Most of us are familiar with the jitters that come with going to a new place for the first time. That first day of a new job or visiting a foreign country; you don’t know what to expect. You don’t know the people and you don’t know your way around. You don’t know the layout; the way things are done or where things are kept. You don’t know who to ask, who does what, or where the washrooms are.
Now imagine that combined with the jitters of a new place, you’ve also come to ask for help. You walk through those doors in need. You’ve been told this is the place to go, but you’re not so sure. Part of this ordeal involves sharing your story. You have to talk to people about your situation. You have to admit that you need their help. What kind of questions are they going to ask you? How much info do you have to give?
Do you have to tell them that your husband of 20 years decided to leave you? Do you have to tell them that your wife died of cancer and now it’s just you and the kids? Or how about that one tiny mistake you made at work and they fired you after 25 years of service. Do you need to talk about the anxiety you’re feeling and the hopeless, sleepless nights? Do you have to talk about that!? Do you?
No, you don’t. You don’t have to talk about that at all. The people at The Compass know that stories are shared, and sometimes the most agonizing of stories, with people we’ve come to know. They understand that sharing takes place when sharing feels safe, and feeling safe takes time.
For now, you’ve walked through the door with your ID that shows where you live and that’s enough. Tell us as much about yourself as you want to tell us. We hope to earn your trust in time. We’ll ask you questions – yes, because we’re starting a relationship and our hope is to get to know you and for you to know us. We’ll take this one day at a time and one step at a time. There’s no need to worry. It’s all good. We’ve got you.
Might I suggest to you that many who walk through The Compass’ doors for the first time are performing an act of courage. They are willing to face their vulnerability in a new situation. They are willing to risk the fear of exposure. The reasons are varied, and the stories are unique. Whatever your reason, it took an act of courage for you to come here. I’m proud of you, whoever you are.
“Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” – Eddie Rickenbacker