Firstly, I would like to say a big thanks to those who are sharing their insights from Trauma Bytes with me. I love them, and please keep them coming.
This Trauma Byte is close to my own heart and has been a big part of my own inner work. As a concept, support is as diverse as every single person. We have the opportunity to harness the power of support to transform any part of us that remains unhealed.
This Trauma Byte invites you into the intricate world of support, where we explore its unique nature through a trauma-informed lens and the factors that shape our perceptions of it.
Our idea of support is moulded by a complex interplay of factors, including our past experiences, cultural influences, and personal values. Support isn't a one-size-fits-all solution; it's a deeply personal and dynamic force. In this edition of Trauma Bytes, we'll explore:
1. The idea of support;
2. Factors that mold our concepts of support;
3. Practical techniques for identifying and cultivating support.
1. The idea of support is different for everyone, and this diversity is a strength.
Support isn't a monolithic entity but a mosaic of varied colours and shapes. What feels supportive to one person might differ significantly from what another person needs.
This diversity in the concept of support is a reflection of our individuality and the richness of our life experiences. Past experiences play a profound role in this mosaic. If someone has experienced a history of reliable and compassionate support, they may naturally seek similar forms of support in times of need. On the other hand, someone who has faced abandonment or betrayal might approach support with skepticism, even when it's offered genuinely.
Challenge: Contemplate the word support. What does support mean to you? How do you recognise support? What sensations do you have in your body as you contemplate support?
A little side story of my experience when working with a friend who does equine therapy. She was helping me explore my relationship to support and put me in front of one of her horses and asked me to just receive. Whoa, I had no idea how to do that! That was an amazing insight to start building my ability to allow in support and to receive.
2. Factors that mold our concepts of support, including past experiences and cultural influences.
The shapers of support are as diverse as the supports themselves. Past experiences, whether positive or negative, lay the foundation for our expectations and beliefs about support. Positive experiences may lead to an expectation of support in times of need, while negative experiences can foster a reluctance to seek or accept it. These experiences can form templates for what we consider supportive or unsupportive behaviours.
Cultural influences further sculpt our understanding of support. Different cultures have unique norms regarding the role of support networks, the expression of emotions, and the boundaries of personal space. Family dynamics also play a role; the dynamics within our families of origin can deeply influence how we seek, give, or receive support in other relationships. Societal norms, such as gender roles, can also impact our expectations of who should provide support, who needs support and how it should be given.
Challenge: Can you identify how you have framed support in your life? Can you see where the idea of support has come from? Is it still relevant for you today?
3. Practical techniques for identifying and cultivating the support you need.
To navigate this intricate landscape of support, it's vital to embrace the uniqueness of you and your journey!
Start by recognizing you have evolving, not necessarily static needs for support;
There are influences that have shaped your beliefs about support;
Take time to consider which past experiences, which cultural norms, and which personal values have influenced your expectations and ideas about support.
Actively and consciously seek support that resonates with you and aligns with your healing goals.
Be aware of how you may seek the kind of support that keeps you in your repeating patterns or you may not seek support which is your repeating pattern.
By understanding the complex interplay of factors that shape your concept of support, you can make intentional choices about the forms of support that best serve your well-being.
This journey isn't about conforming to others' expectations but about finding and nurturing the support that genuinely uplifts you.
Let me know how you found this Trauma Byte and what you learned about how you see support.