Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Asking For Help, Weakness or Strength?
This is an interesting question right? Especially for women. I cannot speak for men but I am certain that it applies to them as well.
Recently I had a bout of food poisoning on a Sunday morning with a house full of guests to take care of. It took me an hour to just muster up the strength to go downstairs to feed my cats! I had a blaring headache, and my body was clearly rejecting something as I ran to the bathroom so many times, I lost count.
My body felt like it had been taken over by some evil gremlin! My guests were sound asleep and I was struggling. For the first time in my life, I felt like I couldn't take care of myself let alone four guests and two furry, black cats. It was a bit scary and I knew I needed help when I started to choke.
And so, I reached out to a friend and she came without question. I was mortified to have someone see me in such a state. You see, I am usually the strong one helping everyone else. She went and laid out breakfast for my guests and explained to them that I was ill. She went to the tried and true alternative healing books we both share and quickly started assessing what was happening. Even through the many trips to the bathroom we were able to figure this out together and find out what I needed. She ran to the store and came back with a number of basic things I needed - gingerale, a piece of ginger, acidopholis, ginger tea and charcoal. I ate the banana for potassium and took the charcoal and drank the gingerale with pieces of ginger in it. And I started to feel better.. ( and perhaps it was the bazillion times I was in the bathroom as well? hahaha)
I was so grateful to have her there with me. These are the times I had wished I had a boyfriend or husband who was there to "punt for me" and hold my hand!
However, I am so grateful to have a large circle of female friends who would help me with anything I need. Whether it's watching me discard the "gremlin within me" in a bowl on a Sunday morning or help me figure out a software program to move my business along.
As I think about the concept of "asking for help", I remember the days in my life when I felt that this was a weakness. I was supposed to be a strong, independent woman who could whip the world and make anything happen.
Well, I have since learned that this is not a weakness , but a strength. This world we live in is complex and oftentimes is challenging. Being strong doesn't mean that you edge people out and let no one in. Being strong means being confident, loving, listening to your inner self and knowing that those you love are there for you.
It's funny how life reflects back to you all these little lessons because as I am writing this, I had an "ah ha" moment as Oprah calls them.
You see, a few weeks ago, I had an ex-boyfriend of mine who is very smart, super successful in business, vibrant and full of life - reach out to me for help. He was having hip surgery and wanted to know if I would help him through the surgery and recovery. I didn't even think twice - I said "of course." And that's exactly what I have done. I was with him the entire day yesterday from 8:30 am through almost 11:00pm. As he started to go under the anesthesia and we discussed the post operative process with the nursing staff, I assured him I would not leave his side.
He looked at me and said " I appreciate that baby" - an endearing term he used with me when we were dating. I smiled to myself as his eyes closed and the anesthesia took hold.
Never in my mind did I think he was weak for asking me for help. On the contrary. I was so appreciative that he thought enough of me that he could count on me, despite the fact that we hadn't dated in years.
And so, "what we give out, comes back to us" as my spiritual mentor, Wayne Dyer says.
So funny, the coincidences of life. And today as I was doing my morning meditation and writing, I bumped into Marie Forleo's post about a woman entrepreneur who started this amazing jewelry business. And what did they talk about? Asking for help ! Check it out - here's the link.
Yes, sometimes our friends or family can't help us when we need them to, but there are always other ones to back them up!
The moral of this story? Mmm..Don't be afraid to ask for help. It is a gift to others. I am reminded of a conversation my mother had with a friend of hers long ago. This was a church friend, who actually was my earliest spiritual teacher. Sharon told my mother that not reaching out for help , was robbing her friends of a gift.