Holding Space

These words never entered my “space” 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 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?



Silent confirmation of their worth.

Willingness to give up control.

Willingness to not be vested in the outcome.

Willingness to love,


The Count of Monte Cristo: Man’s Search for Happiness

Last night I had the pleasure of watching a live summers’ evening performance of “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

The Kadadl team says this: “The Count Of Monte Cristo’ is a novel written by Alexandre Dumas which follows the study of a betrayed human psyche.

The story revolves around the close study of the themes of justice, hope, mercy and vengeance. It follows the story of a person betrayed by his rival who ends up getting imprisoned wrongfully before gaining enough fortune to take his revenge”. –credit

“I don’t think man was meant to attain happiness so easily. Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it.”

Alexandre Dumas, ‘The Count Of Monte Cristo’.

Conquering happiness?

That sounds like such a battle to be had. It doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult. “Shouldn’t” happiness just flow? Those warm fuzzy feelings of joy that ooze up on us, when we feel satiated with food or we feel the comfort of a soft pillow and fluffy blanket.

Those are simple pleasures of life that we sometimes wouldn’t call happiness.

Happiness Must mean 'everything is going fine, I'm prospering and all my kids are safe and happy'. 

That might be my definition of happiness. But, when all of those things are ever-so-not-slightly out of my control; I need to find a different definition.

In ‘The Count”, the hero/ victim/ villain has no choice but to find happiness in a stone cell, isolated and alone. He finds God through a fellow prisoner who digs his way into his cell. This elderly man almost seems like an illusion at times, in order to achieve some sense of sanity to the main characters dire circumstances. Whether the old man/wizard real or not, he is definitely Donte’s ticket to happiness.

What is our ticket? Where can we find our golden ticket?

Searching, yearning, and pining for happiness is a bit like a country song from when I was a teenager:

“Lookin’ for traces of what I’m dreaming of”….

These bits of happiness we seek, are already all around us, but we are unable to see them.

If we are constantly waiting for “our ship to come in”, we gonna-be-stranded-on-the-shore in our self-induced prison of misery. Expectations are killers in relationships, so are expectations of what our life “should” look like.

We “shouldn’t” SHUD-ON other people, so don’t SHUD-ON yourself.

Donte` probably didn’t pray or wish for an old man to pop up out of the ground to save him, but he might have made peace with his circumstances enough to create the space for the solution to seep in and envelope him in hope.

Holding space for others, is a gift to ourselves to practice 'the pause'.