Support wasn’t a word that I can remember being used as I was growing up. Rather you were expected to stand on your own two feet, become independent and not need anyone. If you were needy it was looked upon as a weakness. The idea of ‘how do I support myself’ apart from having a job didn’t enter my head. Not so today, the word support is heard everywhere!
Some time ago I was asked “how does my home support me?” This question sounded strange to me at first, it was something I had not even thought about. But since then I have been opening up to feeling into the word ‘support’ in a different light and to feel if my home was actually set up to support me.
All my life I have loved being able to do for myself and prided myself on being able to do what needed to be done. Being independent was fine when I was young but now being in my seventies I have had to realise that a loving thing for me to do was to be open to accepting support when I realised I needed it.
It took time for me to realise that I could no longer keep pushing my body like I used to. A big wake-up call presented itself when I, through doing heavy work, and disregarding my body, I ended up with two hernias which then needed to be operated on.
Accepting or asking for help felt very strange to me and this I resisted doing so for some time until my son and his wife came for a visit, and while they were here they decided to sweep my pathways for me. It took a little time for me to accept their offer, but I finely gave in. As I chatted with them while they worked I was feeling a little uncomfortable not helping, but I soon realised how loving their support for me was and the feeling of appreciation and love I felt towards them was just beautiful.
I did have a hiccup at a later date when my grandson came to help move bricks for me. He was fine doing it, but I just had to step in and help, a lifelong pattern of mine. Just as I picked up the second brick I dropped it on my foot, and as I hobbled away in pain I said to myself “This is a lesson I should never forget.”
These days I so appreciate being supported by my husband with the chores around the house and the gardener who comes in on a regular basis to help with the garden. Being open to appreciate and accept support has brought about a deeper heartfelt connection between us all.
I appreciate that I have chosen to listen to and be gentle and tender with my ageing body, if I can allow and accept the wisdom that it has to offer, I will indeed age gracefully.
Jill S., Tweed Heads Australia