Holding Space for Everyone

Written by contributing blogger, Daniela Forte.

I have held space for everyone. Been doing it since I was a child. I didn’t realize this until recently when someone pointed it out.  I thought, “Shit, I’ve let everyone in!”  Were you a good person, you had a space, a bad person you had a space too.  Everyone had a freaking space in my life.

Let me preface this by saying, the bad people I made space for, I didn’t actually know were bad people in the beginning. They did however, show their red flags, some of these people came carrying boxes of red flags.  I didn’t want nor could I see it.

I’ve held space for the bad people because I wanted to believe they were good. It didn’t matter how much they showed me they weren’t, I believed they were until I absolutely couldn’t any longer. 

Here is what I can tell you about holding space for everyone.  Don’t.  Not everyone deserves a space in your life.  Not everyone gets a seat at your dinner table or gets to lay on your couch.  I have had to learn the hard way how holding space for everyone can do some serious damage in the long-run. 

When you hold space for everyone, there aren’t any boundaries.  You don’t discern between good and bad, because you have let absolutely everyone in.   You aren’t putting yourself first because you are allowing everyone to come into your space and mess things up or at the very least tell you what to do. 

Here is what I learned by holding space for everyone in my life:

I’ve met some really awesome people:  I have had the pleasure in the course of my life to meet some wonderful people.  These people may not have stayed long or they been in my wagon the full-length of my life.  But these people are memorable because they were kind, because they listened and because they cared. 

I’ve met some pretty shitty ones too:  I have also unfortunately met terrible people. People who have used me for my kindness, people who ridiculed me to my face and behind my back, people who have lied to me, people who have blamed me for things they have done.  People who have humiliated me and harassed me for no reason.  These people are no longer in my life nor will they ever be again. It wasn’t always easy to remove them, but it had to be done.

You will be grateful and regretful: You will be both at the same time or one over the other.  It all depends on how you look at it.  You will be grateful that you allowed space for some rocking people and terribly regretful that you wasted space on others. 

You will have wonderful moments: I have had some wonderful moments with both the good people and the bad people.  Some of these moments I wouldn’t have had if these people didn’t enter my life. Whether it was a long ride through the north end of town or it was talking to the late hours of the night or attending a hockey game or being treated to dinner.  These are the moments I won’t forget. 

You will meet people who think they know you better than you do: This can come when you have let people you have held space for dictate your decisions because you aren’t sure of your own.  What ends up happening here is that these same people tell you who you are.  At first, you think it’s great to have people in your life that know you so well, until they start to tell you who you are, rather than letting you be who you are.

Take the time to assess relationships, as first appearances (as many have said) can be misleading. Take time to let it grow and learn whether it is for you or not. And it’s ok to walk away. Not all people we meet are meant to stay in our lives forever. Fortunately and unfortunately.


image source – pixabay

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