Please Hold Space for Yourself and Others

I’m writing this for the marginalised people, the people who are different, the people who face setbacks due to things completely out of their control, the people who have to try twice as hard to get half as much.

I’m also writing this for myself, as an Asian woman living in a foreign country for almost ten years.

Many of us have put so much effort into changing our circumstances, but still, we’re not immune to the injustice of the world. Bad things happen to us, yet we can’t really explain it or hold anyone accountable. We only have the doubt to bear that maybe we’re just not good enough or we deserve it all.

The world — and the advantaged — sell us the idea that everyone is equal; good things come to those who work hard; our future is determined by the things that we all have access to — isn’t it convenient to say?

At first, we agree with it because we want to believe it. We put ourselves out there and expect the outcomes we were promised. But then we learn it the hard way that our reality is different. We play by different rules and have unspoken obstacles. They ask us to lean in, hustle harder, or hack the system. I’ve seen many of us doing well; I’ve tried my part too, but I’m tired.

At this point, I have done what I could for myself. I’m in a good place, and I’m so grateful for it. But that doesn’t make me think I’m better than anyone. I remember where I came from. I understand what it’s like to be lonely and alone. I know failure, rejection, humiliation, loss, and pain, and I still carry those scars with me. Now and then, they get cut wide open like fresh wounds again.

See, even when we’re in a good place, we can still have low, horrendous moments, and in those moments, we seek empathy and redemption. We want someone to join us in the experience. We want that experience to be seen and understood. (It’s amazing that the internet allows us to share the parts of ourselves that are hard to make known normally.)

So I’m holding space for myself and others. I’m holding space for loneliness, failure, and darkness. I’m holding space for feeling rejected and dejected. It means that I don’t diminish my or your needs; I don’t undermine my or your feelings; I don’t downplay my or your struggles.

Our needs, feelings, and struggles are real and important, and they deserve to be acknowledged and shared with others.

Today, I’m sitting with you, right where you are. I’m asking for nothing. I just want you to be you — everything you are. I want to hear your perspective. I want to understand your thoughts. I want to feel what you feel.

Now, do the same for yourself.

It’s been enough. I don’t want to be in the dark anymore. I won’t rely on others to do the right things for me anymore. I’m done with lies and pretenses. I’m sick of adjusting myself for the sake of those who don’t give a shit about me. If I can’t see anyone like me ahead of me, I’ll lead the way — no problem.

Take space. Hold space. Own that space. Tell your truths, and keep going.

You’re not alone.

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