by Claudette Gadsden-Hrobak
There are times in our lives when we feel the need to hold space for a friend or loved one. When you hold space for someone, you walk with them through the valleys of their life and through to the peaks. There may be a particular circumstance or event that brings on this desire for us to protect them. Holding space is a wonderful gift to give.
More than a few of us at one time or another will “visit” the valleys of life. Please don’t make any of these valleys your life-long place of residence. The purpose of the visit is to teach us love, success, courage, understanding or any of a number of other principles that we must learn to move through to our next peak. In re-membering our personal visits, we may simply want to re-mind our friend or loved one that they are not alone. The emotional sustenance we provide could be a major part of the healing process. Most importantly, allow the person to determine how you can best serve them. No one knows you better than you and the same is true for everyone else. Whatever you decide to do, do it with love.
On the other side, there are times in our lives where we actually hamper the growth of our friends or loved ones. We decide that they should not go through the experiences in their life that are uncomfortable for us. Yes you can re-read the last sentence and let it register. It is our own discomfort that we usually act on rather than the discomfort of the person being affected.
I asked you not to make any valley your life-long place of residence, because there are people who do just that. That is their choice and that is okay. It is all right to extend your stay. We are all on our own paths to growth and we are all in a different place on that path. The valley of ‘understanding’ for me may be deeper and longer than it is for you, but I must still go through it to reach my peak.
If your friend or loved one is in a valley, allow them to tell you if and how they need help. When you are determined to shorten their visits because it is uncomfortable for you, what purpose are you really serving in their lives? I have had a few extended stays in the valleys during this lifetime. I did not enjoy them but chose to wallow in them just the same because they were familiar. Once I re-membered that I had a choice, I made the choice to learn as quickly as possible and move on. I understand the principles learned in the valley and most times the reason for the visit, however I find the peaks to be so much more enjoyable.
Iyanla Vanzant says, “Valleys are custom designed to teach you how to reach your highest potential – to be divine, prosperous, and in alignment with your highest and greatest good.”
Hold space, do not hamper growth. Allow your friends and loved ones to grow in their own time and their own space. Allow them to spend as much time as they need in the valleys of their life so that their peaks are as high as possible. They will thank you later.