Need a pillar, or maybe a fewChristine on how you can get people to lean on.

I have always heard the quote that “the secret to any good relationship is taking turns being the pillar.” Webster’s dictionary defines pillar as a rock, mainstay, bastion, or tower of strength. And that about sums it up. We all need someone to prop us up at times. We all need pillars in our lives. No matter how strong we think we are there are times when our strength just vaporizes.

Disheartenment happens to all of us and what do we do? We often feel very alone, confused, angry or sad. Sounds a lot like the definition of depression.

Someone attacks us at work. A family member snaps back when our intentions were honorable. A friend goes down the laundry list of all the things you do that bother them. A spouse doesn’t pay attention when you’re telling them something very important. Someone doesn’t value and appreciate you. Your health is compromised. Whatever it is, it hurts. It takes away your self-esteem. It makes you feel like a failure.

And what do you need? A pillar, or maybe a few. People that will hold you up and assure you everything will be all right. You are OK. You are appreciated, worthy and loved. This too shall pass.

So then the question comes up, who are the pillars in your life? If you really stop and think you will know exactly who they are. They are the ones who make you feel good about yourself. The people who appreciate and love you unconditionally. Pillars are the people you seek out in a crisis. The best pillars are the ones who ask if you want solutions or empathy, and give you feedback accordingly. They don’t preach nor scold. Who needs that when you are in need of support?

So how do you get pillars in your life? Quite simply, you become a pillar for others. You hold others up, compliment them, and are available when they need you. Being a pillar means thinking more about others that you do about yourself. You are the post, support, rock that they turn to at the crossroads of life.

You might call them good friends but I define them as even more. Pillars are the people who are always there. The valued ones you trust with your private thoughts. Most people only have a few in their life and that’s OK. It isn’t the amount but the quality. It only takes one good pillar to make a difference when life is crashing down around you.

The secret: Be a pillar and you will have a pillar. Be several pillars and you will have several pillars. Be a pillar community and you will have a pillar community. You can’t have support if you are not supportive for others.

Just like the saying goes,

“Good relationships take turns being the pillar.”