“Show me a woman who can hold space for a man in real fear and vulnerability, and I’ll show you a woman who’s learned to embrace her own vulnerability and who doesn’t derive her power or status from that man. Show me a man who can sit with a woman in real fear and vulnerability and just hear her struggle without trying to fix it or give advice, and I’ll show you a man who’s comfortable with his own vulnerability and doesn’t derive his power from being Oz, the all-knowing and all-powerful.”
I remember hearing Brené Brown say this, in a podcast I listened to, and I remember how I pressed rewind, to listen to it a few more times, because the way she said it, the feeling behind the words she was using, was so strong, so powerful and with such longing. Longing for more of us to experience this, to simply be held, in a space of love, which is one of the most amazing experiences of life. Not to be fixed. Not to be told what to do. But simply held. In a space of love.
And I realize that sometimes, in a silence between two people, I am actually n o t being held. That silence rather the sign of a man not knowing how to fix, how to advice; who cannot fathom saying “I don’t know what to do or say when you are so sad and upset. What do you need from me right now?” and hence, simply refrain from doing anything. That place, that space, is not a space of love, trust me. That is a man not comfortable in his own vulnerability, and the feeling behind the non-spoken words reveal that all to clearly.
But am I that woman?
Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
And often – how weird is this? – I wonder if I am not that man, instead: trying to fix, giving advice. Wanting to h e l p, wanting to get someone out of a muddle… Even when it’s not my muddle, not my action to take, not my responsibility to do anything but simply be there, holding a space of love. I’m practicing though. Practicing holding space for both men and women in real fear and vulnerability, without me having to assert power and status, without me fixing the issue or giving advice how to… Simply holding space. Nothing more, nothing less, and yet, speaking from personal experience, it is somehow the grandest there is. Being held in a space of love is the finest gift we can give each other. And, unfortunately, all too rare.
#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 20 of 100.
The book “Rising strong” by Brené Brown.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.