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Support me like a Teepee: Let’s be Weak Together

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Sounds like a big ‘ol oxymoron, right? Let me explain:

I’m going to dumb it waaaay down {so people like me can understand}, the structure of a traditional teepee is ‘just’ round log poles {covered in cloth or animal hide and, maybe, secured with rope}. There are no fancy fasteners or bolts. No grading the ground or leveling the structure. A teepee can literally be set up anywhere and is intended to be transient.

Now, if a single pole from that teepee is set on the ground vertically it’s not very secure, right? It could easily tip over – for no reason at all.

If two poles were propped against one another they would probably be slightly more sturdy – but something as small as a breeze or a butterfly could easily knock them down.

Add a third pole and you’re starting to have a little stability – because you have support from all sides now. Add a fourth, fifth, sixth…the structure as a whole is getting more and more structure to it {while the components/poles aren’t being altered at all}. And, you haven’t even added the fortifying ropes or cloth. A single pole is using the resistance and power from the other poles to keep it from falling down completely.

Now, let’s imagine those poles were grieving humans…stay with me…

Grieving is a lot of work. It’s exhausting. All that work makes us feel weak. It makes us feel like we could fall down at any second. Sometimes we just need to be propped up – need just a little support.

When we have that support system – ‘strong’ or otherwise…literally just other humans that can show up for you – it can make a huge difference. When we feel weak and need something to lean on all we really need to do is T.I.P. {Turn In People}. If we all just T.I.P. toward the middle we can hold each other up, while still being unstable ourselves. And the more people in our community tipping with us the more substance we have and the sturdier we become.

For a long time, I thought in order to support others I had to be strong; I had to be able to carry my own weight and the weight of others. That is not accurate. In order to support others I just have to be willing.

I think that’s why grievers tend to roam in packs – and why some of your former friends seem to fall away… Grievers understand you don’t have to be perfect, or strong – you just have to be willing to show up. To be leaned upon and lean back. Answers aren’t needed {and a lot of the time not even wanted} because we don’t always know the questions to ask. Griever just want to feel propped up.

That’s one {of the many} reasons I won’t call myself a grief coach. Coach implies I know more, I’m stronger, I have the right answers. Just because I’ve been on this path a long d@mned time does not mean any of those – especially when it comes to your unique journey. And, hopefully, this will help you feel better prepared to support your griever too.

Just show up and T.I.P. towards the middle. Individually we may all be weak but if enough of us are willing to be weak together we’ll be able to support each other and become strong!

{{If this resonates with you please be sure to read some of our other ‘Do Better’ articles and be sure to request our 5 Ways to Support Your Grieving Friend downloadable too.}}


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