Last month we featured Ela her on our Facebook page. She shared her story with us as she wanted to acknowledge how being a part of Family Circles had benefitted her. When her circle met this week, she appeared rather upbeat, and others present complimented her for coming a long way. They recalled how they were deeply concerned when Ela contemplated having a knife near her for self-defence. While they appreciated Ela’s fears, they were glad that she took their advice not to do so because any chance of a better life would diminish if she ended up hurting another person or herself.
Ela nodded in agreement and thanked everyone for their advice and support that has been forthcoming since the day she met them. She pointed out Suraya for always stepping in when she had difficulty understanding documents or communicating with those who were processing the administrative work related to her divorce. Suraya was even available when she was in Indonesia filing her divorce papers and, on a few occasions, even speaking to the Indonesian officers via phone to explain her challenges in Singapore.
Ela is grateful how her divorce proceedings are making progress after acting on guidance from others in her circle. Importantly, she also acted on the group’s advice to rent a room to avoid conflicts arising from living with her ex-husband. She reckons that this healthy distance and newfound independence as well as clarity with her divorce proceedings have given her a new lease of life.
With much optimism, she announced to the group that she has taken a loan from a licensed money lender to pay for legal fees. Immediately, Suraya and others in the group expressed their concern. They asked her how much she had borrowed and wanted to hear about her repayment plan. Group members told her that she should have approached them, and they could have chipped in to help. Suraya even declared that she would have pawned off the little jewellery she had to raise the funds she needed.
Anyway, the group patiently reviewed Ela’s monthly budget and ensured that she would have enough money for basic needs after servicing her repayment plan. The members were definitely more than aware of the risks borrowing posed and told Ela that she had no bandwidth for unexpected expenses. So, she must alert them early if she began running into difficulties. Ela was a little surprised that her friends felt that taking a loan was risky, but she recognised that they only had her best interest at heart, and she responded to all their queries transparently and cheerfully.
We left the session privileged to have witnessed genuine care and concern among people with the shared objective of supporting each other’s success.
For peace and community,
Accept the things to which fate binds you and love the people with whom fate brings you together but do so with all your heart. – Marcus Aurelius