How To Be Supportive Unconditionally


Keep your questions rolling in! I really enjoy doing this.

In a comment on my previous post, a reader asked:

What do you do when you are apart of a lack of support?

My only sibling is getting married to a young lady Ive watched manipulate him for years. I want to be happy for him. I want to release the ideas of him as my sidekick, and confidant. I want to let go of the disappointment of him never finishing school to take care of this woman and their child. I want to be the supportive sister I’ve always been. My gut, heart, and head are all against this marriage (its rare when everything in me votes unanimously).

I believe fear is playing the biggest part in his decision. It’s like watching him walk into a burning building, but I’m a mute with nothing around to throw at his head to catch his attention; Like he’s in autopilot. I’ve been told to mind my business by friends and family. That’s hard. He’s always been my business. I want to let go and be at peace. I don’t want to be cut off because of my opposing views. Its plaguing me. Any advise?

Thank you for submitting that question, and here’s my response:


This was a wonderful question because we often dwell on how other people aren’t there for us – but very seldom do we think about how we don’t support the people in our lives.

Ultimately, in order to release the frustration and disapproval you have for someone else’s choice, you have to allow for them to make their own decisions. You have to trust that they are fulfilling their own dreams, even if it’s in a manner that you don’t agree with. You also have to allow that people will make choices that don’t make sense to you and that their decisions don’t have to make sense to you. Your standards and outlook on life aren’t the same as theirs, and their path to happiness and joy won’t be the same as yours.

If you love someone, you support them no matter what. That doesn’t mean you have to support all of their decisions.

Just as no one has the right to dictate your life, you don’t have the right to dictate someone else’s. We are all charged with the task of making ourselves happy and not relying on others to do that, so we must stand back and give people space to do so on their own terms.

Were you faced with a similar situation to this one? How did you resolve your opposition?

6 thoughts on “How To Be Supportive Unconditionally

  1. Dear Anillia, This question is really for me. I am in that situation with my non-profit organization. Many of my friends think that i am crazy to embrasse such cause (for the POOR). I am from a very large family however, I can count on my fingers the one who are supportive. But it is this kind of vehavior that gave me the courage to pursue my goal “Helping the poor women in the far west of Haiti living with HIV/AIDS”. We are very fortunate to be able to take care of ouselves, this poor ladies (14-45) years have never been expose to proper health care and nutrition even before they were infected/affected. It is hard for me to find the sponsors to help me assist them but slowly but surely we at the organization will get by. Thank you for giving the opportunity to vervalize my painful experience.
    Marie-Jose Santelli

  2. Thanks for sharing the question and answer.

    It’s SO hard to see a loved one make a decision that you feel isn’t in their best interest. I think it’s a reoccurring challenge to find a level of peace concerning it. I wish her the best and also send blessings to the marriage.

    It was great to hear your input.

  3. This is a tough question, but one way I find I can be supportive unconditionally is to first realize that we have goals and expectations of others that we try to impose on them. The writer of the question states she is trying to let go of the disappointment that her brother didn’t finish school. This may be why she is resentful toward this young lady. Her brother made the choice, and as his sister, try to accept that this is the path God has taken him. Everything is in divine order. It is a blessing to have a young man take responsibility for his child, when there are so many fathers who don’t. I have a niece who father has never been a part of her life. So he is a blessing to his fiance and his child. See the blessings and focus on the positive attributes your brother does have. I used to tell my mother growing up, that I had to make my own mistakes, because in those mistakes, I learned valuable life lessons. Be supportive knowing that your brother may make mistakes, but valuable lessons can come out of it that can lead him to a greater fulfillment of himself. Be blessed.

  4. Hey,
    I really appreciate you and your efforts to keep women motivated….God know I need it.
    I started a women’s group back in February , to try and Help women get motivated and inspired to better themselves. In the beginning it was great I would have meetings at my house in my yard and provide everything for the women. Food, games, even gives strong motivational speeches. I started a group meet up website, got a log, tee shirts made and even got the group name. What I am starting to feel is that, I’m not helping any of them, it’s always me doing the work and if I am not constantly e-mailing or contacting them in some way to get motivated, they are not interested. I want to give up so bad at this point, but something in me won’t let me.

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