Do you call friends and ask how they're doing? Even more so, right now? It can very overwhelming with so much happening in our world right now. Just as locally, here in our own country, and closer to home, within our own communities, there is violence, mental health issues, illnes, suffering, grief, pain, and so much more. Along with all the good and beautiful things too. It's all happening every day, very close to home. Even someone you may know. Even a close friend. Even someone in your family.
Local change expands into global change too. If we feel overwelmed with what to do with the pain of everything in our world, perhaps we start by looking at local change, tuning into what's closer, to those we know around us, who are going through something difficult in their lives right now. We can be part of change by being there for those we know, in more quality and meaningful ways.
How often do you call and check in on friends and ask how they are doing? Are you really in touch with your friends, and family, to know what's going on in their lives? How they truly are? And are you someone they can count on, to be there, for support, in a quality and meaningful way?
This compassion is so important, amongst and within us all. This support and love that we can bring to each other - close and local change - that is so deeply needed and significant, even more so, right now.
I ask this today as my heart aches for our world and everything that's happening right now. It's always been happening, but it's as if right now, every single thing is coming up to the surface, being turned upside down and inside out, and we are being asked and called to question to everything, and to really make some very deep changes, within, and collectively. Including our relationships and how we connect with others. What a sense of belonging and community even means for us.
Change can start locally. It can start very close to us. It starts with compassion for our closest friends, family, our neighbours. And this can be such significant change that expands out even further, but is part of making a huge difference. Knowing what's truly going on in each others lives, and supporting each other in a meaningful and quality way, with our time and presence. Wanting to know what's going on, really wanting to really know how it feels for someone we know who's going through a challenging and tough time. Checking in and calling that friend you know who's having a difficult time. Calling that friend you haven't heard from in a while and seeing what's going on in their life. Are they doing okay. How are things, really, for them, right now. Not just through social media, or online. The old fashioned way of picking up the phone. Or a long personal email perhaps. All the ways of communicating and connecting that are far more personal and meaningful than the ease of social media.
In so many ways, social media disconnects us from what's right in front of us, who truly matters in our hearts and lives and how we can lean into these quality and meaningful connections and relationships even more, for true connection and community.
As a side passion, I've been a crisis counsellor for a few years now. My passion for this has only increased through these times. Giving back in some way through a lot of deep change and challenge in my own heart and life. Speaking to others in our community, who are finding things tough. Not everyone calls because they are in crisis. Some people do. Often it's devastating. Other times, calls are from people who don't have someone to talk to. They call because they feel alone and lonely and are just needing someone who will listen and be there. They call just to have a conversation, and I can't tell you the times that these calls are often the most meaningful. To know that through one conversation, this might be a huge shift and change in someone's day and life. And the truth of this is so very real.
What is deeply real is embedded loneliness in our communities and amongst each other. And many people feel lonely for all kinds of reasons. Some people feel lonely even with families, friends and very successful careers. Others feel lonely because they are isolated, or they're living alone, or disadvantaged, or going through something very hard and painful. All kinds of reasons and situations. And they might be our neighbour, they may be a friend, they may just be someone we know very well and we just don't know about it because we haven't asked them. We haven't been there. Or maybe we do know, but we don't check in. We haven't picked up the phone. We haven't put our own lives and problems aside, to look to someone else and to really want to know how they are feeling, how they're going, and honestly, be a supportive and loving friend. A truly compassionate and loving human being.
I've had so many people say to me 'I feel lonely'. Or 'I wish my friends would call me and ask how I am'. Or 'I wish I could talk to my friend about this'. And I'll say with honesty, I understand this feeling within my own life, through times of deep challenge. It can feel very lonely. And it can also be very hard to reach out. We often use phrases of 'reach out' or 'you're not alone', but the thing is, when we're going through something, it's very hard to be the one who reaches out, especially if we feel our friends and family are so busy or we would be burdening them with our problems, or that we should only share when we are feeling positive or life is going well. That feeling that we would come across as negative or not 'fun' to be around. It can feel easier to be alone when we don't feel others will understand. If only this could change within and amongst us all. If we could really feel this sense of connection and support from each other, in such a deeper and more quality and meangingful way. Really know that we can be there for each other and know we can be counted on.
Loneliness is huge in our communities, in our country, in our world. Loneliness is a huge cause of stress and dis-harmony and dis-ease. And it's a huge cause of mental health issues and feelings of disconnection and a sense of lack and not belonging. If we care about connection and community, we must care about this closer to home. Not only on a global scale, or through our social media screens. But closer, with more heart, with more presence. Being someone that others know they can call or talk to. It brings tears to my eyes how simple this should be, how this is true friendship and connection and community, and yet, how separate we are from this. And this is such a significant change that we can all be part of. Our part in changing embedded loneliness that exists, and how this could expand into such compassionate and beautiful change, personally, for us all, amongst each other, and for our whole wellbeing, and collectively too.
So, I want to finish just on this note, with heart and ask this of you - Who can you be there for, right now? How might you be able to support a friend more, right now? When might you put time aside today, to pick up the phone and call someone you know, who's having a difficult time? Who do think might be feeling lonely or alone right now? Never underestimate just how meaningful it is to be there for someone and saying 'I'm here for you', and truly asking and wanting to know how they are, how they feel. It's true that it's often our 'strong' friends that we forget to to check in on, when at times, those strong friends might be so supportive to others, and yet, still going through something difficult in their own lives. They just may not talk about it, or tell us, unless we ask.
It's seems such a small thing, but we could all do so much better. It's just so deeply significant for someone to know that we are here for them, that we care, that they are loved, and they will feel less alone through whatever they might be going through, or however they feel. Putting aside our own lives, and being willing to give our time and presence for others. We can still have compasionate boundaries, and care for ourselves, but I don't believe this should ever replace deeply caring for others.
In these times, right now, our compassion and love for each other, those near and dear to us, as well as further away, it's all needed more than anything. We can all make a start, in small but deeply significant ways. Reaching out, checking in, being someone others can truly count on through all the ups and downs.
Written from my heart to yours,
PS. If you're feeling lonely or alone, through something you're going through right now, please do reach out. And I really mean that. Perhaps you'd like to just have a conversation. Or perhaps you know you'd like some support through challenge or change in your life right now. Supporting clients, one on one, is my very favourite thing x
PPS. If you'd like to receive regular 'Letters of Support', then please sign up through the home page. I am currently writing a new ebook 'Calm Through Change' which I'll be sending as a gift, very soon, to those in my community. With love x
Katie Jane is a Life Coach, Health Coach, Counsellor, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Holistic Psychologist, Mentor, Writer, Meditation teacher. She has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Katie works with clients in private practice in Melbourne, as well as online and over skype to other parts of the globe. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes in their hearts and in their lives.