Have you ever suffered from a sore back or get painful flare-ups in that area from time to time? Someone once told me that, aside an obvious physical injury, it can also be your body’s way of letting you know that you need support. That seemed a very profound statement and resonated deeply. I immediately had a vision of someone’s hand on my back – supporting me and guiding me in a moment of need. It was comforting to know that someone had my back.
A good support system is a key component of building solid relationships and having strong psychological health. Having a strong support system has many positive benefits, such as higher levels of well-being, better coping skills, and a longer and healthier life. Having a network of family and friends that you can turn to in times of need, or where you just want to spend time with people who care about you, plays a critical role in how we function in our day-to-day life. It is social support and social interaction, that builds people up during times of stress and often gives them the strength to carry on and even thrive.
Supportive social networks can come in different forms and play different roles in our life:
· Emotional Support – you receive this from the people that back you up when you need it and are there with a shoulder to cry on which can be particularly important during times of stress or loneliness.
· Instrumental Support – This might involve bringing you a hot meal when you are sick or giving you a ride to the shops. This support is really important if you have immediate needs.
· Informational Support – This type of support can involve receiving guidance, advice, information, and mentoring. This is useful when you are making decisions or big changes in life.
It’s possible some of you are reading this thinking, that’s all well and good if you have those types of support network. Of course, it is not always a given, for whatever reason, that there are people around you that you can reach out to. In MindBody Publishing’s very own book ‘Building Life Muscles’, at such times we talk about trusting that the ‘Universe’ has your back and that you are not alone. You are reminded that you come from a “long line of ancestors who wish the best for you”. They are there for you when you cannot be there for yourself. They are guiding and supporting you to a life of alignment where your needs are met at the right time.
A big component here is trust and standing in stillness. Stillness can give our life lessons time to take hold and changes to embed so that we progress with growth. Or stillness can provide the quiet that we need to listen for or look out for those ‘signs’ of help that we might miss when we are rushing around trying to fix things beyond our control. It can be hard at times to allow life to unfold and be patient with ourselves, and others. Oftentimes, if we force things to go at our pace, plans may fall through, or they may happen but not in the best way we envisaged. Building Life Muscles offers us a Teachment© moment here, advising that we not rush through the seasons of our life, but to sit and enjoy each one – “Accept where you are in life, the age you are, the job you have, the love you have…that is your season, and you cannot forge ahead without experiencing it”.
At times of need, you can know that the Universe and your ancestors have your back. You must listen for your guidance or recognise that the ways in which you are being tested is building your life muscles so that you can progress in life. For example,
· Seeing challenges not as threats, but as opportunities
· Being assured rather than unsettled, even when we are not sure which way to turn
· Knowing that it is okay to not be okay
· Accepting the responsibility or consequences that comes with our actions.
Knowing that the Universe is helping us to build our life muscles helps us to,
· Find better and healthier ways cope with life’s challenges
· Stay positive and focussed when we need it the most
· Control our anxiety
· Build endurance
· Recover quickly from setbacks
Whether we have social support or recognise when the Universe is providing support, we know that we have guiding hands at our backs. That our friends, family or ancestral heritage are wishing us the best. Don’t wait for that sore back, we need only ask!
Until the next time. MBP