It was 2009. I was sobbing into my pillow, wailing that ugly, snotty, graceless cry, alone and feeling very much forgotten, by everyone. I was in the throes of grief, loss of self, very little confidence and all in my world was heavy. Dark. I needed another human just to be near. I needed hot tea and warm blankets and tissues. I needed a nutritious meal to fuel my body and the love that went into it, to feed my soul. I needed someone to tell me it was going to be ok. Alone, the realization that continued to burrow its way into the core of my soul created even greater suffering. I was sleep deprived, dehydrated, unmotivated, uninspired…I felt incapable of doing anything that served me and continued tumbling into the pits of nothingness. Alone. From the outside, I detested that others saw a healthy, well-balanced life. Where to begin. SHOULD I even begin to set them straight. More a reflection than a question. How I got there is less important than how I got out. My very mission statement in life is about authenticity. The integrity to show up just as I am and share my human experience for the soul purpose (not a typo) that others may have their own epiphany. We worry so much about appearances for reasons of vanity and pride, but also, we can become fixated on the erroneous belief that NO one cares what challenges we’re facing. Hence, we hesitate to interrupt the life of another for fear we may be a dark cloud in their otherwise joyful world. This is not integrity. It’s not a sign of strength to go it alone. It has nothing to do with your ability to otherwise cope with life, on the daily. It’s not selfish to seek and trust another in your dark hours. Embracing these ideas as truth is extremely uplifting. But, where we create a train wreck with this kind of intervention from others is when we treat it as a primary, go-to source of managing our emotions. Support isn’t first aid. It is no one’s job in life to stand by and do for you what you won’t do for yourself. People may inspire and motivate us. We may resonate with particular characteristics of those close to us and emulate these qualities as we heal our wounds, unravel our tangles, and fix our self-limiting hang-ups. However, inspiration doesn’t require supervision. If you need a coach to see you through your bad feelings every time, you need a therapist, not a friend or romantic partner. And, skip the guilt trip for this person “not being there,” in your hour of need. There will be times when no one is available at the exact moment we most “need” them. Ego will ignore their engagements and responsibilities and subtly plant the idea that it’s a lack of compassion, not time, that no one is in your presence. I encourage you to think of this solitude in an entirely different perspective. These are the times we just need to show up for OURSELVES. Get ready…the next physically small, emotionally giant steps are far more courageous and require more energy than any marathon. We must take that first step with our lead-filled legs, our mind and body unwilling, walk toward the tea kettle, set out our one cup, and, breathing in a tangible version of comfort, be grateful that we understand our own value exceeds our willingness to wait for someone else to make the tea FOR us. Toss your fuzzy blanket in the dryer. Wrap yourself in it. This sensation, to me, is nothing short of magic, in that I’m instantly soothed where moments prior, I was feeling not just chilly, physically, but cold, emotionally. Let it warm you inside and out. Shower. Even though you don’t feel like it. Suds up, preferably with your favorite, feel good aroma. As soon as the warm water hits me and I am surrounded by steam carrying the scent of lemongrass, I can’t help but exhale and admit that I’m already feeling better. Many of us have no appetite when stressed. Others eat for emotional comfort. Wherever you fall on this continuum, drag your clean, warm self to the market and buy some healthy food. It takes no culinary talent to whip up a nutritionally dense meal for one. Steam some broccoli, kale, spinach, squash…whatever catches your eye in the produce section. If you’re following a lifestyle food plan, stick to it. Buy, or don’t, accordingly, the ingredients required to make your signature dish. Buy the good oil. Pick up a small bouquet of fresh flowers. Look at the colors before deciding, and be genuinely grateful for your eyesight. So simple it’s stupid, right? But, we all get there, sometimes. None of live in incessant gratitude. This is especially true when we’re wallowing in “self,” awaiting someone to aid us in putting our broken pieces back together. Not only is it not their responsibility, it’s beyond their know-how. Nobody but YOU knows what YOU need to be whole. Take your time. If you’ve never asked yourself, “What do I need?” chances are, it will require some pondering to answer this question with any articulation and accuracy. But, once you do, and you set about the task of gathering around and within you, the things that serve you, you will no longer desire another human to repair your emotions. To place in someone else’s hands, your wounded heart and weary mind insinuates an incapability, a “less than,” a “not enough,”…it says, “You are better at working on me, than me.” It may seem a quiet thought, but as it’s happening, it’s a scream heard by those on whom you place these demands. To the degree that we are responsible to never intentionally harm another human being, we are responsible to not harm ourselves. Daily, be as gentle, kind and attentive to yourself as you would be to a child. After all, the needs you are feeling, are basic and child-like. Not to be confused with childish. One denotes the need for self care. The other, petty nonsense. No…it is absolutely acceptable, necessary, even, to attend to your inner child. Think of how very little reassurance is required when a toddler takes a tumble and scrapes his knee. The reaction of the adults around him will calm him or elevate his panic. When you alleviate your own sense of panic after you’ve taken a tumble, you have exhibited more self-love, self-control, emotional intelligence and coping skills than many adults will ever attain. When our pattern is emotional paralysis, our mind will obey that path of least resistance, even though it is a much tougher burden to bear…not knowing how to show up for ourselves brings a deep and lasting dissatisfaction. It’s a misery that is always accompanied with hopelessness, because what we are expecting is impossible. Inside work is challenging, as it is. But, playing helpless until we saddle another with the problems we haven’t begun to address on our own is futile. Even if suggestions are made, they’re likely to be shot down with all the reasons we can’t or shouldn’t go about “it” that way. In the end, it’s how you should have started at square one. You’ll talk yourself into your solution, but, in the longest way possible. By taking a mini-poll on what to do next, dragging some poor soul with you. Do you REALLY not know your priorities, and, if not, do you REALLY think anyone else does? Are you picking up what I’m putting down, here? We all have our baggage. Some of us have a carry on and some, a 6 piece matching set that’s been overstuffed for so long, we needed to start yesterday, clearing the path for any semblance of a healthy future. Either way, we MUST fix it if we want to grow. Fortunately, we’re all a work in progress. Pick a thing. Any “thing.” You know what eats at you. What would offset the scale if you tackled it, today? Are you impatient? Vengeful? Lacking compassion? Unreliable? What if I told you that our own flaws create secondary storms that are seemingly unrelated. As always, if you don’t believe me, try it free for 30 days…if you don’t see an improvement in other areas of your life, your misery will always be there waiting to be reclaimed. But, what if I’m right? What if showing up for yourself, nurturing yourself, holding yourself accountable replaced feelings of self-pity, isolation and stagnation in life? Move your body, shake your mind, crank some tunes, sit quietly on your yoga mat, listen to a guided meditation, rock a new hair style, cry it out and then get busy, turn off the tv, cook, paint, write, exercise, manage your time and make yourself a priority, howEVER that looks. And, for the love of all that’s holy, STOP BLAMING OTHERS FOR YOUR MISERY. When I was miserable, I was lazy. This is my experience, it may not be yours. When I got busy working on Dawn’s problem with Dawn, I was amazed at how few problems I had with others, with the world, at large. The peace and clarity that had eluded me were suddenly my new companions. I found it easier to be optimistic, positive, to expect good things, for myself and for others. I found forgiveness was the preferred course of action and drama just magically evaporated. One thing that IS the same, for you and for me, is nobody can fix us, but us. I’ve said it before, it is our birthright to create the healthiest, most satisfying life for ourselves we possibly can. Make sure you haven’t become comfortable with the uncomfortable and decide you are WILLING to do something to improve, everyday. Tiny choices, accumulate to create a beautiful, new reality. You are equipped. You are intelligent. You are brave, or you wouldn’t be thinking of what you’re going to tackle, first. You are ready. And, you are worthy. Do it yourself, Warriors.