It takes a village
This post has been submitted by a colleague of mine. I met this lady at a few networking events and she stood out to me immediately as a genuinely nice person who is passionate about her work. The words are hers, but the photos have been chosen by me. 🙂
Life can be happy, joyful and absolutely amazing. It can also be full of pain, suffering and bitterness. Life can just roll that way. As hard as we may wish, there is no magic pill or quick fix guru. Wounds cannot be easily mended.
However, there is much to be learnt from those who have overcome adversity before us. One thing that stands out from the stories of others it that “It Takes a Village”. Three steps that may help along a difficult journey are:
Step one: Recognise that you can’t go it alone. We are bombarded with stories of characters like the Lone Ranger and Rambo. Fighting problems alone is often portrayed as a sign of strength. This is a myth. The Lone Ranger and Rambo are fictional characters, so you will be greatly disappointed if you model your life on them. It takes a village to raise a child and this does not change as the child enters adulthood. It takes a village to support one another in dealing with life’s difficulties. If you need proof of this, you need look no further than the success of programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. We are stronger when we are connected with the pack.
Step two: Make use of professionals. It is wonderful to have friends and family who can listen without judgement. Sometimes though our loved ones may be too close to the picture or not have the knowledge to support us with 100% of our needs. That is why accessing professional support from someone like a social worker or psychologist is a fabulous idea. There a loads of non- profit organisations that offer free to low cost counselling services. Some offer telephone counselling if there are difficulties in getting to an appropriate organisation. If you are having difficulties in locating a suitable service, a conversation with your GP could prove valuable.
Step three: Look after your own needs. A metaphor I use for this is the oxygen mask. When on a flight the flight attendant speech includes a safety message. If there is a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Put the mask on yourself before assisting
others. If we try to assist others before our self, we will not survive. The best thing you can offer your family and friends is the best you that you can be. Your loved ones deserve that. YOU deserve that.
Guest post by Sam Miller (BA Social Science)
Sam works for a non-profit organisation and co-ordinates a post-separation course that supports parents working to better parent their children.