I’ve been leading groups of women through healing and transformation for over seven years now, studying & learning from some of the most amazing teachers about what it takes for a group of people to feel safe, seen, and heard. And while I’ve seen life through thousands of different pairs of eyes, holding space is not a static thing. I learn volumes each time a new group comes together.
I’ve witnessed how sometimes we feel guilty sharing the joyous moments in our lives when we see others suffering.
I’ve seen how we feel the need to diminish our own experience because it may affect how someone else feels.
I’ve felt how scary it can be to be seen by others especially when it’s not picture perfect or pretty.
I know that when we feel messy, raw, angry, in grief, traumatized, betrayed, or deeply vulnerable that it can feel easier to stay hidden because we’re ashamed or don’t feel that others can hold the entirety of our experience.
Somewhere along the way, we convince ourselves it’s not ok to be “overly emotional” so rather than risk rocking the boat, we suffer in silence because it can feel too vulnerable to ask for what we truly need.
But what I’ve also seen is just how important it is for each of us to claim our seat at the table exactly as we are.
Like the individual spokes of a giant wheel or each ingredient in a flavorful soup, our experiences—whatever they may be—are a reminder of the various stages of life, each chapter a part of the never-ending life-death-rebirth cycle of all things.
What if sharing how & where we really are in a given moment doesn’t negate the experience of another, but offers instead a reminder that joy and hope can and will return for them too?
That anger when felt fully can lead to greater space within?
Or that grief and loss are necessary, honorable and beautiful parts of being alive and human, not something that makes us weak or self-pitying?
We each carry a piece of the puzzle.
At any given moment that puzzle will shift and change shape, but every piece is necessary for the complete picture to be formed.