One of the questions I always ask my coaching clients is ‘who is in this with you?’
It’s a way of asking three questions at once –
- Who’s helping you with this topic you’re working on?
- Who sees you with enough truthfulness that they can support you in making corrections and adjustments as you go?
- And who is prepared to see you with the kindness you need to find your own kindness towards yourself?
Help, truthfulness, kindness – three qualities in others that are a vital, life-giving force for us human beings.
We need people around us who’ll be this way if we’re going to flourish.
But so often the answer is ‘nobody‘. There’s nobody in this with me. I’m in this on my own. This is how it’s meant to be.
We don’t see how crazily we’re trying to be super-heroes, hauling ourselves up in the world with our own muscular strength, propelling ourselves along with inner harshness, and pushing away the heartfelt attempts of others to support us. And that in living this way we live our struggles alone, even when surrounded by others.
It takes some softening and a large dose of letting go – of our own self-concepts and our attempts to control life – to let help, truthfulness and kindness in. But when we admit that we’re neither omnipotent, nor meant to be, we give ourselves our best chance of taking up our place in the web of support that’s around us. And it’s a necessary step if we’re going to play a part in our own flourishing, and quite possibly in the saving of our very lives.