The Power of Being Held
I’ve been thinking about the power of being held – how necessary it is for us to feel held securely by our mothers when we are children in order to develop and grow optimally.
If we didn’t feel securely and unconditionally held by the adults around us as kids, we may have internalized the belief that we have to “earn” love, that somehow we’re not lovable as we are. For those of us who have become accustomed to playing the role of the “holder” or emotional caretakers for others as adults, there is immense healing power in allowing ourselves to be held.
Ways we can hold ourselves
- Taking care of our bodies, looking after our needs for rest, healthy food and empowered movement
- Giving ourselves time to integrate our emotions, taking time to cry, journal, and celebrate ourselves
- Loving our inner child, cultivating that core relationship, being the sacred container for our child self to heal and grow
- Saying No to things that deplete or dishonor us
Ways we can be held by others
- Conversations in which we feel accurately seen and heard
- Moments of silence where we can simply “be” with another person
- Long hugs, holding hands, eye-gazing
- Receiving gifts and acts of generosity and kindness
- By thoughts of love or prayers/blessings sent our way
Ways we can be held by nature
- Floating peacefully in the sea or in a lake (see the photo of me floating above!)
- Laying out on the grass under the stars
- Closing your eyes and listening to the sound of the wind
- Feeling a breeze against your body
- Falling asleep to the sound of rain on the roof
Ways we can be held by a higher power
- Trusting life to bring us what we need when we need it
- Not pushing or forcing things but rather following the organic unfolding of things
- Acknowledging the gift of simply existing and what a miracle it is to be alive
- Rejoicing in the unfolding mystery of what it is to be a human being
Practice the power of being held
When we feel truly held, we feel increasingly safe in embodying who we truly are in the world and by virtue of that, bring more authenticity, joy, and depth to our families, friendships, and communities.
This inner safety is first built within us by honoring our own true feelings and needs.
With time, as we hold ourselves in that loving way, the outer world begins to shift and reflect that back to us by giving us more opportunities to feel deeply held and seen.
What I call “Inner mothering” is a practice of having compassion for ourselves no matter what comes our way, including things like being messy, feeling enraged, feeling confused, sad, and misunderstood.
When I was a kid feeling confused, cranky, or sad wasn’t really allowed. I was taught to always look happy, independent, and self-sufficient to get approval. For this reason, I’ve found it so healing and liberating as an adult to deeply embrace and hold myself when I feel confused, cranky, and sad. The places we felt most shamed and rejected as kids are the places that most need our own love. There is a kind of magic in reclaiming those aspects.
Inner mothering is a kind of compassionate “internal holding” that slowly builds that sturdy inner safety we didn’t get as kids. I have found that with a consistent inner mothering practice, a solid inner foundation develops that can hold deep pain AND profound joy and happiness. Our heart becomes more open, more vast, and also more discerning as well.
Compassion is like a superpower that helps us navigate these tough times on the planet with an open heart!
This summer, I invite you to set an intention to become more aware of your need to be held and to allow yourself to be held in new ways! Have fun with this!
What are some ways you can hold yourself today with love, compassion, and kindness today?
You deserve it. You are good, lovable, and uniquely special. Being human is not easy. I honor you and all the courageous steps you’ve taken on your human journey.