The Support System

It’s been a little while since my last post, and I must say I’m kind of proud of my upgraded homemaking skills. Just sitting here in my nice, clean home, with lasagna baking in the oven, I think I may even be starting to enjoy it!

Since that time, I’ve also been working to prioritize the rest of my life. I’ve realized that relying on my superhuman ability to get things done at the very last minute – or with minimal effort – is starting to fail me.

So fortunately, I’ve had my secret weapon to turn to. It’s always there to kick my tail into shape whenever I need to focus on what’s really important. What is it, you ask? Well, my secret weapon is my support system.

And I happen to have a pretty good one. There have been times in my life when I didn’t think so, or I didn’t nurture it enough to make it good. But overall, I’ve been fairly lucky to grow alongside some pretty incredible people.

Just last weekend, for instance, I found myself venting my frustrations about work, and one of my best friends had to tell me about myself. Naturally, I wasn’t ready to hear her tell me that I needed to be more accountable and less entitled – after all, I write a blog about these things! But what kept me from jumping into automatic defense mode was who the words were coming from. This friend has always been a huge part of my support system, and probably knows me better than most. So I had no choice but to step outside my feelings, see the bigger picture, and open my heart to receive what I knew was constructive feedback. And you know what? It was a huge burst of motivation and a very necessary burst of humility. It’s been over a week, and I’m still tremendously grateful for it.

Now, had this commentary come from any ol’ random, it would’ve went in one ear and directly out the other. But it didn’t. It came from a credible source who genuinely wants to see me win. So, hard as it was, I took in every bit of it with the understanding that this kind of realness is a two-way street.

Because for a true support system to work, it’s absolutely crucial that both parties feel safe. And creating an environment of safety only comes from honesty and vulnerability. When we hide parts of ourselves for shame or fear of judgment, we limit our potential for deep, long-lasting, and fulfilling relationships. And if I’ve learned anything about life and it’s purpose, it’s that the quality of our relationships are of supreme importance to our joy.

The other side of this, of course, is that not everyone is or wants to be our friend. This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. A few times. But the sooner we discover this, the happier we will be, which is why it’s our ultimate responsibility to be as discerning as possible with who we surround ourselves with. We get to pick and choose, and that selectivity can be a real gift if you know how to harness it.

So obviously, we can’t trust everybody. But we should be able to trust somebody. Life is hard enough, right? And to go it alone, with no one to keep us grounded or inspired or safe, just doesn’t seem worthwhile. We have to seek out those who will encourage us and who will be real with us, no matter how hard it may be. We have to value those who know that there’s growth on the other side of tension and discomfort.

And every once in a while, we have to take inventory of those in our support system, and let them know how appreciative we really are.

To all of you who support me, off and online, thank you. I sincerely appreciate you.

TTYS, b

 

 

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