“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” ~ Carl Jung
If the lesson you chose to learn in this lifetime was sovereignty, then the above quote is perfect for you. The journey to the self could be seen as the most pertinent and obligatory; it’s what we’re all essentially here to do. In accepting our uniqueness; our perfect imperfections and idiosyncratic edges, we feed back to the Source.
But how can we hope to gather up this microcosm of chaos and ever hope to untangle it? How can we filter through the various star systems of our individual universe and weave them into something that resembles sense, or even beauty?
What is the meaning of holding space for yourself?
To just be is, of course, infinite wisdom. But to many of us that may not be enough of an explanation. Letting go is a frightening thing to comprehend, precisely because it may lead us in directions we’d prefer not to go.
Abraham Hicks said that going from here to there (where we want to get to) is usually too much of a jump, and that is why when we ask for guidance on what to do, we usually receive an answer that surprises us.
For example, if we have been simmering in deep depression and the resistance of home truths for eons, the next step closer to the acceptance of ourselves would be to embrace honesty; to accept reality for what it truly is. And with that honesty may come anger.
Thick, boiling, surging anger that scourges us from the depths of our bellies. It’s no wonder then that some of us would prefer to stay where we are, thank you. We must hold space for ourselves. If we have learnt as children to avoid our truth at all costs, then this will be tricky. The rest of the world may even scoff at us. Come on! – it’ll say – how difficult do you have to make it?! – just be yourself.
To a neglected, scorned or ridiculed child, to do so is a life journey in itself. It would be the same with ‘just trusting’ others. When your caregivers have abused your trust and had a punishment cooking for you behind that simpering smile, then you’ll never trust a smile again.
That is why, in a way, we must shut out everyone else’s opinions and just be. Holding space for ourselves means accepting every emotion and block in the road we come up against.
Here are three easy steps to holding space for yourself :
Acknowledge that you have these feelings. Even if you have no clue as to where they’ve emerged from, avoid analysis and simply accept and acknowledge their existence.
As stated above, this means not taking on anyone else’s opinion about those feelings. In this way we become the parent we never had. If we lacked an understanding ear who did just that for us; acknowledged our inner world without judging it or trying to change it, then we need to create that for ourselves now.
And that’s why we chose to have parents unable to carry out their purpose correctly, so we could learn how to do it ourselves. In this way, they gave us a gift, and this was probably all agreed in our soul contracts before we came into this incarnation.
Time to and for yourself
Giving time to yourself doesn’t only mean an hour to have a soak in the bath or a daily treat to ourselves in some form or another. It also means recognizing that after big life events and changes you will need time to adjust and recover.
Often we’re so impatient to get the ball rolling again we step in too quick and beat ourselves up for not pulling our socks up fast enough. It also means recognizing that each day is not like the other.
And as Don Miguel Ruiz says in The Four Agreements, our best will not always be the same. If we’re tired, ill or generally overstretched then we can’t expect ourselves to perform miracles. And that’s OK.
The Importance of Taking Time for Yourself
If our reality when we were young was less than enjoyable (i.e bloody awful), then we may have escaped that reality by isolating ourselves from others. This may have been a physical action such as shutting ourselves in our rooms, but it also may have been through other means, such as daydreaming, becoming detached (especially when conflict or extreme emotions came knocking) or fantasizing.
The danger with this, is the pursuit of pleasure through external means such as entertainment (books, films selling us imagined perfection) which leads to the projection of an impossibly perfect life in the future.
This of course means you’re never good enough for yourself, unless you become famous, fly around the world twice and write ten bestsellers by the time you’re thirty.
Notice when you ‘go unconscious’ in addictive behaviours. This may be food comas, impulsive shopping, watching a box set, washing up etc. If everything you engage in is designed to distract you from your reality, then how can you begin to heal?
Hold space for yourself by noticing your habits. This is why meditation is wonderful. Because even when you’re washing up, if you’re really miles away dreaming about your next holiday or perfect partner, then you’re not owning and holding that space.
Make it the biggest favour you can do for yourself, and hold space for yourself. Every time you remember, bring yourself back to the now. Notice how you’re feeling and accept it. Ground yourself in the now by tuning in to sounds, sensations and emotions that are flowing through you. Love yourself deeply enough to treat yourself to every moment of your life. Or at least make that your aim.
You don’t need to understand the grander scheme of things. You just need to be.