Why it’s Hard to Ask for Help and What to Do about It
I was born to a bright, loving woman in Ohio in the year 1978. She is a strong woman. A courageous woman. She knows a lot. Holds wisdom. She can do anything, or so it seemed to me, as an impressionable young girl, growing in her shadow.
I say shadow on purpose. For though we often feel that we can do anything, the truth is, we need support, help, love from our community.
Her shadow aspects perhaps include ideas that she didn’t need anyone, and therefore, she accomplished much on her own, such is the nature of a single mother.
I watched her buy houses, decorate them, grow gardens, mow lawns, plant trees, grow a 30 year career as an educator, and live a full life, as a single mother.
Perhaps that’s where I got ideas that I can do it by myself. (See me in super-woman pose here, hands on hips, wide-stance. red cape. thanks.)
I teach at a private school part time. One difference in this school vs. a public school is that I’m in charge of my classroom, the cleaning, arranging, and moving of furniture.
In public schools I’d inherit an empty room. Here, I received a room with 40 years of books & clutter from other people. It’s been my job to clear out the old, sift through dusty books, and find what I desire to keep.
My heaping piles of trash & recycling would have been handled by Mr. Tim in my old school. He was the Handy Head Custodian & he did all the heavy lifting for me.
Here, I am in charge. (Sort-of.)
Sometimes, I like it that way. Fewer people to interact with. Being introverted, empathic & intuitive makes being around so many other beings a challenge.
Yet, I need help.
I can’t do it all by myself.
Take today, for instance. A perk of private schools never before experienced by me in my public career, is that I got to order new furniture for my room. From Ikea. Fun.
It arrived today. Two huge boxes of parts & pieces to be assembled.
I was planning to do it by myself. I can do anything.
I opened the directions to a page of pictures. The first picture showed a person attempting to piece it together solo, and it had a big x crossing it out. You know, like, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO IT BY YOURSELF.
A second image showed two people working together, with big smiles on their faces.
I took a deep breath. It was settled. I would ask for help.
The picture almost gave me an excuse. It confirmed for me that I best partner up.
I got to thinking about this metaphor for my life. The way I so often attempt to do things on my own. Let’s face it. I’m 36, single, no children, no roommates. I created a business where I connect with people from the privacy of my home. Alone. It seems I’ve set life up, in large part, to go solo.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do have a sacred trust of beautiful beings around me. And even with them, it’s hard sometimes to say, can you help me? I marvel at this fact. These are the closest people to me, and I still can’t easily ask for what I need.
In my heart of hearts, I know my deepest dream is to have rich relationships with people around me. Not like everyone, but these select few. The people for whom my soul crafted a path to find me.
The people that all of my rockets of desire, all my cries in the night, all my yearnings & visions & dreams, actualized into human forms, beings to come to me and be messengers of love & healing & grace.
That’s what relationship is to me. A sacred trust. A few good people to go deep, be real, open up, share the scary parts, the needy parts, the ugly parts, and have them love me anyway.
And, inside of that grace & love, I am restored, healed. Whole. It’s not because of them, it’s not a dependency upon them, but an honoring, a gift, a solace, created like the eternal figure eight, that channels love between two hearts & reminds us we are whole. and complete. and lovable. and fully capable of joining.
We all have wounds. Mine is a father who left when I was 2. I work on healing the scared feelings of a little girl left by her greatest love.
That wound is my gift, what makes me so deep feeling, so loving, full of grace. It is also what has me cry in the night in fear that I am unlovable.
I stand in the mirror sometimes and I just be with me. And I whisper into the soul of my eyes, you are perfect. You are so lovable. I love you. And each time, I believe it more and more.
It is this wound, this precious space of fear that thinks it’s an ugly reject, that keeps me isolated sometimes, keeps me separate.
I heal her. Wholly. A little more each day. And I know she has a hard time asking for help because it’s vulnerable. I feel needy. I feel I may fumble, and you’ll see my in my imperfect ways. You might leave too, the way he did, once upon a time.
So what to do? How to ask for help?
For me, I plant two feet firmly on the ground. Imagining and acknowledging my connection to earth mother, father sky, and my rightful place in the universe, I whisper, softly at first, please help me.
And I trust, that somewhere, some way, you hear me.
Thanks for joining with me today. I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let me know, do you struggle to ask for help? If so, what helps you find your courageous voice? As always, I’ll respond to your comment, so check back.