I’ve thought about an interaction I saw over a decade ago hundreds of times.
A young girl, no more than 10 years old, and her mother were standing a few feet back from the coffee shop counter discussing what drink she would order.
When the girl made up her mind, her mom encouraged her to go up to the counter by herself and order the drink.
The girl gave her mom a look that said, “No way, I’m not going to do that!”
I don’t know about you, but I remember vividly the anxiety produced by having to go up to an adult I didn’t know, and ask for something. It wasn’t easy. In fact, sometimes it’s still not easy!
The girl hesitated, but the mom was steadfast and insisted that she go by herself. On her way to the counter the girl looked back once more.
Her mom stayed put, smiled, and simply said, “You can do this! You can do hard things!”
The girl made it to the counter, ordered her drink and looked back to see her mom’s huge smile, supporting her from a distance.
Unbeknownst to either of them, tears welled up in my eyes. I felt like this moment perfectly encapsulated what it means to give support. This was the kind of support that I craved in my life and this was the kind of support I wanted to offer to those around me.
The mom was not telling her how easy it was or that she was silly to be nervous - she knew it would be at the edge of her daughter’s comfort zone, but she also wasn’t jumping in to rescue her.
She said, I understand that this is hard, I believe that you can do it, and I’m going to be standing right here supporting you.
I’m now offering this quality of support to you.
Support to bravely and compassionately live at your edge - whether it be by navigating the murky inner territory of emotions or taking the next action to create a life that feels more nourishing and satisfying.
Now is the time. You can do this! You can do hard things!
Love to you!