I have been thinking a lot about support lately. As decision time looms near (and for the record, the official acceptance count is now 2, Washington State and Missouri, with 1st or 2nd place on Washington's alternate list, and Utah's decision coming any day now...) and some other events transpire in my life, it seems to me that I require an abnormally large amount of support these days. It also occurs to me that some very special people in my life have needed more support from me than they probably normally do. As I think about these things, it occurs to me that support is a complex issue. Sometimes we need it, sometimes we give it, sometimes we move along, totally unaware of it. It looks different to different people and even looks different to the same person in different situations.
It's a fairly tricky thing to offer support to someone. Some people want to talk, some people just want to be left alone, knowing that you're there if they need you. Some people like to be asked, "How's it going today?", some people don't (just fyi, I'm usually in the "don't" category -- that question makes me cry and I'm not a big fan of crying in front of other people). Sometimes, a small gesture is appropriate (my old roommate, one of my best friends, used to take me out for a beer or stop by the grocery store for ice cream if she knew I was having a bad day), sometimes a big gesture is even more appropriate. Sometimes just showing up when you're supposed to, where you're supposed to means the world. We don't always know what to do, when to do it, how to do it because support is complicated and it isn't always easy.
What it really boils down to, though, I think, is someone standing beside you when you need them most. Someone who is on your side and who, in that moment, is there only for you. Support can come from anyone - even from within yourself.
In yoga this morning, we were asked to consider the relationships in our lives that mean the most to us and offer up our practice to them. I immediately thought of all of the people in my life who love me, who make me laugh and who stand beside me. Then, I thought of myself. I thought that in that hour, I was going to be on my own side and be there only for myself. I decided to give myself the love and the support that I have been needing and offer my practice to myself. And although it may sound silly or sort of out there, this morning, with the heat of the room wrapped around me, that support was tangible.
Have a very happy Tuesday, everyone. And may each of you find the warmth and the support that you need today, no matter what it looks like, no matter where it comes from.