Discomfort can be a way the body registers stress and the need to grow and change. It can signal the need to act differently. It can be the call to change or connect with the changes going on around us. It can be a plea to listen and pay attention more carefully. It can herald new beginnings.
As a mother, a woman, a friend and a daughter, the most difficult times for me to let discomfort be a servant, is when my discomfort is signaling a loved one's discomfort. My immediate reaction is to help, to make it better, to make the pain go away for them. I have learned to no longer react to this instant inner response.
My path to changing this pattern and creating a new way of interacting first took hold when I practiced the agreement "No Advice Giving" at our women's center. No advice giving embodies the belief that each of us holds our own best wisdom and advice internally, that we are brilliant - inherently smart enough to know what we need. We simply need a space to connect to that inner wise one. We can learn to provide that space for others. It's a different way of supporting that releases the knee jerk reaction of rescuing.
Being a sacred space holder for another is a high act of service and wisdom. It requires doing your own work so you can get out of another's way of growing well. It requires adopting new beliefs about what really helps others when they are stressed and in need. It means you become skillful at sitting with discomfort yourself and wondering about it before instantly making it go away or distracting yourself from it. All this helps you return to the childlike curiosity of a fresh mind. It's quite liberating when you experience "being a sacred space holder".
The next time you have the urge to rescue another, take a breath. Notice the urge. Don't act on it. Begin to wonder, what does this person want? How might their discomfort serve them if I can hold space for them and encourage them to explore their discomfort more deeply? What in me needs support or growth so that I no longer "need" to rescue?
If this posting speaks to your heart, take a look at my newly released book, Courageous Woman, Live Your Inner Power. The book is a full dive into new ways of considering how to connect with yourself and the world around you, a way to grow your capacity to be fully present to life, live powerfully and feel good!