The Value of Receiving Support


It only takes one person to acknowledge you, to offer their continual support, and to encourage you to take action to change. If you accept their support and stay dedicated to your healing – you can transform your life in ways you never thought possible.

I was fortunate enough in my life to meet this one person. He became one of my greatest teachers. He taught me how to write about my life, how to analyze my dreams, and how to deeply explore what I was feeling.

Over the years, I have affectionately called him Dr. Bob. He is a living example of someone who isn’t afraid to be authentic, to share his story, to openly express his feelings, and to show vulnerability.

At the time in my life when I met him, I had few examples of people who were living authentically. Observing him and listening to his stories about how he changed his life – gave me the courage to change mine.

As I began the process of changing my life it was important to acknowledge that I needed support. I needed to have someone in my life that I could rely upon and that I trusted.

Being acknowledged, seen and heard is instrumental to our healing. Being able to express our feelings about what we have experienced, initiates the movement of energy in our bodies so healing can occur. Having the consistency of another’s presence, someone who gets to know you in the deepest way, is highly valuable to the process of transformation.

Several years ago I had the good fortune to spend time with a Tibetan lama who lived in Nepal. He came over for dinner and we had a nice talk together. He asked me why so many Americans always talked about their trauma. He didn’t understand why people in our country carried trauma with them from their past experiences.

In his country, it was common for young children to be given a mentor. This could be a relative or family friend who would dedicate their life to supporting the child into adulthood. This was someone who the child could depend on to always be there for them. They were a teacher, a role model, and a loving friend.

If we feel nurtured and supported in our lives, even by one person, we are more able to be vulnerable and share our feelings, avoiding the experience of carrying unresolved trauma within us.

We need to feel safe to be vulnerable. We need to know that we won’t be judged, hurt or abandoned if we expose hidden truths we have been too afraid to face.

Often our family and friends can’t be the neutral listeners that we need. They aren’t able to fully stay present with our expression in a safe way, or to be there consistently when we need them. Most people have difficulty just being present in their own lives.

Yet if you have the good fortune to find a person who is willing to commit to being there for you, and who wants to support you through your healing process, you will soon realize they are the greatest treasure you have ever received in your life.

We often feel that we need to be independent and face our difficulties on our own, but this is a false story. Many of us have learned to be independent as a result of our pain – because as a child we had to face our struggles alone.

As children, when we don’t receive the support and nurturing we need, we go out into the world with the belief that we are alone. This type of belief-pattern keeps us isolated and feeling that people are not safe and we can’t trust them.

At the start of our healing journey, it is important to recognize that we can’t do this work alone. If we can’t turn to family members or friends, we will want to seek out a mentor, healer or guide to help us navigate through our many stages of life-change.

It has been 22 years since I first met Dr. Bob. I frequently thank him for his contribution to my life. I honor him with each breakthrough that I make, because I know that it was his kind and generous heart that was the catalyst for my life-transformation.

 
 
Photograph by David Guenther

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