“We’re on the Same Level”

akaversary

Thank God for line sisters.

We have a measure of protection and care for one another that is unlike any other relationship I’ve known.

Some of us recently got together to celebrate the anniversary of our sisterhood.

With our busy schedules, we wanted to make sure we spent time with each other, even if it wasn’t all 12 of us.

Walking with these women for the past six years has grown me in countless ways.

I have learned love. I have learned trust. I have learned forgiveness.

But, most importantly, I have learned how to ask for help.

Or I’m learning, rather.

Can’t say I’ve mastered this one.

There’s something very profound that happens every time we connect. I’ve realized that I can’t hide around them. Anything I’m dealing with comes to the surface. I can’t wear a mask when I’m with them.

For instance, if I’m struggling with something heavy, it will show up in my voice. I will start to get emotional as I work through the feelings, whatever they may be.

This time was no different.

All of them had some level of understanding regarding my job transition and the headspace I’ve been in. But to actually sit and talk with them in person was another experience.

They saw how shaken up I was about some things and they helped walk me through some truths that needed to be revealed.

But before we even dove into strategies, one of my sisters had to remind me, “We’re all on the same level.”

What she meant by this was that I don’t have to show up as my highest or best self. I don’t have to be all “put together,” so to speak. I don’t have to put on my counselor hat or my small group leader hat. I can literally let my hair down and breathe.

And what I love about this is that it is so contrary to the stereotype of AKAs. We are real. We are human. We are relatable. That’s something I’ve always admired about my line.

So, hearing that reminder of our being on the same level enabled me to receive from them. (Instead of thinking I had to pour into them.)

One of the biggest areas that needed a second look was in my service to others.

It’s no secret that I have a giving heart. I’m always going above and beyond to show love and to help people.

However, sometimes I do this to a fault. I tend to put others before myself and end up being empty when all is said and done.

My therapist (yes, I go to therapy) described it as “making a lot of withdrawals with no deposits.”

One line sister helped me see that I don’t have an equal amount of people pouring back into me. And here’s the key: without my having to ask for it.

Because I’m so perceptive, I pick up on cues. I know when people need some extra tenderness. When a check-in text message or phone call could literally make their entire day, week, month. Others may not and I can’t fault them for it.

So, I know there’s grace for this. I trust that the balance will come.

In terms of managing how much energy I expend, another line sister helped me to see that even the small things could have a toll on me without my realizing it. Constantly sharing my stories on social media and responding to comments, etc. could be draining. I never considered this because it’s something that I love doing.

It’s a part of my calling, I think to myself,  of course I’m supposed to be doing this.

But there’s a time and a place for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3).

Whereas one of my sisters has to work on saying “Yes,” I have to work on saying, “No.”

Unapologetically.

That could take a variety of forms. Not going to every family function. Not serving as much at church. Not answering every phone call or text message right away. The list goes on and on.

So, yes, a lot was uncovered. But that’s because I was open to receiving the support. I put my superwoman cape down and showed the real me.

I’m grateful to have my line sisters help me manage my Superwoman Syndrome. And everything that they poured into me was validated in my therapy session a few days later.

Isn’t God good?! He gives us exactly what we need.

Throughout this journey of ups and downs, highs and lows, I have one major choice to make: accept it or change it. When a sister presented that wisdom to me, it nearly stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t know what to say.

Now I know what the answer has to be.

Keep reading and you’ll see how I grow in my choice.

 

Until Next Time,

Jess

 

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