At times, when we seek support, what we really want is protection.
We want a guarantee that, no matter what we do, there is someone wise, powerful, and caring who will absorb any unwanted consequences for us. We tell ourselves that “if only” our boss/partner/family would totally protect us from pain, we would be able to freely create, speak, act, and live as we desire. We seek all of life’s enjoyment, excitement, pleasure and fun without any risk of failure, fear, disappointment, or unpleasant consequences: in short, we want the Disney version of life.
The price of protection is powerlessness.
At times, when we seek support, what we really want is permission.
We tell ourselves that cannot move until some (special) someone tells us we can. As soon as our father/Oprah/our supervisor tells us we have a great idea, then we’re happily willing to accept all of the consequences of creation. In the areas of our lives in which we’re waiting for permission, we’re confronted with our fierce desire to belong. If some part of our minds (no matter how small, childlike, or primal it may be) believes that we will die* without specific forms of permission, that part of us has decided our commitment to a certain other is more important than our adventure.
The price of permission is resentment.
At times, when we seek support, what we really want is a blessing.
We are asking others to contribute their goodwill and talents to our efforts. If they say no, we may be disappointed, but we are willing to move forward regardless. Setting out on an adventure without the goodwill, talents, approval, and even the presence of our familiars is terrifying. It presents us with our fears of being alone and our anxiety about whether we can attract and/or generate other resources when we need them.
The price of blessing is loneliness.
What does being supported mean to you?
What price are you willing to pay to have the kind of support you want?
*This includes dying from abandonment, starvation, embarrassment, etc.