“Through giving and receiving nurturance, we tap into one of the most fundamental of human yearnings: the deeply sacred and intimate experience of reaching out and touching another soul.” Steven Snyder
One of the grounding practices in Steven Snyder’s book is the need for leaders to find support for the journey.
I moved to a new hometown about three years ago. On the first Sunday morning in town, my family visited a new church. It was Valentine’s Day, and the pastor talked about the power of relationships.
I held to my husband’s hand while tears rolled down my cheeks. I felt that I had left all my relationships behind. Surrounded by people, yet alone except for my family, I wondered how I would build a new support network.
Here are some lessons I learned, while looking for support on my journey:
Building a supportive network takes time, sometimes longer than you expect. Building supportive relationships in my new hometown didn’t happen overnight. It happened much more slowly than I wanted it to, in fact.
You must learn to give — and receive. When we strive too hard to give to others without allowing them to give back, we may short circuit connectedness. It’s counter intuitive. I thought if I tried hard to serve others, I’d find friends easily. Until I started to share my needs and struggles with new friends, my relationships didn’t connect.
Mutuality creates deeper relationships — as both people in a relationship can share struggles, support, and encouragement, a bond is forged, one far stronger than a one sided relationship.
We may find support in surprising places. During the time I most wanted to find in-person support, I developed, instead, a wonderful online network of supporting, caring friends. I’ve found a community of mentors, coaches, advisers, and friends, many of whom I can call on at any moment to find support — and they can do the same with me.
Without a supportive community, both online and off, I would not be able to courageously and confidently navigate the struggles on my leadership journey.
Who is supporting you on your journey?