We all hear the statement “if you really want to do something you will”, yet if we take a good look at our lives or the lives of others around us we can see that often we all need a little help or encouragement to actually do things that we want to do. Sometimes we hold back due to fear and sometimes we just need to know we have support, someone in our corner to be with us.
It’s incredibly easy to judge that people aren’t moving fast enough to reach their potential or to do things that are necessary. However we’re not inside their mind, dealing with whatever internal battle they face to get to where they want or need to be. Yet, if we all look at ourselves honestly, we would see times that we struggled to get to where we wanted to be and benefited from someone being there to help us out.
This is true in my life. Thinking back to leaving a bad situation and being so frightened. It was a choice I had to make and yet I’m not sure I would have made it without my mom and a few good friends who gave moral and emotional support during some hard months. It was absolutely the best decision for my life and I’m thankful every day for those who helped me during that transition. Then I think about when I decided to learn to rock climb (which is pretty intimidating when you’re scared of falling) and a few friends went with me to show me the ropes. Turns out that climbing is fun and falling can be too! Without someone I trusted holding that rope I might never have tried it. Then there’s that first “roller coaster” experience . Not the smaller ones that I did with family, but the first bigger one I did, when this swell fellow in my life stood in line with me, keeping me talking as my heart started racing and then had me open my eyes on the ride when I kept wanting to close them. I’ve started to enjoy that ride and a few others I never thought I would, even though part of me always wanted to. I can tell you, I had been by those same rides with other people, stood outside thinking about getting in line, but never would. It took a different level of trust in the man next to me and his belief in me for me to make it through the line and onto the ride.
While we have tremendous capacity to change and to handle life’s difficulties on our own, there is much greater ability to get through this wacky world if we have friendship, support, and love. Before we judge anyone else or ourselves for not doing something, it’s good to stop and think. To acknowledge that we do need others sometimes and that’s okay. It’s more than okay. Life without companionship would be boring and dark.
We live with mixed messages. The world telling us that we don’t need anyone and at the same time telling us that we do. It’s no wonder most people find it difficult to let anyone help them, especially when often the people who should be there for us aren’t. Personally, I think that some of the bravest acts any of us can perform are the ones of continuing to open up, to trust, and to admit we need support from others.
Our circle doesn’t need to be large, often a small circle is best. It is essential to have a circle though. The people who reach out to help us when we stumble and who celebrate when we achieve victory. The ones who give us reason to hope and believe, who show us love, and brighten our days.
All of this reminds me of the need to be patient with others and myself as we all have challenges that we don’t always speak of. I wonder how different the world would be if we could just look at people in our circle, let our guard down, and say… Hey, I could use some extra love or support right now… And then know that the person we say it to would follow through and give it. Even more so, I woke what would happen if we started readily offering support and love (even if the person doesn’t easily accept it) to people even when we don’t know if they are going through anything. Friends, most everyone is going through something. It might seem like they’re not, however in this world most of us are tired, work stress piles up, money issues plague people, and there are so many parts of our souls that easily grow weary. We can all use reminders that we matter to someone, that we can overcome obstacles, that we are loved.
This blog post has been floating in the rushing waters of my mind for weeks. I struggle with the need vs. don’t need of others. With this streak of independence that clashes with the realization that I don’t just need the support of my circle, but that I want it. I can live without it from a physical standpoint, but my soul is empty without it. Quite honestly, it also sucks to not give to others, to not have a circle to care for. There are studies that show that we’re creatures made for community. It’s embedded into us in ways we don’t fully comprehend. All I know is what I’ve studied and what I’ve learned from my own life experiences.My life is best when I’ve got a circle to care for and when I have a circle who cares for me.
If you do have a circle, make sure to let them know what they mean to you. We often assume they know, but they might not. We also tend to think that if we’ve let them know before that they don’t need to hear it again. The thing is, we never know when expressing appreciation might be the one thing to lift someone’s spirits or make their day.
If you don’t have a circle, my hope is that you create one. Even a tiny one. Speaking from experience, it’s a beautiful thing to create.
Thank you to anyone who is in my circle, without you my life would be lacking.