Growing Our Human Potential

Who’s Your Belay?

This past week has been difficult for me. Challenges at home, hit home! I found myself scared, sad, and alone. Yes, even after years of working on myself, I have my moments. What is different now is that I continue to apply one of the fundamental philosophies of personal growth, “I must do it myself, but I cannot do it alone!”

First of all I am sorry for all of you who also had a bad week for whatever reason. I know how difficult these times can be. And one thing is for certain, this won’t be the last time. It’s a part of life. It makes me wonder why we don’t teach essentials such as how to manage finances, deal with our emotions, deal with tragedies and losses, and understand more about who we are in high school or college.  But chances are we wouldn’t listen anyway.

While I was in counseling dealing with ACOA issues, I got involved with both group therapy and 12-step groups. As I was dealing with the issues that drove me to counseling, along with resurrecting the pain of my past in order to understand what was causing my unhealthy patterns, I was an emotional wreck. But through these groups I began to meet others I could relate to, and who could relate to me. We were all the walking wounded, depending on each other to be our crutch at times for a few minutes or a few hours.

What was amazing was how much better I felt after I left these sessions. So often several of us would go out for coffee and find some peace, serenity and even laughter. Over time these resources helped to stabilize my life and eventually move forward. I am forever grateful to everyone around me that was a part of my growth.

While watching my kids rock climb, I watched as they overcame their fears in large part because someone else was on the other end of their rope and would hold onto them in the event that they fell. In these cases they would slowly return them to firm ground where they would briefly rest before trying the climb again. This reminded me of all those who were at the other end of my life line helping to hold onto me even though they often needed the same thing. It was amazing how together we did indeed overcome!

Reaching out for help is a hard thing to do. We were taught somehow that this is perceived as a sign of weakness. Yes, there were times where I did pick myself up, dust off my wounds and get on with things, but there are other times where my emotions require another hand at first. I was reminded of this last week when I picked up the phone and talked with others I knew would lend me an ear, spend some time together, or just remind me that it would be okay. I had my own belay that would help me to land gently and prepare myself for the work that had to be done.

The good news is that there are resources, groups and others who have been where you are, and are there to help. Don’t forget to reach out and ask them to help hold your rope to help you get through these challenging times. I will take a soft landing any time over the fall I would have if these people were not around!

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