Firstly, out of curiosity- what was your 1st thought when you read the heading ‘Surrender to your support?’. Whatever it was, just make note of it. The 1st time that title popped into my head as the title for a blog, I felt my throat tighten and my body clench up. The word ‘surrender’ hit a nerve deep within me and I didn’t like it.
Earlier, I had been listening to a teaching from my spiritual teacher and she had been speaking about support and our ability as women, to receive it. It was an uncomfortable lesson to listen to because it resonated with me. As women, we have been raised and told from the time we were tiny people to look after others, don’t be greedy, don’t be selfish, don’t get too big for your boots, don’t ask for too much, be a good girl etc. We were taught to share, to care, to love and to give. All of that is wonderful and beautiful except, we were never thought how to receive. We were never taught how to accept kindness, compliments, support, help. We were never thought how to honour that within ourselves as well.
So, what does that look like as grown up women in today’s world?
It looks like loneliness.
Every day, I meet with or read emails from women all over Ireland and beyond. Women who are craving connection, truth, to be themselves, freedom, to go after their big dreams, women who are living a life or feeling stuck in a relationship or job that they know is not right for them but yet they stay there. Often, it’s because their confidence has taken a hit and they feel like they’re on their own. That is the perception but the truth is that often, they are surrounded by support but don’t know how to receive it.
I’ve been doing this work for 6 years now and I wish that I could weave a thread through all of these stories, to join them up so that these women know that they are connected to each other, that they are not alone or isolated. We have become so fearful of what others may think of us if they know how crappy we feel inside; so we stay silent.
Surrender to your support….
Imagine speaking truthfully, openly and honestly when you’re having a low time. Imagine saying to the people who are around you ‘I need you to carry me today’ and then surrendering yourself to the support all around you. Saying yes to that cup of tea, allowing yourself to rest and put your feet up, giving yourself permission to do nothing except let others take care of you.
Often we really don’t think we can but I would urge you to challenge that assumption. If a friend, a parent, a child, a sister, a stranger even looked you in the eye and said ‘I’m having a rough time, I’m feeling really low- can I lean on you today?‘- how would you respond? Would your heart open to that person or would it close? Would you step forward or step away?
I think I know what the answer would be for the situation above and I’m curious- would you have the courage to be the one to ask for support? What needs to happen for you to allow yourself to be held? What needs to happen for you to allow yourself receive (without guilt!)? What needs to change within you? Do you need to feel worthy of support? Do you need to learn to see your own support?
I want to share with you an exercise I’m practicing, which has already had a huge impact on my life……….
Take a few minutes, either in your mind or with a pen and paper and start thinking about or listing everyone in your life who has supported you/encouraged you/rallied for you/stood up for you/looked out for you/got your back… just think of all of those people from the time you were a teeny tot up to present day. I’m a visual person so I start to picture all of these people around me- from my parents, my sister, my husband, to my cousins, my friends, my clients, my 6th class primary school teacher, my dean in college, the staff in the hospice when my Mam was ill, my neighbours, my pets and it goes on and on.
Whenever I need to now, I picture them all in my head and heart and I call them in. If I’m about to do something scary and if I need someone to lean on- I see them all around me and I surrender to that support. It gives me courage, makes me feel stronger (and incredibly grateful) and it teaches me to be supported. That helps give me the courage to ask for help in the real world when I physically need it.
Practice in real life….
I wrote this blog on Sunday afternoon as far as the last sentence above; then on Sunday evening I was so ill. I had been at a women’s circle in Bray, had a headache for most of the evening and on the journey back, I knew I was just holding myself together until I got home. My dad was at my house, he had been minding my little girl, I walked through the door and then I locked myself into the bathroom. I was violently ill, cold, shaking, light headed.
I text my Dad saying I was sick and didn’t want to go near Sarah, he said ‘no problem’. I text my husband asking if he could come home from work early, then do. Normally, I would never do that, no matter what I needed. I made it upstairs and lay on the bathroom floor. 10 minutes later Colm was home, I was being looked after, brought to bed, nurtured and Sarah was looked after downstairs. The universe was testing me…. and reminding me to surrender to my support and I did.