How are you?
I mean, how are you really?
How often do we ask this question and how often do we answer with honesty and vulnerability? My space here is a place where I want to be 100% honest and authentic with you. I am a ‘feel it all’ type of person and it’s only in the past few years that I have embraced this as a gift and not a curse.
We are in the 5th month of 2022 and if I’m really honest, it’s been emotionally tough. 2022 has so far felt like an initiation.
Asking even more of me.
Asking me to grow beyond my growth edges.
Within my work, I hold space for others to be their full authentic selves which I adore doing and know I have a deep capacity for this work. It lights me up to see others witness their true selves and to honour what is. However, the universe has asked me to hold space for myself. Like never before. I’ve been to the deep depths of desolation during the early days of my trauma healing. Yet this year, I’ve needed to go deeper. To let go of holding space for others so that I can truly hold space for myself and the depth of my emotions.
At times I’ve questioned whether I am depressed because for weeks, I’ve felt like there’s no hope in my life despite having so much to be grateful for. Crying uncontrollably everyday. Feeling ‘stuck’ in emotions and not knowing what they mean - like I’m wading in treacle. Feeling unmotivated and uninspired even though I am passionate about my work. Feeling like I am at a very important intersection in my life and knowing that I need to put something down to become the next version of myself (I will share more when I can). To allow this shedding and releasing to happen organically to create space for what comes next. The unknown.
What I’ve come to realise is that I’m not depressed, I’m just human feeling the human experience. Society tells us that we shouldn’t feel sad, angry or hopeless but we have these range of emotions for a reason; to acknowledge and feel them. These emotions arise to tell us something - to have us witness a truth we are ignoring or denying. In the past few months, I have felt sad, helpless, hopeless, uninspired, unworthy, unsuccessful, self-doubt and so much more. Sometimes, we don’t have the language to fully describe how we feel let alone why we feel that way. Sometimes all we can do, is just let go of trying to change it and just sit in that space and feel it all. This is where we truly hold space for ourselves.
What does holding space for self mean?
For me, it has meant releasing judgement and expectation when I have felt unable to give my all to my work. To redefine what I believed ‘success’ meant which ultimately asked me to look at how I was pinning my self-worth upon this idea of success. To stop striving to be better and to allow myself to just be exactly as I am in this moment. To feel all I was feeling instead of bypassing and forcing what wasn’t there. I have been holding space for myself since February and it has been hard to fully be ‘here’ - to be present with myself. How can I truly hold space for others if I can’t do it for myself? The magic of an authentic space holder is the ability to walk the talk. To walk the path alongside you.
When we surrender to what is instead of forcing, that’s where the magic happens and the darkness turns into light. How can we truly know light if there isn’t darkness? Each day, the sun rises as the moon sets and the cycle continues. Why do we expect ourselves to only be the sunshine? What if instead of ‘holding it together’, we hold it, together. This is why I am so passionate about holding women’s circles - the ancient practice of women gathering to witness each other without judgement and expectation. To hold space for the darkness and to celebrate the light within each other.
I have recently attended a beautiful women’s circle in Worthing and it was magical to be held by the other women, exactly as I was in that moment. As part of the collective circle, I held space to witness the other women’s pain and joy. We can hold both. We need to hold both because both can co-exist. I plan to hold in-person women’s circles soon - if you are in West Sussex and want to be held in this way, express your interest in attending.
So, where am I now? Starting to feel like I am coming out of the abyss. There is still more to uncover and I know there is more for me to share here to become my full authentic self. I am still giving myself the time, space and grace to take each day as it comes. Permission to not have it all worked out. The reality is, most of us don’t because we don’t know the future. We can only take one step at a time and do what feels good in the moment. For now, I’m just taking baby steps and that’s more than enough. I am already enough.
I believe in sharing my struggles because I know how powerful it is to share for others to see and feel resonance within themselves. To feel seen and heard. I hope in some way this gives you permission to hold yourself where you are and for your own experience. If you don’t, then who will? It is a beautiful act to truly be able to hold space for yourself in the dark depths of the human experience. You are where you are for a reason. Are you willing to be honest with yourself and listen to why you feel how you feel without trying to change or resist it?
Note - this is not to dismiss clinical depression which is when unprocessed trauma/emotions are suppressed. I have experienced depression in my younger years and know all too well how hard it is to feel any hope when it feels like there’s a permanent black cloud over your head. Sometimes it is hard to discern if we are clinically depressed or in the depths of human emotion and experience. Seek help if you’re struggling - always reach out to someone.
You are important and you are loved.
For now, with love,