We all have times in our lives when everything seems to come crumbling down. If you haven’t experienced this feeling of your world falling down around you then I have to break the news to you that you’re either going to experience it, sometime in the future, or you’re not living big enough.
When we give our whole hearts to someone or something and it doesn’t work out as we expected it can feel like all meaning has slipped away. In those moments we need our support system to help . . . ya know, support us.
Today we live in a world where we can pretty much do everything ourselves. Instead of asking my friend to drive me to the airport I call an Uber. If I’m sick in bed I order take out. If I move I can hire some movers. If I’m depressed I can hire a coach. We can pretty much buy all the support we need.
And I’m not dissing it. This is an incredible thing. We have support in the world when we need it. We don’t have to burden our friends and family with our problems. Wait, that’s not exactly the message I’m getting at here.
But we do often view ourselves as a burden. We don’t tell people the truth about our feelings if they’re negative because we don’t want to bring them down. We’re terrified of rejection or worse–of losing the people in our lives–so we pretend that we’re all good. We handle it on our own. In my opinion, we’ve taken independence too far.
Human beings are wired for socialization, but we don’t often realize how much we need it until all the meaning in our lives seems to vanish and we find ourselves lost. Many people who experience depression or loss find themselves isolated leaving them in even more despair.
I’m not sure what would have happened to me if I didn’t have my incredible friends and family during my most recent breakup. I’ve always been a strong, independent person but just like everyone else, there are times in life when we crumble. I allowed myself to call my mom crying more times than I have in my entire life. She was always patient and loving and there. She never once made me feel like I was a burden.
Sometimes a loved one dies, sometimes we face deep trauma, and sometimes our lives are flipped upside down. In those moments, we need each other. In those moments, we have to feel safe enough in our relationships to reach out for help.
Yes, you can hire someone to help you through your darkest moments, and you probably should. I’m a big fan of hiring coaches, mentors, and healers who can support us on our journey. But a mentor can’t meet you to sit in the park on the mornings you find yourself helpless. A healer can’t curl up in bed with you, stroke your hair, and tell you that it’s ok.
Your support system could look like anything. It might be a group of five girlfriends, a mix of family and soul family, friends you’ve had for a lifetime or people who’ve just come into your life but feel so right. These relationships are incredibly important. We need them when we’re broken, but we also need them when we’re thriving. They are part of the foundation for the way we show up in the world.
We live in a time when we don’t rely on each other the way we used to. We feel guilty when we allow someone to do something for us so we incessantly thank them. Our gratitude comes from guilt instead of love. We’re afraid we’ll owe someone something if we allow them to give anything to us whether it be food, time, or energy.
It’s a good thing to be conscious of the energy flow in our relationships, but it’s entirely too common to shut ourselves down to others because we’re afraid we’re asking too much. True friendship makes itself known in these dark moments. When you need some deep soul love and your tribe can’t be there for you, even when you ask them, they are not your true tribe.
Not everyone in your life has to play this role for you, but you should have a few people you can lean on when you need to. Take a look at your life and ask yourself who has really shown up for you when you’ve needed them, who can you be truly vulnerable with, and who never bats an eye when you call on them more times than you feel comfortable.
These are your people. They are the ones who have big hearts and don’t expect anything in return. These relationships are with people you can truly show your cards with and feel no judgment in return.
These relationships do take work on our end. It means taking risks with those people and building that support before we need it. You need to develop your support system to create your safety net for the times when you fall.
It’s not a mechanical thing. You don’t do it for selfish reasons. You do it because support is beautiful and we should be there for one another. You do it so you can be there for others when they need you. You do it because there’s something deeply embedded in the fabric of humanity that is getting lost.
The connection, the love, the support of our tribes are one of the most beautiful things that make us human. We get to give love to each other when we feel loveless, and we get to receive that love when we need it ourselves.
Do you have a true support system in your life? Have you been there for people as much as you would like them to be there for you? Feel free to share a touching moment of support you received, in the comments below.