He makes me the happiest person in the world. The thought of him is like a beam of sunshine that warms me from within. He always makes me smile.
People call it "being in love." Science says it's the work of dopamine in our brains.
But when I came across this beautiful article, I realized he is more than love and dopamine: He holds space for me.
Holding space means you're willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey he or she is on. You don't judge or make the person feel inadequate. You don't try to "fix" this person.
Here are the ways in which my man holds space for me in my relationship:
1. Space To Love
The first time I met him was during a blind date at a coffee shop. Our conversation flowed easily, and I felt as if I'd known him for a long, long time.
I was surprised he had such a big heart, and that he received everything I said without judgement or ego. During that first encounter, I told him about meditation, spirituality and energy. I was glad I didn't scare him away.
It wasn't love at first sight, but deep down, I knew he was special. I could be my truest self around him. With him, falling in love was free and effortless. I knew my heart would be safe with him.
2. Space To Be Myself
He runs numbers and I act on intuition. I stick my tongue out in the rain, and he brings an umbrella when the sky gets cloudy. But we found common ground. We honor our differences and complement one another.
In that space, I can express myself freely without worrying what I say or how I look. He sees through all my external layers to understand my values, beliefs and the essence of what makes me "me."
It is OK to talk about happiness, fear and regrets. It's also OK to sit together and do nothing. It's OK to watch a documentary on date night. In that space, we are present and appreciate one another. We choose to enroll in each other's life.
He makes me feel proud to be myself.
3. Space To Fall Apart
I love that I can share my worries with him. I don't have everything figured out, and he gets that. He wouldn't tell me what to do, but he will offer me guidance if I ask for it.
He holds space where I can fall apart. Because of this, I have the strength and faith to do the hard things in life. Because of him, uncertainties become less scary. Challenges become exciting.
4. Space To Dream And Grow
When I decided I wanted to write a book, the idea sounded far-fetched and unrealistic, even to me. But when I told him about my vision for a book, he smiled while he listened. In his eyes, I saw blessing and encouragement. That was all I needed from him.
Instead of trying to fix my dream, he holds space for me to follow my intuition. That empowers me with the courage I need to get started.
5. Space For Happiness
We weren't doing anything. We were just sitting together. But I suddenly thought, "I feel so happy right here, right now."
I realized I didn't need exquisite food, expensive wine or an exotic destination to achieve happiness. Happiness comes from within, when we connect deeply with the right person. In a relationship, this space is unique to us.
When we are filled with happiness and positive energy, we have more to give the other people in our lives.
Holding space is a commitment that transcends both love and the "feel good" effect of dopamine. It's easy to love when life is good. But when you're faced with a broken soul, it requires wisdom and courage to hold space for someone.
If you have a partner who holds space for you in your life, be grateful. Cherish your partner.