When you expand your heart beyond its normal boundaries you are able to incorporate the needs, concerns and even wounds of another, or an entire group of others. How can you do this without also afflicting yourself with the wounds that you have taken into the expanded space of your heart? To begin, you must understand that the purpose of creating an area of expansion around your heart is not to first and foremost offer to heal wounds that do not belong to you. If you are not engaged in attempting to heal others via your own recognizance you will avoid taking on their wounds. When you expand your heart and offer that space to others, what you are doing is creating a container where others can rest safely, knowing that here they will not meet with judgments or resistance. In this place, all the anguish associated with what they have done to others or what others have done to them is allowed to be and to expand, and to express in all its magnificent agony as it mutates, evolving to a new vibratory state or form. This is how holding space assists others to heal themselves.
You might ask how it is that the heart is able to 1) expand, and 2) bring others into that expansion. We are not speaking here of the physical heart per se, although this is indeed the locus from which the expansion moves outward. As you know, all form and the components that comprise form are vitally alive as dancing energy imbued with the life force of Creation. At its source, form is pure potential, and so has the capacity to be directed by intention. When you direct your intention at pure potential, suffusing its formless state with the content of your imagination, will and desire, you have caused a shift in its essential energy. You have now created an expansion into a specific identity that displays the attributes of your original intention. Of course, it takes practice and belief to truly achieve the results you seek. The point of this discussion is to illustrate that with the application of intention alone you can expand the energy of your heart as far from the starting position of the physical heart as you desire.
In the same way, you can direct this expanded energy to embrace those who seek solace and acceptance, bringing them in close to your own heart. In the meantime, your heart has opened itself to love so that you and everyone you hold space for are directly connected to Source. This is how you can maintain a holding space or container for others without debilitating or damaging yourself. It is not actually you doing the holding; it is Spirit in its aspect as Love. You have only volunteered to be the facilitator or link using your heart as the mechanism which connects you, and everyone you hold, to Source.
Offering your heart space to others has tremendous benefits not just for them, but especially for you. Consider the analogy of volunteering at a soup kitchen. You have direct access to all the ingredients that will make a substantial meal for the hungry: spices, vegetables, grains and proteins. As you chop and sauté, blending and cooking various foods into sauces and stews, it is incumbent on you as chef to sample portions of your meal as it progresses through its stages to completion. In this way, your service for the nurture of others has also nurtured you. The call to be of service comes first from service to self, a corollary of love of self. You cannot offer genuine service to others without first having offered it to yourself. It is imperative that you learn to hold space for yourself, for without having experienced deep self-love, your efforts on behalf of others – even those with the best of intentions – will be incomplete, similar to a soup that could have used more sautéed onions and salt. This is because you did not know enough to know how to take a soup from bland and mediocre to great. However, make note of this: as you surrender to your desire to be of service, you also open yourself to improving the quality of that service, and over time you will develop mastery of the forms that call to you. This is because you have expanded your capacity to understand firsthand what makes them delicious, and so you can deliver them from a solidly anchored holding space.
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