Have you seen any? Have you reached out to them?
Perhaps you feel that “it’s no big deal” and you can handle things on your own. Or that the offer is made with strings attached–strings that you can’t handle or would rather not deal with. Do you think the person offering has ulterior motives? Maybe you’re afraid of letting someone else see you in a vulnerable state?
Let’s look at it closely. Maybe your’e right–that this is not a situation where you can feel comfortable accepting help. But everyone needs support. We all need a place to vent about our spouses and children that are not our spouse and children. People who can lift you up when you’re down, and carry you when you’re out. Those who understand that your tiny victories are still victories–and celebrate them with you. Friends who can encourage you in positive ways while gently giving you “reality” when you need it. We all need people who are FOR us, not just WITH us.
When I relocated halfway across the country a little more than two years ago, I left my lifelong “community” to a very blank slate. My new community was populated with whomever crossed my path. Thankfully, many of them were wonderful. But about a year after my move, I still felt like I had no real support network. I realized that I had not consciously chosen the people that were in my life. For a while, I sat back and thought about the people in my life. Who did I want to share my time with? Who did I want influencing my children or offering advice on my marital concerns? Who could laugh easily with me? Who saw good in me? And for me, personally, it was important to understand who trusted me enough to open up and share THEIR life with ME, too. Who would become my inner circle?
Next I had to go about pruning and fertilizing relationships. Some people I needed to draw closer. Some needed to be removed completely. A few needed some space. But then I had to approach new people with a more watchful eye to ensure that I knew someone well enough to know how much of my life and time they should be offered. Both my husband and I set about actively creating our community. Along the way, we realized that “back home”, we had far more people who were WITH us than FOR us… which helped lessen the longing for returning there. Within our new support structure, we find it easier to accept the extended hand. We know that it comes from love, and from people that will allow us into their lives enough to return the generosity. And it’s really wonderful.
Don’t misunderstand: I don’t mean that you shouldn’t involve yourself with people who live differently, believe different things or have differing opinions from you. We need those kinds of people in our lives to stretch us out of our comfort zone for growth sometimes, or to help us become strong in our own convictions by defending them if not changing them. But the manner in which those differences manifest between you and the other person may dictate how close you allow them to be in your life. I have people in my inner circle who have very different beliefs or opinions from me. But they respect me and are secure in their own decisions enough to allow me to be myself, and still offer what they have of themselves. They want me to be successful and happy even if we’re different. They’re not looking to argue. We have respectful discussions where each side might be passionate, but each side is heard and considered.
If you’re surrounded by a wonderful support network, that’s great. Be sure to feed those relationships. For those of us who are not, there is hope. It can be changed.
Are you ready for some change? Need some guidance? Do you need a support community? Whether it be a Jumpstart program, one-on-one coaching, group coaching or a distance program, let’s talk about what I have to help. It doesn’t cost anything to find out!