Hey, how's it going? One thing that I am learning is the importance of being there for yourself. I'm not talking about self love but something else. Even when friends or family are there for you it is still important to be there for yourself. You cannot outsource it. But, why is it important to do it?
It minimises offence.
People have all the best intentions in the world but sometimes when push comes to shove they are nowhere to be found. Instead of being offended, try to focus on what you can do to be there for yourself. Of course if someone is consistently not there for you as a friend it may be wise to review the friendship and see them as maybe an acquaintance or just a friend rather than a close friend. But the truth of the matter is that even close friends or family will let you down at points in life and, surprise surprise you will let people down aswell. Even your partner or spouse will let you down at one point in time. Why? Because we are human. Humans are not perfect. We make mistakes. Our resources are limited. Life happens. You get my drift?
Learn to forgive and really mean it. And forgive yourself too.
It is power
When you are there for yourself whether anybody else shows up or not you are good. It also means that the emotional support you get from others is a bonus and not the main thing. That is powerful. Think of it as a job; bonuses are great, really great but even if you don't get them you're still getting paid right? That is how it should be with support. It is great and it means the world when friends/ family are there to support you but when they're not? The world is still rotating, you are still thriving and you are still amazing. I find that when you can be there for yourself it is a powerful thing and it also means that you do not take the support of others for granted because you have a deeper appreciation for it. I am in no way saying bottle things up. By all means share with people but do not share with the expectation that they have to support you. The only person who is obliged to do that is a therapist. The challenge is we share things under the guise of intimacy and 'being vulnerable' and yet we get offended when we do not receive the support that we expected but perhaps did not articulate.It is much more powerful when you share because you choose to share without the expectation of anything in return and without needing the support because you have it already within yourself.
The only person you can control is you
You are not responsible for the actions of others. So why fret over what you cannot control? You are only in control of yourself and so it makes sense to be fully present for yourself. Even in a relationship setting, when you are consistently expecting your partner to fulfil all your emotional needs that is dangerous. It is so much pressure to exert on an individual. Unfair pressure. Please note that I am not saying go through life with no expectations of others as that is a damaging way to look at things. What I am saying is manage your expectations but most importantly manage yourself. When you can be there for yourself you should be more empathetic to the realities of others especially when you realise that we are all human. But do you know the best person to confide in who can be there for you when you are barely even there for yourself?
I am reminded of the verse;
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV)
Sometimes being there for yourself means encouraging yourself in God. He's open 24/7. No days off.
Because when you're calling friends or family and nobody picks up, He is there.
When you're kept awake in the middle of the night with anxiety and your spouse is fast asleep, He is there
When you're tired of explaining how you feel to people and you don't want to seem like a burden He is there
Because the truth of the matter is that the encouragement of others fades away. The well meaning intentions can go awry at times. But being there for yourself? Priceless. These past few months I have learnt the importance of being my own best friend and being there for myself in every sense of the word. And a big part of that was encouraging myself in God. I no longer desire to seek words of encouragement from others and when I do share my heart with close friends it is because I want to and not with unfair expectations of friends filling a void that only God can.
Because, why would you not want to be there for yourself?