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I believe that support does not offer advice unless it is asked for. It is not a place to lecture about my point of view or my opinion. In person, support allows face to face listening and attention. Words are often not necessary. But here on line, how can I or you do that? I think offering support here is tricky because I don't think we can get the information or feel the connection that seeing one another provides. For me it's a slippery slope where I can put my foot in my mouth, or hurt or offend. What I want to do is respond with self awareness, to check in, with as much honesty as I can muster, to see where I'm coming from, because I am so smart and know so much and have such great things to say and I want to slip in something that doesn't seem preachy but really is and I really want to sound good and the other people who read it will think I'm way cool!!
To the best of my ability at the time, I respond with what comes up for me - my own experience, memories or questions. Why do I do this? I think it is an offer of connection that is without any judgement and says we are all in this together. And very often after reading what someone has put out there, I learn something or am faced with something that is helpful for me.
For someone to tell her story to others without any idea who might respond is courageous.. Responding while trying to be self aware is too.
So, am I way cool or what?? Thanks for reading and I'd love to read what your thoughts are. Because you are also way cool! Mary Ernst

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I re- read my comments on this topic and was confused by what I wrote. I believe support requires listening and staying present to the others words, expression and tone. I think support requires witnessing and not projecting our own view. In giving support we respect the authenticity of what is shared. It's important for the person sharing to feel heard ,so in supporting we need to let this be known.
To me, an important thing a person can do to support me is to encourage me to trust myself, to go ahead and do the thing, follow the interest, the dream, listen to my intuition. Honesty and sharing something of yourself supports me. Offering to help is is a gift.

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