attributed a massive space holding. For me, my children and everyone affected by the huge flux named Divorce. There's no easy way to separate what was once one and no right way to determine which path is the correct one to traverse. You are walking blind because what you see isn't always what's there and what you feel can't always be trusted. You take it one day and one decision at a time hoping the ripple created by each change doesn't destroy what little is left of the foundation you are counting on to remain.
You are you. It's all you have left, but when you weren't quite sure who you were before it all toppled down the search to find who that is doesn't come easy. It's rocky, rough and painful. So you hold space for whoever it is that will emerge. Whatever will be.
It changes daily. Hourly. Hell, even minutes can change everything you know or knew to be true at some point. I can honestly say I had no clue who I was before and the journey to find that out has been the hardest one I've ever taken. So many voices offered their interpretations, advice, guidance and sometimes even just white noise to fill the empty spaces where no words would have helped. Knowing which to heed and which to mute is also a challenge not for the faint of heart. Everyone has an opinion.
And because I'm mentally healthy (says those professional type people who go to school for such things) I've realized I can trust mine; my opinion. I can trust my own perception of who I am, what I want and what I need. That being said, not everyone trusts that I can trust myself.
In the past few months especially, new people have come into my life and given me their perceptions of who I am. Most words have been flattering and uplifting, but there also comes a point where everything I am, to the very core of my being is mistrusted. My words filtered through experiences with the ghosts of the past misconstrued, eyed with suspicion and discounted as meaning what they mean. I ask a question for the simple intention of gathering more information and it's taken as an accusation. My needing to be very clear because with this many years under my belt aI am well aware of how socially inept I can be taken for doubt, mistrust and not hearing clearly. It's frustrating. Very frustrating. In a world where everyone is lying and pretending to be a version of themselves they can't quite manifest on the daily, being genuine and very, very real is seen with suspicion How incredibly confusing.
I've thought long and hard about learning to play the game. To follow the rules and blend in and I've come to the conclusion that I just cannot do it. I've never been able to and I certainly can't start now. My intensity might drive people away but it also draws those who matter even closer. My honesty might offend, but it also endears those on the path I am which is the path to living the best, most full life possible. I dont' need (or want) to play it safe when it comes to experiencing the unexpected, the divine, the delicious and even the scary. There are far too many holes in the ground holding the what-ifs in life, filled with regret and grown over with things not experienced, people not pursued and days lived in complacency. It's just not me. When I wake up each morning, it's a new start; a new beginning. It could be the first day of something absolutely amazing if I'm just paying attention.
The scariest thing about adding years to my timeline hasn't been the realization of my own physical mortality, but the awareness of those my own age who have already died emotionally, mentally and spiritually. They've gotten to this point and think "Okay that's it, I had my run with youth and the best there was from this lifetime, so now....this is it. This is what my reality and my life looks like from here on out." Nothing depresses me more. Day in and day out I see people giving up on big dreams, depriving the world of huge gifts, incredible love and limitless passion. Why? I just cannot understand it.
Perhaps I'm an idealist with goals way bigger than can possibly be met, but I can't stop. Not now. Is it childish to believe the impossible is still possible and every hope that's been firmly planted in my heart is there for a reason? Maybe. And maybe it's my duty, to myself, to believe even if no one that crosses my path will. It's space I'm holding for me and no one else and that's been the hardest lesson of all. No one's convictions are strong enough to reach anyone else and if they are, that's not consenual pursual of mutual beliefs, but coercion if you really think about it. You can't make someone believe the best is yet to come and that happiness is one decision away. They have to believe for themselves.
And I do. I truly do. I believe that regardless of circumstances, life is an open playing field where lessons are to be learned, dreams are to be realized, love is to be given and returned and marks are to be made. If we submit to trusting the process, we are gifted the abilty to re-invent ourselves daily, becoming a better version of ourselves today than we were yesterday. Life is so incredibly, beautifully and breathtakingly precious. It's made to be lived and experienced, not survived and witnessed.
So each day, I'm holding space. For myself, For those I haven't yet met who will teach me something, for those I have and may circle back around to finish the business we started but abandoned and for those who have always been around and become more deeply woven into the fabric of my life's story one day at a time. For everything that has been and everything that will be. I've never been more aware of how important each day is, each decision, each opportunity and after many stumbles and downright, full on crashes, I'm picking myself back up, shaking off the dust and allowing the process to happen. To just....happen. Not easy, not comfortable and certainly not typical "Melissa" but necessary.
Who knows where it will lead?