• Brett

Holding Space

Updated: Nov 29, 2018



photo courtesy of @bcimagines

Recently I have been working to identify & acknowledge my own personal growth - if there is any. Which turns out to be a lot harder to locate then I had hoped. Personal changes are incredibly powerful and freeing if you can stay committed to them and trust in the process of where they might lead. They are also painfully small and incremental. The trouble for me has become wanting change "right now" and wanting the differences to be more dramatic. I mean come on is it really so much to ask for a little fanfare to indicate we may have actually made some progress?

-I want change to look like a win, without knowing what a win would actually look like-

One problem is time. It takes years of slow decent, backsliding and behaviors you are unaware of to get to wherever you are today. Why would the journey towards anything better or at the very least different be any less time/effort or energy? It isn't, and even though any kind of better sounded unachievable I decided I wanted to try again.

-And it is entirely possible that this was less of a choice on my part then it was a past behavior that might just work out to allow change to happen after all-

You see, my life, where it is today is at a start of sorts. However, being at the beginning this time around felt less like an exciting start to a new adventure and more of a last gasp into final obscurity and isolation. But, there is a growing hope that I might be wrong and might actually be getting somewhere...slowly. Which is why I am seeking ways to identify and recognize progress over setbacks. I just struggle to see it.

-At the very least I want to be able to lean into and learn to "live" in this newly (slowly) developing life-

So with the help of a couple friends I don't deserve and the kindness, support and courage their world offers as a life line to me... I jump. Everyday since has been a pride swallowing, identity challenging, do more, think less, one step forward/three back, say yes, emotional rollercoaster kind of a thing. But all I could see or sense was that I was failing at the societal norms expected of me.

-Step one seemed to be just getting my head and heart around the fact that everything else, good & bad, was over. My life up to this point had to be over and I needed time to morn.

One thing I have to acknowledge up front is just how fortunate & lucky I am. Or maybe just dangerously close to being the person I believe is possible underneath the gunk. Maybe this is an environment where I can clear off some gunk and actually see what is left or what was there all along. There is a deeply felt gratitude and peace in being allowed to "discover" my life again. So much so that I know I will likely not be able to directly repay the debt of kindness, empathy, and true friendship it took.

-Don't underestimate the power of people just holding space for you. The simple act of being there in many cases without being there-

Whatever comes next would not and could not have come about under the circumstances I was living under. Nor could it have evolved on my own trying to recover my perspective. I didn't know what I wasn't seeing after all. And for the first time in a long while I believe there might be a next. Being too close to a thing or stuck in a rut of choices and behaviors is a spiral that does have an eject button. But you have to jam that stupid button pretty hard to unstick it. Many days I feel like the damn thing is broken and I am just wasting my time hitting the button like some stupid mobile game.

-It may end up I cannot see the changes going on, we seldom do. But I promise you this; the person you knew a little or a long while ago is gone. He or she always is-

So I will continue to work on a memoir of sorts. I started it to get stories out of my head and onto the page. Those pages have come to be story of hope, fun and love in spite of a lifelong battle with severe depression. No one will likely ever read it, but the action of crafting, writing and editing these stories, my stories, has allowed me to hear how I choose to tell the story of my life. And upon hearing how little I value myself at times and how at other times I simply exude who I am. It's time to stop telling one kind of story and tell more of the other.

-The story we tell ourselves & others is after all something we have some measure of control of. If we choose to be aware of it and are willing to reframe it-

Time to change the story...without changing the truth.