I was recently talking to a friend who has had a shitty couple of years, with illness and death in the family. He noted that he’s gotten a lot of support from friends, family and colleagues along the way and that he’s embarrassed about it.
I get where he’s coming from.
Whenever I’ve experienced the things he is going through, I’ve felt a little embarrassed when people come to me with sympathy and offers of support. Some of it is because of pride, and some of it is a fear that people don’t see you as being able to deal with the tough stuff.
As I’ve grown older, though, two things have gotten clearer:
- If people are supporting you, it’s usually because you’ve supported them at difficult times in their lives, and they are repaying it. It means you’ve touched some lives and made a positive difference. So when you hit hard times, the people you’ve touched feel personally invested in your well being.
- We all go through tough times and remember that support from others helped us along. And when we can return the favor, it feels good.
This dude has certainly touched a lot of lives. Everyone in our circle has deep affection for him, and he’s earned our support.
Whether I’ve earned the support people have given me along the way is for others to determine. But I’d like to think I have.
To my friend: Hang in there. When people reach out, know that it’s because you’re respected and loved.