When I am holding a client or a friend, I often feel like my job is to just BE there for them, to receive them just as they are, to “witness” them. Witness is the receiving of ourselves by another, where we are seen completely in our goodness. It is what a great therapist, healer, mother does when they are at the height of their powers. It is not so much what we say, but the essence of our way of being with another. When we are witnessed, we feel accepted, not judged, with no need to do anything earn another’s approval. Our emotions are not judged. We are seen by the other even when we feel lost to ourselves. They believe in us when we do not believe in ourselves. Our vulnerability is received without judgement. They are inspired to champion us even when we are in our greatest pain. The internalization of this view of ourselves is the essence of self-love…no need to escape ourselves, no matter what.