The TRUTH About Giving Yourself Emotional Support
A long while ago, I made a pretty big, radical change in my life. It required that I stop doing a few things I’d been doing so I could start focusing on a few new things that were much more meaningful.
I am not trying to be vague, but the details truly aren’t important.
What I want to share is this: when I made this big change there were a few people who I had believed supported me unconditionally, but who were not able to roll with the changes.
Sadly, these relationships came to an end.
And, of course, it hurt. It even made me question whether or not I really wanted what was on the other side of this change.
But there was a BIG, JUICY, GIANT blessing of a lesson waiting for me. And it wasn’t one that I had expected.
It wasn’t about letting go of relationships that no longer serve me, or even accepting the fact that people have their own ‘stuff’. Those are great lessons, too.
This one was far better.
Recently, a Shrink Session client shared that she was enrolled in a supervised behavioral weight loss program (good for her). When she shared with her group that she had moved out of the obese range after losing 40 lbs (AMAZING!), her group members snickered and scowled.
Not a single high five.
The very group that was designed to support her transformation was unable to truly walk with her through the transformation that they supposedly supported.
Painful. Devastating, in fact.
You get the picture here, right? Perhaps you can relate.
You are finally ready to become the beautiful butterfly you have always known you were. Settling for feeling like crap is no longer an option.
You begin to change. You find some happiness (in your body, your job, your love life) and to your surprise, the comrades who were encouraging you to get off your butt and “do something” would now prefer that you sit your butt back down.
It ain’t easy.
And it’s confusing. Because how can someone love you one minute, but the minute you are ready to become a better version of yourself, they are not so sure?!
If you are in the process of becoming a butterfly and there are still some people who would like for you to stay a caterpillar: I want you to listen closely.
This is something I learned first-hand.
The first thing I want you to do is set up some SUPER clear boundaries. For yourself.
Someone you love treating you badly because you are becoming more of what you are meant to be? Simply not acceptable.
It’s cruel. And this might be a bit of an extreme stance, but I would go so far as to say that it’s abusive. It’s gross mistreatment.
Now, this does not give you an excuse to blare your “I am a victim!” alarm. On the contrary.
When you are undergoing transformation, your heart is still tender. Your confidence muscles are not fully formed.
When someone swoops in and gives you a look of disapproval during this time, you are not yet in a position to just let it roll off your back. More likely, this disapproving look can send you to the kitchen for a late night binge.
It can make you feel so guilty and so bad that you are tempted to crawl your way back into the cocoon, despite it being far too tiny for your big, beautiful energy.
Do not crawl back. Stand your ground!
There is nothing wrong with you. You are not overly sensitive.
You are smack dab in the middle of a transformation, and for gosh sakes you need support.
You need unwavering, unconditional, “I’m not going anywhere” kind of love during this time. And you deserve it.
But you must decide this for yourself. You must stand firmly in your power and say that this kind of unloving behavior is NOT acceptable.
It doesn’t mean you don’t love these people. You can love them while standing strong in your sense of self, while being clear with what you need right now.
You are allowed to draw very clear boundaries when you are trying to accomplish something great. Capisce?
Now here is where the BIG, JUICY, GIANT blessing of a lesson comes in.
The experience of NOT being supported when you need it most is TRULY an opportunity for you to grow your OWN UNWAVERING support for yourself.
It’s a chance to have a profound conversation that takes place between YOU and LIFE. It’s as if you are saying, “Hey, I want to change, I am willing to do the work.”
And Life is looking back at you saying, “Look. I am going to love you no matter what. BUT, realize that there are going to be some people who aren’t going to like this. You will have to be stronger than you think in order to do it. Are you sure?”
And this is your chance to respond, “Yes. I mean it. I am committed. To me. To my health. To my heart. To my life. No matter what. I am willing to shine. I am willing to grow. I trust that you will guide me to the right people and relationships. I trust you to support me on my path.”
It’s a powerful conversation. And YOU are the only one who can have it with yourself. This conversation between you and LIFE is the VERY conversation that will set your little cocoon on fire.
It will start a spinning, turning, and swirling motion in your heart. You will begin to twist and twirl over and over and over again. You will learn how to give yourself that unwavering support you SO deserve.
And the only result of this radical kind of self-love is that transformation you are longing for.
Before you know it, not only will the world reflect this support back to you in the form of people, relationships, opportunities and fulfillment, but you will have emerged as the beautiful butterfly you always knew you were.
But for goodness sake! Don’t glaze over this opportunity to give YOURSELF unwavering support, my dear.
It’s the kind of support that will help you to fly.
I would love to hear from you below. Are you in a position where you need to give yourself the support? Leave a comment below and share your story.
P.S. If you have a friend going through a transition right now, please go ahead and forward this along. You might just make someones day!