Holding Space

I don’t think I had even heard these words until a few years ago. Even then it took me a while to figure out what it meant. Is it like holding someone’s place in a long line to achieve a certain goal at the end (or is it the beginning?) of the line? Is it telling them “I want you to achieve the same reward as me, I want you here by my side?”

Or is just learning to shut out your inner desire to respond even when what they are saying or doing goes against everything you believe?

Is it standing in that gap where on one side evil is slinging its fiery darts in the darkness hoping to hit its vulnerable targets, and on the other side is the pure love of God who sees your loved one as a struggling soul capable of so much more?

We stand in this chasm, this gap of space; with tears running down our face, lost in our own tug of war. Being told to get out of the way of God’s work or on the other hand- to stop helping, stop doing, stop trying so hard. To us that means to stop caring, stop responding. Let them sink further until surely they come up begging and willing to do anything.

Except most times they don’t. You see, to have the characteristics and prime breeding ground for an addict to develop; you have to have the strength of steel.

To form steel, it gets reheated for whatever purpose it’s intended for then just before the final product, it is run under cold water so it can be polished and shiny for its debut.

The person who’s headed toward addiction is not a weak person. They have an iron grit so strong & beaming that it can’t help be noticed by the enemy due to the ability to stand out. They have talents and an incredible mind. They have a certain desire and need to be different. They might be seen as rebels or just compassionately committed to being “all in” on any project.

So, you see, society’s idea that addiction is a moral failure or a sign of weakness couldn’t be further from the truth.

So here we are. Standing in that space. Fighting not only the demons who now hold such power over our loved one; but fighting all of society that this effort is worth it. It’s worth more than the attention given to other projects, most seemingly far away. In that gap of darkened light, we want to scream. We do sometimes. We just want to be heard, seen. We want desperately for someone, everyone, to hold that space for us!

For us. So we can give up one of the fights that tear our soul. The fight to defend our position.

That same space that our addicts loved ones ask for.

The space of non-judgment. The space of not arguing for their choices. The space of just being there. In all of the addictions’ grimey mess. In its sadness. Its pain.

What would it take to get to that space?

Patience.

Grace.

Silent confirmation of their worth.

Willingness to give up control.

Willingness to not be vested in the outcome.

Willingness to love,

EVEN IF. 

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