I hope this message finds you leaning into fall. If you’re like me, you resist all-things pumpkin spice until October 1, at which time you bring out pumpkin-everything, spiders, ghouls, peanut butter-filled chocolate candy and all-things-crunchy leaves and crock pot meals. Mmmmm.
Week four on building connections brings us to your secondary circle on The Circle of Support. If you missed last week’s newsletter on connection and building your primary circle, you can find it here. Next, I want you to think about your secondary supports. Think about these people as your back up people or people you go to if those that you’re closest to are not available. This circle comprises other supportive people in your life. Most people can identify 3-5 people on the secondary circle. These are people you would turn to if the core group is not available to meet your needs. Often these are people within a system that the you belong to such as work, school, neighborhoods, or other social groups. Write them down.
Ok, I know many of you were wondering what to do if your primary support circle is empty. This is where your secondary supports come in! Often, the people on your secondary circle don’t even know they are there. In fact, most people on other’s secondary circles would like to be closer, offer help & support; but they may not know you’re struggling or would like more closeness from them.
Think about this:
What are the barriers to inviting more people in?
What are your fears around casting a wider net of friends?
Do you know how?
Have you been given messages about your worthiness as a friend, mother, daughter or confidante?
I am asking you to risk vulnerability and invite more people into your primary circle? Wait, what? Why? I know you fear rejection. I know you don’t want to burden others. I understand you may not have developed the skills to be vulnerable. But I want to share a secret with you…
In the twenty years that I’ve worked on the Circle of Support with people, from children to adults, I have YET to see someone who’s being asked to join an inner circle say “no.”
You read that correctly. People want to help. They want to feel needed. We all want closeness and support and connection. And WE’RE ALL AFRAID TO ASK!
So, your homework is to take a small step. Ask one other person from your secondary circle into your primary circle. Text a friend, send a note, email someone or extend a hand. You might be surprised by the overwhelming love and friendship that is extended back to you.
Tell me how it goes!
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!