Have you ever been around someone who is attempting to hold the space, really consciously hold it? It can be tense. But “holding” of a space is not actually a holding—it’s the opposite. You make it inviting, so others want to really show up, be fully present, and everyone gets the most from your interaction.
No healing or true experience of joy can occur unless the space is safe. Even if your head is saying it is safe or should be safe, if your gut is tense, it’s not safe. True, the tension may be based on your experiences. But no matter where the tension comes from, you will be holding back.
You create a safe space by first fully accepting yourself and your experience, then accepting the person you are with. So rather than holding the space, you fill the space with acceptance, for yourself and anyone who comes in it.
To be authentic you need to push through the feelings of control. Then you need to deal with the other person’s resistance to spontaneity. It may be work. If you are like me, you often chose not to try.
Start experimenting with how much you can let go of control, expectations, fear, etc. Fill the space with acceptance so the other person can show up fully. To speed up the process, take it further by taking a risk. Share a feeling, make yourself vulnerable. Your risk shows the other person that you and the space are safe.
Observe how he or she relaxes and opens up. Observe what that does to you. Experience how your acceptance fills the space, holding a space of possibilities.
Whatever happens is ok. The shadow side of yourself, with its judgments, is just released making it safe for everyone.
Let us know how this works for you.