When we are given the space to be our authentic selves, we blossom. When we ask for support and receive it, we flourish. The ideal scenario is to be surrounded in judgement-free environments every waking moment of each day—to walk out our doors and be greeted with love and compassion by everyone we meet. When I see someone fully engulfed in who they are, it reminds me to do the same. I consider it a message from Source to strip away what I’m told to be, and to reignite who I AM! Show all of your colors to the world and trust that they will be received by those that are meant to receive them. Your people are out there with open arms of unwavering support. Sometimes you just have to wade through static to get to them, but they’re there—waiting for you and all of your hues.
Adventuring Into Myself
I struggled in high school, like many teenagers do. I’d skip class regularly, only to return for drama class and lunch. The rules didn’t suit me, the things that were being taught bored me, and sitting still and being forced to focus made me want to crawl out of my skin. It was hard, and the school brushed me off as a typical “bad student”.
I was put in detention more times than I can count, until I was told if I missed one more day of school they’d take it out on my mom. My mom was a single mom, working two jobs just to get by, and most certainly couldn’t afford the $500 fine they’d slap her with if I skipped school one more time. Now I’m fully aware that refusing to go to school may sound ridiculous. Nobody likes high school, why did I make it so much harder than it needed to be? I don’t know, but what transpired from this time in my life shaped who I became as an adult.
Towards the end of my junior year, my mom sat me down and asked me all the right questions, and, with tears streaming, I was given the space to be honest and to feel heard. She wasn’t mad at me, she wanted to help me. I wasn’t getting reprimanded, I was being supported.
We had been informed of an alternative high school in my hometown called the “Adventure High School”; it was a school geared towards helping at-risk youth. She scheduled me for an interview and we waited to hear if I qualified. I did. I spent my senior year in high school among other students just like me! Our teacher (and founder of the school) based the curriculum on students finding what they were passionate about. We still had to complete the basic classes (ie: English, math) but for most of the day, we were encouraged to find what made us happy and to do just that. He would support any idea we came up with. Want to learn pottery? You got it—my teacher would bring in a potter to teach me. Photography? Sure—let’s create a dark room for you to learn how to process pictures. We’d go on three-day camping and hiking trips where he’d fully engulf us in Nature, reminding us of how huge the world is outside of ourselves. Always pushing us to think and grow outside of any box that society may have formed for us.
It was all magic. Every single bit of it. I was never asked to be anything other than what I was, and I was continuously reminded that I could be and do anything that I desired. My teacher helped me publish my first poem and inspired me to set the bar higher for myself. For my senior project, I put together an entire book of my poetry pieces and, while the book was quite juvenile, it planted a seed within me to add “publish a book” to my bucket list. Many years later, I did just that—self-published my very own book. This goes to show that the support I received from my teacher and my mom years prior stayed with me way into adulthood. This is also why I love to give support; I know that its gesture will not fade with time.
Receiving support goes beyond the moment that it is given. It stays with us, just as moments of not feeling supported stay with us. Ultimately, it’s what we do with these moments that pave paths. We can relish in the “ups” and heal the “downs,” because the truth is even when there isn’t a single soul around us to cheer us on or hold our hand, we’re still supported. Sometimes we just have to dig ourselves out, lift ourselves, replant the roots that ground us, and support ourselves.
Support Yourself: Balance
Ah, the ever-elusive life advice: Balance.
It’s made to sound so simple, isn’t it? For some it comes easier than it does for others, and what a blessing that can be. But when you’re juggling multiple jobs, school, and everyday life, that word can be a real punch in the gut. “Find Balance,” they say, as if it’s as easy as “child’s pose” in that yoga class you missed, yet again, this week.
We all want balance. Who wouldn’t want to find the perfect mix of personal time, family time, and work time? What I’ve come to find is that while the cliché can be annoying, the reality is really right-on. The best way that you can support yourself is to get clear on what you want to create for your life. When we bebop all over in unclear directions, we exhaust ourselves and never truly feel fulfilled. Can you bend a little this way so that you can offset the load in an area of your life that may be taking all the weight? There are ways to get what you want out of life, you just have to be willing to step up and ask for what you need—then you have to go get ‘em. My therapist once told me that mental teeter-tottering isn’t healthy—that I need to make choices to gain balance in my life without feeling pulled one way or another. We’re in the age of overbooking ourselves to feel accomplished. We give so much of ourselves away that we feel drained at the end of the day.
What if, instead, we make a decision? To ask so that we may receive? How can you support yourself in creating a more balanced life?
The idea behind choosing to get off of the teeter-totter is so that we can be the ones in control of where we put our energy, thus cultivating the life we want to live. Recently, I was presented with a decision to return to a job that I love dearly, but it didn’t necessarily fulfill what I believe to be my life purpose. So there I was, on the teeter-totter—not making a decision at all, just bouncing back and forth, unsure and anxious—and in one 45-minute session, my therapist laid it all out for me:
Therapist: “Do you love the job that was offered? Does it work with your lifestyle at the moment?”
Me: “So much—YES!!”
Therapist: “Then you already have your answer. Go back to that job, and find balance within it. Maybe this is your life purpose at the moment. Stop going back and forth, and choose!”
She guided me into supporting myself by encouraging me to find balance. I reached out to my boss and simply asked if I could work one day less per week, which would give me the time I needed to avoid burnout. Her reply? “Absolutely!”
Now, I’m aware that this response may not be typical. I am oozing with gratitude for the amazing human that is my boss, but what if it IS possible for you?
Support yourself—ask! If it doesn’t work, maybe you’re meant for something else?
In closing, I’d like to acknowledge that we can’t always do it all on our own. We need a hand to hold from time to time. It would be a disservice to not acknowledge the days that will come where you feel alone, unsupported, and scared. These days are as inevitable as the sunrise.
I ask that you grasp tightly onto the knowledge that these moments are fleeting and that they will pass. I ask that you let go of the untruth that you are not supported—because, sweet soul, you are always supported. From the angels surrounding you to the ground beneath your feet, you are a Divine Bright Light Being brought here to Earth to be a lighthouse of Love.
When you feel yourself slipping I beg you to reach out and get the support that you need. Resources are all around. I know that they can feel hard to find when you’re in the thick of it, so please—write down your outlets now (like legit right now, go). Make sure to add The Love Yourself Foundation to that list of support. We’re here to help, always.
About the Author
Born and raised in West Virginia, you'll find Heather's heart outlined in the Appalachian mountains. She has strong passions for writing, healing, and music. She has spent much of her life spreading the message of ‘loving without conditions', all the while kicking up dirt - barefoot and dancing. While she has been an Energy Worker for over 15 years, a self-published author, and a business owner - Heather's truest love lies in being a mother...her continuous reminder of unconditional love and heartfelt laughter.