Take Time to Cleanse Your Mind
Often Cognitive Space is needed in times of high stress, but it depends on the person. Some will come running to cuddle, and others will distance themselves. It’s good to know which type of person you are with. The important part is to not internalize their stressful energy and make it into your own. Stress is amongst the most contagious of all energies. The channel connecting you to your partner can easily be intoxicated. Although you want to be there for your partner, you also need to protect your energy.
Thomas awakened and laid in bed. The curtains were closed, and the room was dark. Only one ray of sunlight was shining in. Thomas had been experiencing consistent bouts of mild depression. His boss was extremely demanding, and on top of that, they weren’t paying him enough. Suddenly his wife, Angela opens the curtains to let the sunshine through. Thomas grumbles, stands up and closes them again.
Angela was beginning to worry about Thomas. Every other day it seemed as if he was sad or angry, and each time he came to her for support. At first, she was happy to be strong someone he could lean on, but after a while, it began to affect her life. She noticed she was becoming tired, and irritable. She wasn’t performing that well at work because she was always worried about Thomas. She even dreaded coming home because she knew Thomas would be there exuding sadness and frustration.
Stress is a very peculiar energy. It seems to want company, and it’s incredibly powerful. I can walk into a room and immediately feel when another person is under stress. Stress places its hand around our hearts and tightens it little by little. It keeps our minds running in circles until we are tired and worn. So how on earth can you help your loved one when he/she is anxiety ridden? The stress belongs to the person who is generating it. If your loved one is having a hard time, the best thing you can do is hold space. Holding space means to be there for another person to confide in, create a place of safety for the other to express his/her feelings, and yet to not allow their energy into your body. Imagine Sarah is holding a large box. As Thomas is expressing his fears and concerns about work, those feelings and thoughts go directly into the box, instead of into Sarah’s body. After the conversation is over, Sarah closes the box, therefore, creating a clear boundary between her thoughts and Thomas’s.
Let’s say that Thomas continues to experience depression. Angela has an imperative decision to make. She has to decide how much energetic endurance she has to be able to effectively hold space for her partner. How long can she withstand the stress before it begins to affect her mind and body? It’s difficult to ask for cognitive space when your partner is suffering, but then again if two partners are suffering then, that doesn’t help either. My advice is to raise your awareness surrounding your ability to hold space. When you are feeling weak, communicate with your partner. Tell him/her that you want to continue to be there but you have to recharge your energy because you too have been feeling low. This may actually help your partner recover faster because he/she will be left alone to deal with the issues, rather than always depending on you to make things better.
Take the time to cleanse your mind, and Reclaim Your Energy!