Your Story is Yours: Holding Space for Another's Healing
"Your wounds are your wisdom."
The above quote, coupled with one I read today on the instagram account of Sarah Petruno, "Turn the pain into power," has inspired this particular blog post.
I was recently attracted to a particular unfolding of events that triggered for me a reminder of past wounds, stories, and traumas.
Without going into too much detail (because it's irrelevant what exactly happened), I was invited and drawn to helping a family out. And I was thrilled to do it. Serving, offering my knowledge, and paying witness to another's growth and healing is beyond sacred to me. I am realizing more and more that it is a very large part of what makes my Spirit sing. I was honoured to step in.
What happened during the process of my aiding these individuals is that I was taken back to a time in my life when I very much experienced what they are experiencing now. Or, at least from my perspective that is what it felt like.
This triggering, this stepping back through the portal of my wounds into my past, was at first, startling.
After acknowledging that I perhaps still had some healing and letting go to do, I was reminded of something even more powerful:
The importance of boundaries, and respecting another's need to process their own story.
Sometimes, while swept up in the waves of compassion and empathy, I tend to re-live my own stories. I tend to view another's experiences through the lens of my own. I tend to paint their pictures with my paint, my passion, my colours.
Sometimes, when attempting to help another, fear slips in and I imagine them feeling all of the pain that I felt. I love so deeply, and my desire to help is so strong, that a protective mama tiger instinct is triggered.
Out of a deep want to protect, I smother the individual(s) I am trying to help with all of my perceptions, fears, and what I think is best for them in terms of healing.
This is perceived Love. And of course, it is human. It means well. It does.
But true healing comes when we are given the space and air to process our own stories. When we are supported in allowing the energy of our own feelings and emotions to surface and be witnessed. When we are empowered to decide what might be the best course of action and healing for ourselves. And that cannot happen when our support systems are busy re-living their own pain in the guise of being there for us.
We are One. We are linked. What I feel, ultimately ripples out and is experienced elsewhere. And vice versa.
We also came into these physical forms to experience life here in a way that allows us our own unique vibration of experiences, too. Which means that boundaries are important. Not boundaries in the sense that we are separate-- because that's an illusion. But boundaries in the sense that we are unique creatures.
That we all came to learn different lessons, at different times, and at different speeds.
That we are all on our own slightly different paths back to remembering our Oneness.
I've been reminded that my empathy is a powerful tool for staying sensitive to others' needs, feelings, and experiences. But that, ultimately, I must give space for them to process their own unfolding. Because though it may appear similar to mine, their wisdom can only be earned through processing and experiencing their stories in their own unique ways.
We cannot- nor are we meant to- "save" someone from their lessons in life.
What is perceived to be painful to us might very well be to them, but we have to trust that they're earning their wisdoms and growing their Soul.
Our empathy is power. On the other side of our pain is our power. Our wounds will reveal our wisdom, if we stay open to it.
Holding space for another to uncover their own wisdom can be difficult, but it is truly sacred work. And their is much wisdom for us as we bear witness, too.
Wishing you much compassion, open-hearted witnessing, and clarity.