TEACHING OTHERS HOW TO TREAT US
I recently conducted an informal experiment among some friends, simply asking them to describe me in five characteristics.
They all said nice things. It was lovely.
Turns out that even among my friends who don't know each other, there's a general consensus of who I am. I like that. To me, it means I show up as me, wherever I go, with whomever I share space.
There was an eye and heart opening part too, though.
There was a strong theme of my friends seeing me as wildly strong and independent. This got me thinking.
It got me thinking about how sometimes I get disappointed when I feel my friends don't support me. Don't check in. Don't wonder if I'm ok. Don't ask if I need help. Sometimes I play the victim, assuming that if they loved me more, if I was more lovable, then they would be more supportive. I create false narratives that make me feel, simply not valuable.
The truth is... my friends are just reading my vibration. They are reading a very loud and clear message that says, "I don't need anyone. I don't need anything. And I certainly don't need any help. Because I've got it all together, all of the time. I'm here to serve, not be served."
And it is ME, who has trained them to believe this to be my truth.
The thing is... it's not. It's not true at all.
Independence is a badge I began earning at 6 years old, wearing it out of survival then, and continue to wear it, in part out of habit, and in part out of fear. Really though, my independence is a shield. It is a shield that protects me from the potential of becoming dependent, which feels like a very scary place to me.
But it's also a shield from connection.
And that's bullshit.
I need help.
I thrive on support.
We all do.
We are literally wired to be connected, to be tribal. And the essence of being tribal, the heartbeat of tribe, is being in and of support with others.
So its got me thinking.
In not only not inviting people to support me, I'm also resisting support. Which makes me wonder, How many amazing people might I be blocking from my life who want to be supportive and helpful but don't see me as someone who is available to receive support and help? As someone who doesn't need it, or even worse want or appreciate it? And how might my life, my heart and my community expand if I begin to teach my tribe differently?
Because that's just it...
We teach others how to treat us.
Through what we say and what we don't say; through our actions and our inactions; through our energy. We are constantly teaching. And reinforcing perceptions. And I've taught people that I am above help, despite a belief that is to the contrary.
But here's the thing...
We can re-teach. If we've taught others to perceive us in a way that is not in total authentic alignment with who we actually are and with what we need, we can find ways to communicate differently. For me, I can simply ask for help. And I can create space to receive with grace, and without shame or fear that I will be perceived as weak or dependent.
So what are YOU teaching others that may not be a fully authentic expression of yourself? What are you teaching that may be limiting your relationship with yourself and with others? What are you teaching that is blocking your own personal expansion? And how might your life be lifted and ignited if you began to teach differently?
The next time I survey my tribe, instead of hearing that I'm strong enough to not need help, I hope I hear back that I am strong enough to ask for and receive it.