If you’ve ever taken a class with me, you know the impact Brene Brown has on my day to day interactions. One of the most amazing things she’s spoken about revolves around empathy and holding space. I think holding space for another person is often times when we as a society realize – we are broken. It’s scary. It’s hard. But it’s so rewarding.
My life took a sharp detour in 2012 and one thing I haven’t shared very often publically is that my darkest moments came after the death of my ex. It was only in his death that I realized how much in love with him I still was. And I really needed him to be honored. That revelation shaped much of what I did to honor him. While I wasn’t directly involved in his memorial service, I was the only one involved in the scattering of his ashes.
And I had an ally. My sister “T” was with me on that trip. She and I drove to the location that was calling my name, I told her where to meet me, and walked off alone. We met up on a park bench on the top of a mountain overlooking the ocean. To say I was an emotional wreck is the understatement of the century. I sat next to her. In complete silence. It was amazing. One of us would talk every few minutes but nothing was needed to be said. She understood in those moments that was my memorial. And I understood whatever I said or however I felt, I was safe with her.
Holding space is a theme that pops up frequently in my life. From holding space so a class can begin to work on deeper issues to holding space for friends. And today, the universe gave me the opportunity to hold space for a friend. And I really hope he felt it. My daily intention today was “to feel.” I didn’t’ know what it meant until I saw him. I felt him. I felt me. And bigger than the both of us, I felt human.
We are human. We all go through it. Imagine the darkest of moments you could ever face. And then imagine the hand of a friend reaching through for you. Empathy isn’t saying “yeah, that sucks.” Empathy is showing up, looking another person directly in the eyes and saying “holy shit, we got this.”
To my friend from today – I felt you. I saw you. I really hope you saw me. Our paths have crossed right here and right now. The universe knows what it’s doing. Aho!