“Asking for help does not mean we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.” — Anne Wilson Schaef
I’ve received a lot of help lately. Most from my dearest friend and some from people I never imagined I would receive so much of their time or efforts. I don’t like to ask. I’ll spend more energy talking about how hard it is for me to ask, than the energy I’d expend simply asking for what I need.
Many of us may have grown up in isolation and with shame being constantly reinforced the way I did. Help began to feel like a luxury reserved for other people. I thought I didn’t deserve it. I thought I should be able to handle everything. I failed to realize just when I needed help, because I’m so accustomed to living life in a “crisis mode.” I tell myself that my concerns and problems aren’t important enough to bother somebody with. Then, when life becomes really complicated, I blame myself for feeling overwhelmed and almost unable to act.
But we all deserve help. We deserve all the help that we may want and need, whether it’s a ride to an appointment or for someone’s shoulder to cry on when we’re sad or upset. We are worth the time, effort and concern of others – not because any of us is different, but because we are the same.
- I Feel As Though I’ve Lost My Way In This World (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- How does it make you feel? (jennasauber.com)
- The Kindness Blotter: A Spate of Compliments and Helping Hands (fort-greene.thelocal.nytimes.com)
Human misery must somewhere have a stop:
There is no wind that always blows a storm.
It’s easy to think we’ll always be in the same boat, that our characters are fixed, our habits unalterable. “This is who I am. You can take me or leave me.” I know that when I find myself saying similar words to myself or thinking in this way, I often mean, “When you know who I really am, you will leave me.” No one is predestined to be a certain person or to behave in a particular way.
No one stops growing and changing either. We have to have faith in the immense possibilities of movement and growth. Life itself is more than winds and storms. It can be calm, changeable, hot, dry, mellow, promising, gloomy, bright, serene and even phenomenal!
We can match life’s immense diversity of moods. We are a part of life; part of all this wondrous change and diversity and if we are not afraid to let ourselves go a bit, we can be as variable and flexible as life itself.
- Letter: My Life in Therapy (nytimes.com)
- Friends share personal details to strengthen relationships in United States, but not in Japan, study finds (sciencedaily.com)
- If-then plans help protect us from the ‘to hell with it’ effect (bps-research-digest.blogspot.com)
The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators — Edward Gibbon
I had a friend in Milwaukee who loved sailing on Lake Michigan. Like many people who have been sailing, he would often blame the weather for his misfortunes. “If only we’d had good winds.” Or, “We’d have won the race if we hadn’t been becalmed.” Or, “I never feel sick, but…”
And so it is with our lives when we are under the sway of our past, negative or unhealthy behaviors or our addiction. We blame fate, chance, our genes, the devil, our parents, other people – always looking outside ourselves for some element to account for our defects and our failures.
But the good navigator knows how to read the signs and make the weather work to help the boat and crew. So, too, we can learn to be attentive to our relationships with the outside world, working in harmony with what is around us. The world isn’t a hostile place; we can come to feel at home here. But first we must learn to live at peace with ourselves.
I know that I don’t need to blame the world for my shortcomings. I am finding a harmony between my desires and reality as I learn to trust my relationship with the world.