It’s clear that inviting emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological support into your life is essential. It’s kind of common sense that we all need support from others. But science backs this up too. As humans, we are relational creatures that need the support of community in order to feel balanced and healthy.
Yet, there is a belief that I have observed over and over again in my clients--myself included, at times--where we think that when it comes to our own self-care, we are on our own.
Usually a high degree of fear and shame drives this belief. Many people are embarrassed by the fact that they need or want help. Asking for and receiving help from others in our society is often seen as a sign of weakness. And we are trained that if we get help, we are giving our power away to another person in a position of authority.
Asking for support from others has nothing to do with handing over your own sense of authority.
I believe it’s just the opposite. When we rely on others—both professionally and personally—we discover a new strength. This strength comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable and willing to be transparent in a way you never have before. This takes courage, strength, and flexibility. Hardly the traits of a disempowered person.
By taking charge of your growth in this way, you become more adept at knowing which reflections, comments, and ideas resonate with you. When you are able to stay connected to yourself while receiving someone else’s help you can also let go of anything that just doesn't make sense or support your growth.
In this way, you become your own authority, even though you are working with a professional in a position of authority who can help you.
Having professionals on your team of support is critical since they not only offer the expertise from years of training, but they bring the experience of practicing their healing art every day to the table. Their skills, perspectives, and depth of experience is irreplaceable.
Recognizing the value of their support and then asking for it is a huge step on the healing journey. It’s actually very empowering.
When the timing is right and you feel inspired to get help, you become the creative force in charge of your journey of health and growth.
Going to a healthcare professional means that you are hiring them to support you directly as your consultant. Only you know who and what brings you alive.
As your self-care abilities grow stronger, you will begin to trust the professional support in your life more and more. You will know how to ask for feedback and treatments that will be helpful to you. You will recognize that you are in charge and ultimately know best.
Having discernment and self-respect about who you are and where you are on your health journey is important as you share your vulnerabilities with those that you invite onto your team.
Choose people for your team—whether professionals, peers, or family—who have the capacity to hold all of you. This includes your darkness and your light.
They should embrace your complexity, nuance, ups and downs, while also practicing love, gentleness, compassion, and challenge.