How to ask for and get the support you need

How to ask for and get the support you needAn orphanage in Thailand, where no one does it alone.

First things first. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou. THANK YOU.

I’m writing with a full heart. Last week after I sent the “Here’s where I’ve been” post, I received so much love. Seriously, all week I felt cocooned, grateful you took the time to write. It’s HUGE for me. I wrote back to each of you but it still doesn’t feel like enough. I want to reach through the Internet and give you a Smooth-bear hug; an aggressive but loving body slam, it’s the only way my nephew lets me hug him. Readers who are scientists, can you get on this please? Conveying physical affection through space should definitely be a thing.

You also shared your struggles, worth noting because you went through what I did or you’re going through it now. I was moved. It’s hard to be open. Behind our honesty we feel messy. Big clap to you if you shared with me.

When we share struggles it means we’re not alone.

Humans are built to support each other, especially during hard times, and you reminded me of that last week.

So how do we feel not alone when we’re living our lives? How do we ask for the support we need? R.B., a sweetie pie reader, asked me this last week:

“How do you know who to be vulnerable with? I have two people in my life who I can go to no matter what, just two. I feel like because I’m older, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to now find people I can turn to in moments of true vulnerability. Is it too late to build these kinds of friendships? And how do you go about that?

She inspired today’s post, but many of you asked me the same question. I’ll give you my mindset today and next week you’ll get nitty gritty actions.

You have to know you WANT support in the first place. RB shows us how much she wants support (and probably has for a long time) by asking how to find trustworthy people. That alone is a GREAT SIGN. She’s not afraid to confront discomfort in order to get what she wants, which is to feel more supported by the right people. You’re clearly not too old to go ask a perfect stranger turned online friend :) R.B! So don’t be afraid to use the same confidence to request support from people who’re already in your life or that you trust. You’re already vulnerable, so you’ll probably do better in real life. It’s never too late to go the distance.

You too. Don’t go through life feeling angry, unsupported, or believing you’re alone while others get support, okay?

Know what you want first. It’s never too late.

I’m young but still old enough to have fully formed relationships – i.e. I don’t make new friends all the time and I have *mostly* the same folks in my life as I did years ago. Every so often I’ll meet a soul friend I connect with deeply. Only last year did I solidify friendships with four people who’re now my closest friends. Before that, I didn’t know if I could trust them with my messiest stuff. I was scared, but asked anyway. They helped so profoundly that now, we do “lifeship” not just “friendship.” If you’re worried you don’t know how to make new trustworthy friends, shift your belief from “I’m too old” or “I can’t find new ones.” You don’t have to!

You are worthy of love, attention, and support right now.

Start by deepening 1-2 of the relationships you do have by finding people you can be honest with (like you were in your email to me.) If there’s no one on that list, brainstorm another group of people you do want to be able to trust.

Next ask yourself: How do I want to live? Really, what kind of a life do I want to lead?
Much of my life, including last year, I was a lone wolf. Not entirely, because I have siblings and friends, but mostly life worked out when I trusted myself. So I kept doing it. I’d “talk to” friends, but didn’t really trust them to help with real problems. My ego got in the way of being able to receive their support. At a higher level, I asked for help. But on a deeper, more subconscious level, I still trusted myself more than anyone else.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not telling you not to trust yourself. Trust yourself completely if your intuition is functioning properly. But mine wasn’t. Last year my instincts were numbed. From that place of confusion, trusting myself would NOT have been right. I didn’t feel good as a lone wolf. I felt alone, unfulfilled, vulnerable, when I wanted to feel loved, carried when I couldn’t carry myself. Not only did I not know the next step, I didn’t know ANY step. My only option was to say, “Nothing makes sense, please help me.” I had to admit that before anyone else could make a dent in my life.

If you prepare, requesting support gets easier and more people say Yes to your asks.

To carrying it together.
xx Ishita

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