How is it possible to feel alone in a group of people? How can you feel alone when you are constantly engaging with people? How can you feel alone when the world is united in a way that it has never been before? How is it that nobody is hearing your silent cries?

Over the last few months there have been many questions. Many more questions than there have been answers. Questions that nudge at you but you don’t really take the time to explore.

The time during lockdown and after has given me the space to explore some of these questions that I haven’t had the guts to do before.

Now, in the aftermath of the panic, the enduring anxiety of how to handle the devastating blows that we have been dealt again and again; with hope shattered, dangled and shattered again, I’m asking myself new questions.

Although I didn’t exactly know what the right questions were, those that I did ask led me on a journey.

Firstly, I have realised how important I am. Sounds selfish and egotistical but for the first time in my life I’ve taken (ok been forced!) to dig deeper into myself. To unpack my own reasons and values. To understand the difference between self-knowledge and self-awareness and what all of these mean for me. To really “get” myself and understand what I need.

In the beginning it was a muddle of personal and professional and I spent a lot of time trying to separate the two.  I’ve now come to realise that I can’t. My personal values, awareness and the very essence of who I am MUST be the foundation of my professional life if I want to live a life that is authentically me.

Al these have led me to ask more questions of myself, my relationships and, because it seemed the natural next step, my business.

When lockdown started my Mom stated:” Now you will see the truth about the people around you”

This turned into a truth in unexpected ways.

Acquaintances became trusted friends and helped create the safe space so desperately needed while trusted friends disappeared into their own drama.

While some have been lost to me forever through death, some have also moved further away emotionally.

People I haven’t even met in real life have taught me that I could depend on them in any crisis. 

I’ve been surprized, devastated, encouraged, heartbroken, energized, sad and truly comforted. 

I’ve learnt so much about what is important to me and why. 

I’ve learnt who I can trust and who is just there in the shadows, lurking.

For each one of us to move forward we need to learn about ourselves first and then about the people that surround us. 

3 times this week I’ve seen this quote:” If you want to go fast, go alone

If you want to go far, go together” – African Proverb

In different parts of your journey you will have different people, filling different spaces in your life.  Each one has the potential to be a part of your journey, if you take the time to listen.  Some might have powerful, life altering things to say or do, and some might just be able to give you the silence you need to hear your inner message clearly.

I’ve now had some time to work through the understanding that each relationship that I have must be reciprocal. Some of them will be deeper and some will be superficial, but either way there needs to be a balance. You need to give, and you need to take equally in each relationship and therefore you will need to be clear in your own mind as to who you want in your tribe and for why.

The one lesson that stands above all else is that you cannot travel this journey alone.

Reach out to everyone you can as each one will bring a building block. Friends, family colleagues each fill a different space. 

They each know a slightly different version of you. It is up to you to work through their input with truthfulness and honesty to help you see your path clearer.

For each one of us to move forward we need to learn about ourselves first and then about the people that surround us.

Time to take stock.

Do you have a tribe around you that will love, support, kick your butt, push or pull you when you need it?

If you don’t… ask yourself, why?

If you do…. Ask yourself…. Why?