How do we offer support, ask for support, and receive support?
Having the courage to ask for support is important. Even more powerful is knowing what kind of support you require, and asking for that. Which sometimes we don’t know, and that’s ok, but getting to know yourself and learning what type of support you desire and require is part of the journey. It can be different for different situations, or at different chapters of your life.
In this moment I desire silent strong support. In this moment I want physical support and comfort. Being specific, especially to the person who is trying to offer you support. Help them, guide them. And if you don’t know, communicate that. “I am struggling and I need some support. I don’t know what kind, or how it looks, are you open to supporting me with this.” It empowers the other person and opens you up to receive.
If I feel embarrassed or judgmental towards myself about asking for help or support I will focus on how much I love to support and be there for others. I think of times I have wanted to support someone and they have pushed me away. How good it can feel to hold space for someone, to comfort someone, to connect in that way. To know that we all have times of struggle and conflict. I would want someone to request support from me if they needed it, so I must do the same.
Now, when you are the one who is being requested of, listen to them. Listen to what they are requesting. If they are asking for silent strong support, do not sit there try to fix their problems and offer them feedback on their life. If they are asking for some tough love support, don’t sugar coat the truth. Be honest. Come from love, but always honor what they are requesting. And if you are unclear, ask. Get clear. If they are struggling with knowing where to start and don’t know what to ask for from you, offer a hug, start with some physical contact. And then just hold the space for them. That allows for them to open and be vulnerable. Just to sit and be, holding the space for them can create a safe place for them to breakdown and break open.
Now it’s time to receive that support. Sometimes people are challenged with receiving support because they have created a belief that it is a sign of weakness, or that they are unworthy, or that they don’t need anything from anyone. Receiving is an art. Something that I don’t believe comes naturally to many. So ask yourself, how can I be open to receive? How can I soften in thought, become more supple in my body, honor the unfolding of whatever unfolds, surrender and trust?
It’s a practice. Let’s practice support, giving, asking and receiving.