"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things."
I’ll be honest: when I first started writing this blog series back in the summer, I thought that by the time fall came around, we’d surely have more certainty in our world. About something. Or anything. But with elections around the corner, COVID case numbers rising and a socially-distanced Halloween in a few days, it feels like more uncertainty than ever.
(Side note and first-world problem: passing out Halloween candy is one of my favorite parts about being a grown-up. So I’m pretty sad that I won’t be doing that this year.)
In this continued season of uncertainty, I’d like to share another aspect of hope and help that I’ve discovered. It comes from the work of Ana Gomez and her fantastic way of supporting kids, and I call it the “Team of Helpers.” When life feels scary or unknown or uncertain, we all need our own team of “helpers” to guide us, comfort us, ground us, and remind us of what is true. Our team can be made up of real people (who we know or don’t know), fictional characters, animals, elements of nature, spiritual figures, or anything else that we can call upon for strength.
My team includes: my husband, our two dogs, my closest friends, the beauty of National Parks, my garden, mentors like Linsey and Annmarie, and muck boots (just to name a few).
Once you’ve created your team, there’s another important piece to consider: do you actually call upon your team members for support? Or do you pretend like you’re “fine” and have everything under control? Or do you expect your team members to do all of the hard work for you and take care of more than their shares? Just because we have a full team of amazing helpers doesn’t always mean that we know how to ask for the help we need or to do what is ours while they do what is theirs to do.
One way to answer these questions may be to look at your own attachment style, which means the way that you connect emotionally (or struggle to connect) with other safe people in your life. Some of us cling to others out of desperation and fear, which means we may not learn how to manage things on our own. Some of us push others away or avoid closeness because we don’t want to be hurt/be let down/seem weak/etc. Occasionally, we do a mix of both. So even when your team is ready and in place, we need to consider how we actually interact with those helpers.
I fully believe we’re wired to have a team, to be on others’ teams, and to ask for those helpers to be there for us. Especially in the midst of uncertain times.
In this with you,