For as long as I can remember, I liked to be the girl who’s got everyone’s back.
I was ready with whatever my friends needed; a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a piece of advice, or a silly joke. I liked being needed, but never needing anything. And I liked putting up a strong front and masking my pain. If I could comfort everyone else, I could certainly be that person for myself.
Over time, I realised that the pain became more real. And although I’m always able to show up for myself and be the person I need in those moments, I realised that I didn’t want to do it alone anymore.
I wanted to drop the facade that everything was under control, and I wanted to gather my people and bring them into this moment with me. I was surprised that they were more than willing to enter into this space, and be all the things I needed them to be.
Sometimes we’ve been hurt or betrayed in friendships and it’s not easy to let our guard down and let people in to what we’re feeling. Sometimes we don’t want to bother our friends with our stories. We don’t want to inconvenience the friendship. We would rather it be pretty and simple, than raw and wholesome.
Contrary to what we’ve been telling ourselves, there’s at least one person out there who would like to show up for you, if you let them. They will hold you through whatever you’re feeling, if you allow them to. They will hold space for you to be vulnerable with them, and you won’t see any sign of judgement in their eyes. And they will be the person you need in this moment, if only you ask.
We’ve been conditioned to think that if we ask for help, if we exhibit our weakness, it makes us weak. But there’s nothing true about that.
Admitting our weaknesses, our limitations, is an act of strength. Allowing someone into our pain is an act of courage. Asking someone to stay with you as you navigate through this phase is an act of bravery.
Every once in a while, I hope you practise these acts of strength, courage and bravery. Not in terms of how the world defines them. But with the vulnerability and willingness to let someone share in your pain.
The truth is, you are all you ever need. But there’s nothing wrong with needing another person to stand with you. It doesn’t mean you’re not independent. It simply means you are choosing to depend a little on someone else to walk with you through this. Although we’ve built up our walls, it is okay to grant someone special access to the real you, to what’s happening inside of you, every once in a while.
So if you’ve been putting up a brave front and going at it alone for too long. Keeping everyone at arm’s distance so that they can’t really tell if something’s wrong. If you’ve been holding on to your pain alone, and it’s starting to feel heavy. I hope you find it in you to put down the weight for a minute, and hold your tired arms out to allow someone in.