How to Recognize Real Support

Nalini MacNab
5 min readMay 19, 2018


What does it look or feel like when what we are is truly supported? Many of us have settled for what could be called toxic care or toxic support without realizing it. Why?

We gravitate toward what we grew up with as care, the good and the bad, because it is familiar, and familiar is comforting. Or so we have been conditioned to believe.

For example, once I had an IT contract terminate early. My new apartment wasn’t available yet, I had already paid the deposit and first month’s rent and would now not be paid for the upcoming week. I had planned to use that money to fund temporary housing. I would have to use what remained in my bank account to find a place to sleep until my apartment became available, as well as to look for another job. Ouch.

I phoned my mother and asked if I might visit for the afternoon. I wanted to curl up on her sofa and watch a movie. I could curl up, drink a cup of tea, and revise my CV in a self-constructed bubble of relative peace. Or so I thought.

It hurt her feelings that what I wanted was a set of circumstances rather than her company. She wanted to know what had happened and jumped in with her usual extensive advice chatter, as I prepared my tea the way I like it, instead of the way she does. She knew I was upset and wanted to help, certainly.

I had learned, over the years, not to share the day-to-day of my tech career with her because she would glaze over. Not only did she have no idea what I was talking about, she wasn’t interested. “The tech stuff” bored her silly. She was also envious of me having a career and I didn’t want to be the cause of that sad expression on her face.

So Mum tried to help by doling out advice from her experience, which had zero relevance to my life or circumstances. She was trying to tell me how to live a life she knew nothing about.

So here we were again. She, giving unsolicited advice on things she knew not of, while trying to make me drink my tea the way she likes hers. Over the years I had come to accept her intended love and the support it offered, and filter out the rest. It makes me smile, now, through the lens of hindsight. Always twenty-twenty vision, that.

Yesterday, sitting across the kitchen table from a friend’s mother, I drank my tea and listened. So similar, the parental viewpoint. A verbal acknowledgement of how hard it is for parents to support their children when the next generation lives in a completely different world than they did. Then, the inevitable control programs kicked in.

She said “I did the wrong thing by teaching my son this. Life is too hard and how I taught him to be doesn’t work.”

I thought “No! You did the right thing! He’s brilliant! Only now you keep trying to guide his steps the way you would have walked your own path. THAT can’t possibly work!”

The mirror for the dynamic with my own mother did not escape me {I write dryly and with great irony}. I wondered why I was hearing this, now.

My own mum and I worked this stuff out quite some time ago, long before she left this world. She had her reality bubble. I have mine. They are different and that was understood between us. Good boundaries on both sides. There was love without control dynamics between us. Oh, she would still try…and we would laugh together about it, turning our disagreements over to Source. We agreed that loving the light was more important than wanting to be right.

What attracted the current situation, sitting in the control programs of someone else’s mother? Was I trying to control some part of this reinvention transition? Was I reverting to the young professional woman I had been, who retreated to mum’s sofa for an afternoon because she felt she had nowhere else to go?

When we believe we have ‘nowhere else to go’ our family programming kicks in. (B.)elief (S.)ystem: “Family always has to take you in. You’re always safe with family.” So, we create some kind of ‘family’ situation in order to feel supported. We do this, even though those situations might be dysfunctional and even harmful to us. It is a default program in the physical system. Was this what was playing out? I took a walk to clear my aching head.

I take one step outdoors here and the land rises up to embrace me. There is a glow and a rapture in the shared love of life renewing itself. The fields are bursting with spring. New adventures. New beginnings.

Yesterday’s walk yielded the desire for MY structure to change. I issued the request to the Infinite, for a stepping up of vibration. I asked to have my sights set higher, beyond what I have been able to perceive. I asked for a healthy dose of dispassion for the situation, as well as compassion for my presence within it. I asked my allies to assist with a bit of humour to lighten things up.

The dragon realms responded immediately, with a rousing chorus of “Burning Down the House.” No plans to take that literally, of course, though it did make me laugh out loud.

How can disparate realities co-exist? The world is facing this dilemma!

I realized how I lived that life for years. I lived in one set of vibrations, one range of frequencies, tucked within and sometimes smothered by, another. We can no longer run or hide or fight or freeze in those ways.

Control and support are not the same thing. Control dynamics do not support us, they limit us.

So how do we recognize real support?

  1. It does not try to control.
  2. It encourages us to vibrate not only as we choose to, but as we must.
  3. It pushes us in the direction of truth, no matter what.
  4. It loves us unconditionally, if sometimes with a bit of OFFS thrown in.

Real support is real love, outside of all illusions.

“Recognition is liberation.” ~ Tibetan Wisdom

May we recognize and receive true support and learn to know the difference. And may we learn to create, manifest and experience from that place.

~Namaste ~


Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate it more than I can express. You can follow me here on Medium or sign up to receive my weekly website blog or monthly newsletter. Further offerings can be found at my website, Chalice of Wisdom. Thanks again for your time and attention.



Nalini MacNab

I live, learn, write, create and share the experience of embodying HER Infinite Love.