What does it mean to feel supported? How can we expand our experiences of it? We all have the opportunity to educate others in the best ways to support us. Most of us try to ask for as little as possible, and hope that someone guesses or knows what we want or need. Instead, we can specifically let others know what feels supportive to us and our particular ways.

Independence is highly valued, and “doing things for ourselves” is thought of as a virtue. Some people have learned about the value of support through illness or aging, and are able to welcome care and attention from people in new and different ways. Others “soldier on” and just do it all alone.

Most of us carry an internal scorecard in our heads and measure how much is okay to accept, or how we will repay it.

My friend Patricia had cancer and was bald from chemotherapy in her home, with the electricity turned off, before she asked for help.

This kind of behavior is more common than not- perhaps not that dramatic, but the same core issues:

“I’m not worthy.” “Others need help more than me.” “I don’t want to be dependent.”

We are meant to feel supported by our communities, our loved ones, and by ourselves. Self-support starts with you practicing receiving more. Here’s a mantra to practice with: “Ask more and more, don’t keep score.”

See what happens if you use this. Practice asking without attachment to the answer. You’ll know you’re expanding your capacities if you feel slightly, or more than slightly uncomfortable.

This kind of practice will result in you receiving as much as giving, and multiply feelings of support and love in your life. Tell me about your experiences. I want to hear.

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responses so far (what you share will be loved and appreciated)

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