Holding space and claiming one of your own

As we wrap up November and head straight into the holiday season, like many, I find myself contemplating the year and everything that’s happened. As one of my friends put it, it’s like hundreds of years of trauma and growth finally reached a climax in 2020, and we’ve been challenged to place life as we knew it on hold to face our personal and collective demons. You had plans in 2020? Yeah, think again. The Universe, Nature, God, Spirit—whichever you subscribe to—has other plans.

Personally, I faced a devastating heartbreak from the end of my most significant relationship, which I’m still grieving but am finally finding my own sense of real closure on. Amid these unpredictable times of prolonged, collective loss through financial hardship and instability, illness and death, catastrophic climate change, and divisive rhetoric, I find myself breathing through the act of holding space for myself and the jarring experiences and emotions we are all trying to grasp.

One of my friends asked me what it means to hold space. To me, holding space means to allow what is to just be—staying in the present and meeting yourself, others, and situations just as they are. For me, holding space means taking pauses, creating, with intention, a moment to receive and accept. None of it is passive, and it is an active and often emotionally taxing practice. In these times of strife, I find it to be more and more important for my own sense of groundedness and the interconnectedness that is written into our humanity. Holding space can feel like an act of defiance at times, but its intentions are anything but that. Just like the dormant season before the bloom of spring or the fire that initiates germination, holding space for what must be is a part of growth and new beginnings.

Hold space where and when you can—for yourself and for others. In times of physical isolation and when the world we once knew must transform, making room is where it begins.

Author: Marz

⪻ she | siya ⪼
I am a 1.5 generation Filipino-Chinese American immigrant, born in Makati and raised in Southern California. I write, paint, cook, express. Professionally, I am with a national nonprofit organization working on public health, behavioral health, and health justice issues. My background is in education, research, medicine, and health policy and law. Casually, I am a cat lady.
 Based in Los Angeles, California.

6 thoughts on “Holding space and claiming one of your own”

  1. I used to just chuckle when people would talk about 2020 like how much more can we take? Or what’s next? Until I was faced with amputating my right leg and read something you wrote like damn you 2020! I am starting to feel it is cursed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, I would’ve never thought that it would come to that. You looked so good last time I saw you, I was sure this was it. If anything, I’m glad the incident happened while you were resting and not in a more compromising situation. I hope that you are finally on the road to long-term recovery. I’m sure the uncertainty feels scary but you have so much love and support from me and all of your family and friends! Sending you the biggest hug!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. God I felt good too! It felt sturdy, and I was glad they hadn’t listened to me and amputated it. I am upset I was not in a more compromising situation! If it was going to break, I mean couldn’t it have been while doing something fun?! Thank you sooooo much! Much love!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hear you. Well, I guess you could look at it this way: you went all the way to the very “end” and now you won’t really have to wonder what the alternative would have been like. I get that amputations are life-changing and a point of no return, and having been a surgery resident physician, I understand why the internal prosthetic for #14 was preferred by your ortho. RE: compromising situations, I guess I worry that if you were doing something more fun, the damage could’ve been worse requiring an amputation of larger amounts of bone and tissue?! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’m just glad you’re well, haha. Keep me posted on your return! Xx


      3. Haha! True! I didn’t think of that! Yep, I moved in faith that they would fix it until I realize they cannot and this was the best option in my opinion. And I do get it too. This feels more like losing to a surgeon and they want to beat it, to fix it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ugh, that is an ugly feeling. I’m sure I’ll probably never know the frustration and heartbreak that comes with what you’ve experienced these last 10+ years. Just know that I’m here, ready for chismis and with new chicken/wing recipes, a 25-lb bag of rice, and hopefully larger containers!

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