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holding space for suffering wi veterans chamber of commerce blog

Holding Space for Someone Who is Suffering

By Tracy Thaden, Guest Contributor

Last Friday, my 24-year-old son called me saying he was very worried, and he didn’t know what to do. He was in a lot of pain, had Googled his symptoms and thought he had appendicitis.  I told him to get to the ER and I would meet him there.  

I hopped in the car and drove home quickly before taking the 20-mile trip to the hospital.  I started crying when I told my partner, Jim, what was going on.  I couldn’t help it; my boy was hurting!  Even though appendicitis is generally not life-threatening, I was worried. 

On the way to the hospital, I knew I had to change my energy from worried to supportive.  I needed to get out of my “Conditioned” self and into my “Authentic” self.  What does this mean?  Isn’t a Mom authentic when worried about her child?   Remember that energy follows thoughts and words.  Everything is connected!  

So, while I am worrying, I am projecting the energy onto my son that something bad will happen.  And as I worry, I have lowered my own vibration, by holding onto the drama and fear of thinking of the worst possible outcome for my son.

Once I recognized that I was in my Conditioned self, I could bring myself back to being a loving, supportive parent. I grounded and connected to the Divine energy. I took some slow deep breaths.  I adjusted my thoughts so I was sending loving and healing energy.  I wasn’t emotional anymore and I could think clearly again.  A key symptom of being in your conditioned self is being confused and not able to focus.  As a parent, I needed to be able to use my brain so I could talk to the Doctors and to my son without those unchecked emotions.

Luckily, after being transferred to another hospital and spending the night, the diagnosis was a psoas muscle hematoma instead of appendicitis.  As I write this, my son continues to improve.  Turns out his passion for competitive Paint Ball likely caused the injury. He remembers doing a “superman” dive onto the hard dirt about a month ago that was the likely cause of the muscle hematoma. 

holding room for someone who is suffering wisconsin veterans chamber of commerce blog

My son and I are lucky in that he is quickly recovering from his injury and it is nothing serious.   Many of us are not so lucky and our loved ones are facing cancer diagnoses, chronic physical or mental illness and pending death.  It serves us well as the supportive family member or friend to be able to “hold our seat” during these traumatic times.  This doesn’t mean that we lack emotion or compassion.  By staying grounded and connected to the Divine, we are better able to support our loved ones with unconditional love.  Our emotions won’t overtake our brains.  We can think clearly and competently. 

By keeping our vibrations high, we can better handle the situation from a place of stability.  To be sure, tears will come, but we will cry from a place of love rather than from a place of fear.

Tracy Thaden Wise Oak Shamanic Healing

Tracy Thaden has a Shamanic Healing Practice in Spring Green, WI. She specializes in helping her clients heal from trauma and teaches them tools that lessen the impact of PTSD on their day to day lives. 

She has offices in Spring Green and Madison, Wisconsin and has been doing healing sessions remotely via phone or video during Covid. 

Tracy enjoys spending time in nature, traveling, and tending to her vineyard. She has been making wine as a hobby for more than 20 years.  


Tracy Thaden | Wise Oak Shamanic Healing LLC | 608-807-8957 |