Well, we’re into week three of discussing connections. Conveniently, a friend recently reminded me of something I told her that felt grounding to her, so I thought I would repeat it here:
It just takes one stable, loving person in your life (or your child’s life) to feel whole and loved.
So, let’s focus on our people. What I mean by that are your one to one connections. I want you to think about who your “no matter what” people are in your life and write them down. We are going to start building your Circle of Support.
Inside the Primary Support Circle are your people – the people you can call, day or night, when you need support, love, guidance or reassurance. These are the people you can tell anything and share your deepest sadness, fears, regrets and worries. They’re also the people that make you feel seen, celebrated, valued and cherished. Perhaps it’s your partner or best friend; or maybe it’s your parent or another relative.
Last week, I shared my “why” with you. Definitely, my mom and my dad, Jack were my people growing up. But I also had a cherished Aunt and Uncle that were my primary supports as well.
My Uncle Terry and his wife, Cheryl, supported so many of my ventures in life. They showed up for sports, events, graduations, and funerals. Cheryl dreamed big dreams with me. As a first-generation college student, she encouraged me, asked questions, sent boxes of cookies to my dorm and celebrated my successes. She was genuinely thrilled for me when I got my bachelor’s degree, then my masters and doctorate. My Uncle Terry showed up for me when my biological father would not. He knew the effects of alcohol abuse and modeled what it was like to value me OVER an addiction. And when my biological dad died from alcohol abuse, this man showed up. My mom and dad, Jack, were living out of the state when my biological dad died and I remember feeling so alone at the funeral home. Then I turned around and there he was – I was no longer alone. One person who showed up for me – that was his only purpose in being there – for me to not feel alone. For me to feel seen in my grief.
Think about who those people are for you now. And who those people are for your children. Write them down. Think about what they bring to your life. And it’s ok if the number of people are small. Next week, we’ll focus on what to do if your primary circle is empty or if the people in the circle are not as healthy as you would like.
In the meantime, please, know this:
If you are an adult, you can show up in a child’s life and make difference. Tell them you see them. Tell them they matter. Let them know what makes them feel lovable and worthy and worth showing up for….and then do it over and over and over, until they believe it.
I believed in me because other stable, safe, supportive adults believed in me. Be that person in someone’s life – be the adult you needed when you were not seen.
And tell me – who was your person? I’d love to hear more…..
xoxo, Dr. Amy
If you’re interested in breaking cycles of toxic parenting, I hope you join me and Hayley Runnels of The Undone Mama. It’s never too late to reset and heal.
Join our private Facebook group called Parenting with Intention here – see you soon!