It was an awkward moment. That first meeting, then the second, third, fourth, and many more after that. What I learned became a part of who I am. I first began mentoring when our local high school felt that there was a need for students to form relationships where they felt heard. The Friday meetings were a time of getting to know a stranger yet sharing experiences that allowed each of us to express our honest feelings. It was a time to share pain, excitement, disappointments and everyday likes and dislikes. And it was a time to self-reflect on why each of us believed what we did.
Mentoring benefits both parties.
Time spent together creates accountability, vulnerability and trust. We learn to share things that we may not share with anyone else for fear of being made fun of, being embarrassed or even feeling shame. That safe person will help hold us accountable when we need to make decisions that may be uncomfortable or need to confront an issue. Or even to just be there when things fall apart. It may feel like you are all alone in the world, but mentoring gives you the hope that someone will be there for you. Mentors also benefit when they make it a priority to be there for someone else and pour into that other person.
Mentoring promotes growth in our maturation process.
Having a person that is wiser gives us the opportunity to absorb some of their wisdom. We can learn different perspectives and gain insight into topics about which we are not as knowledgeable. We can also learn how to handle situations in healthier, more mature ways.
Mentoring can help us process through things.
We can learn to process through feelings and actions when we have someone there to just listen. No matter the age of the mentee, a listening ear is valuable. If we can share our emotions with someone who is available to hear, we typically will not stay stuck. It is easier to work through an emotion when we can release it safely.
In honor of National Mentoring Month, I encourage you to take that chance. Reach out, dig deep, and do that hard work. It is ok not to know where to start or what it will look like in the end. And imagine the impact of being a safe place for someone to share. I can promise you this: neither of you will leave the same.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters (in your area)http://cflbigs.org/
Champ Mentoring through Hope for North Brevard https://www.hopenb.org/services/champ-program/