The article in our Fall News was about Holding Space for others by walking alongside them when needed with openness and non-judgment and offering compassion.
In order to really be present and helpful, there may be a need to look at how we show up and engage with others. If we are the ones needing space held for us, are we able to receive what is being offered?
Brene’ Brown defines connection as, “The energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
What is human connection?
It is a deep bond that is formed between people when they feel seen and valued. During an authentic human connection, people exchange positive energy with one another and build trust. Human connection makes you feel heard and understood and gives you a sense of belonging.
Desiring connection is our true nature. Part of what it means to be made in God’s image is our capacity for connectedness. What happens between you and another person is never merely human-to-human interaction. The Spirit longs to be powerfully at work in every encounter.
What is healthy connection?
Healthy relationships involve honesty, trust, respect and open communication between partners and they take effort and compromise from both people. There is no imbalance of power. Partners respect each other’s independence, can make their own decisions without fear of retribution or retaliation, and share decisions.
When looking at a relationship it includes the two people AND the Space Between them. The Space Between is an energy that flows back and forth between you and the other person. And it’s “the way two people care for the Space Between that determines the quality of their relationship.” – Harville Hendrix
We have two choices; we can make the Space Between either safe or dangerous. If the Space Between is safe, connecting will be maintained or restored. The relationship will thrive. If it is dangerous, we will instinctively feel defensive to protect ourselves. Do you feel drained or uplifted when you are with certain people? Do you speak up or shut down? Do you look forward to being with this person or dread that encounter? There may be resistance or difficulty communicating. Do others feel safe with you?
“The between in every relationship is composed of what you can see and what you cannot see, of what you know and what you do not know. Because so much of our functioning is unconscious, what we can’t see and know is just as important as what we can see and know.
What you don’t like in yourself, you tend to project onto others, with the most on-target projections aimed at your partner. “In order to continue to relate to the parts of yourself that are missing, you project them onto your partner and relate to them in that form. You can experience the disapproval and dislike you have for yourself by disapproving and disliking those same things in your partner.” – Harville Hendrix
Alongside mental and emotional balance in a healthy connection or relationship, there are also physical advantages. “There is significant evidence that social support and feeling connected can help people maintain a healthy body mass index, control blood sugars, improve cancer survival, decrease cardiovascular mortality, decrease depressive symptoms, mitigate posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and improve overall mental health.” –American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Sometimes it may not be easy or obvious that there is something off or unhealthy between you and someone but there may be a sense or knowing that something is not right; improvement is needed. Holistic Counseling with Simply Grace is definitely beneficial for uncovering, clearing and balancing that energetic Space Between.