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. 

Agape Love

I’m embarrassed to say that I had never heard of it until a month ago. I have never been a huge studier of scripture. I recently heard some well- Bible versed women talking about it in a group. Just last night my son begged for it – in a way. He wants to be loved desperately in spite of his life choices right now.

So I thought I’d learn & share. Here’s what I found:

11 Practical ways to show agape love to anyone

November 5, 2019 

11 Practical Ways to Show Agape Love to Anyone with Free PDF Reminder

Have you ever asked yourself…

What is true love?

How do I truly love my boyfriend/husband?

How do I truly love my children?

How do I truly love my parents and siblings?

How do I truly love my friends and coworkers?

I know I’m supposed to love my enemies, but how do I really do that?

What does agape love mean?

Why is it such a big deal in 1 Corinthians 13?

I always heard about agape love in 1 Corinthians 13, but I wondered what it really is? What does it look like in real life? How should it manifest itself in my life?

Agape is one of the 4 Greek words used in the Bible. This is the “highest” form of love, the one that is always used for God. It is a self-sacrificing, unconditional love that does what is best for the object of their love, no matter how it hurts themselves or seems harsh to the object. It is not a feeling but an action, a decision of the will that leads to real actions. Like “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14), so is love. Love is shown by good works. What do these works look like on an everyday level for you and me?

1 Corinthians 13 actually gives us a blue print for how love acts and how it doesn’t act. My “Love is” series takes these practical descriptions and show what they mean in a contemporary setting. For example: “Love is patient” is shown in #3; “Love is not arrogant or rude” is shown in #1; and “Love does not envy or boast” is shown in #2. #4 will show that “Love is not irritable or resentful.”

I was going to list out different ways that this is shown in different relationships, but they really all come down to the same things:

  • Listen
  • respect differences
  • ask his opinion
  • be honest if there is a problem
  • pray for their spiritual growth
  • don’t make assumptions
  • don’t grumble about them behind their backs
  • be humble and teachable
  • forgive even if reconciliation isn’t possible
  • show affection that they like
  • do what’s best for them, even rebuke, as long as it’s done for their benefit and with gentleness

You can download the free PDF that answers these questions quickly and you can print out to refer to at any time!

This PDF is a fancy, colored one for use on devices:

Sample of PDF – How to Show Agape Love to Anyone

This PDF is a black-and-white one for easier printing, to place on your refrigerator or mirror:

I guess, as moms, we have this type of love naturally. Maybe that’s what separates Mom’s and Dad’s view of their child’s antics? Dad’s view it more conditional – fix it and them ill talk to you- type of response. Mom’s just love no matter what and then are reprimanded for not letting go.

The good news is, it’s all a process. As long as we are moving forward in Love, we can’t lose.

All Is Well

They asked a shaman:

“What is poison?
“Anything but what we need is poison.”
It can be power, laziness, food, ego, ambition, vanity, fear, anger, or whatever.

“What is fear?”
No acceptance of uncertainty.
If we accept uncertainty, it becomes adventure.

What is envy?

Not accepting the good in the other.

If we accept the good, it becomes inspiration.

What is anger?

Not acceptance of what is beyond our control.If we accept, it becomes tolerance.

What is hate?

Not accepting people as they are.

If we accept unconditionally, it becomes love. “