I've heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child and I firmly believe that's true. It takes a lot of courage, patience, love and support to raise children who have a good sense of self-esteem, self-concept and emotional intelligence. But what happens after that child grows up? Is the village still needed?
I used to think that we needed to be independent and take care of ourselves without any help from anyone else. That it was my job, in fact to not only take care of myself but to take care of others who were in need. This is a message I hear being told to men and women everywhere. Men have to be the providers. There is no room for them to be vulnerable or need support. To do so would make them look weak. For women the message is that it is our responsibility to nurture others ahead of ourselves. To take care of their physical and emotional needs regardless of our own. To take care of ourselves first means that we are selfish and unloving.
There is a different way though. Provide for and take care of others only when you have the ability to do so. It takes a village. Period. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to continue the homeostasis of that community. The balance will shift between who provides and nurtures however there will always be someone who provides and nurtures. Stop looking at ourselves as individuals from each other. We are all connected and we are all part of mankind. We are biologically hardwired to thrive in a community as opposed to alone.
It is our differences which need to be celebrated. It is our differences which allow us to all be a piece of the community that is needed. So stop separating yourself from your community by thinking you need to do it all alone. Reach out for support if you need it and if you have time, energy or money left over, support someone in need.