Kindness. Consideration. Empathy. Do you automatically say, “Yes, yes, and yes”?

These qualities aren’t only meant for other people. Sometimes we need to put ourselves at the top of the list. In the November series, Love Yourself Up, we’ll talk about how to give and receive compassion.

If I asked you how to support your friends and family, you could probably name 3 or 4 ideas off the top of your head. Yet asking for or receiving help takes on a different face when we’re the ones in need. Suddenly there’s an inference that we’re weak or powerless, and let’s be frank – no one wants to be thought of that way. So we put our heads down and convince ourselves it’s better to be strong and maybe even go it alone. Facing open space? That’s just too painful.

This is what happened for a young man profiled by Humans of New York. Here’s his story:

My mother wasn’t the best person in the world. She was hooked on heroin for most of my life. She sold our childhood home for drug money. She left me alone to raise my brother and disabled nephew. I used to wake up every night to feed him and change his diapers. I supported us all on the $5.15 an hour that I earned from the grocery store.

My mother passed away a few months ago, and I think I’m just now coming to terms with how awful she made my life. This is the most stable I’ve ever been. I have a permanent address. I have someone who legitimately loves me. But my anxiety has never been worse.

I’ve been having panic attacks recently. I think I’ve never had to deal with the trauma because things were always coming at me. And now I’m not sure how to handle the quiet.

Right now, you could be like the man in this story. You have left trauma in the past, however, you are uncertain about how to create a new life.

Here’s some good news: The space that feels so uncomfortable isn’t filled with loneliness; it’s a place of healing. Your instincts are ready to tell you how to create what’s next, but allowing those messages to come through requires some silence.

Think of your intuition like a quiet, thoughtful guest at a dinner party. It won’t shout over loud music or speak while others are talking. It’s going to wait until you’re ready to listen. That’s why having peace and calm is an important way to love yourself up, especially around the holidays.

This is the week to spend a few minutes visualizing the road ahead and see what shows up. If the next phase of life looks uncertain, start the process by naming your essentials. Like the man in New York, surely you deserve a future filled with peace, joy and love.

Turn down the static of the world. Don’t flip on the TV. Don’t get distracted by your phone. It's all right; you can handle the quiet.

Published by Michelle Mains