Why is This So Hard?

ask for help when you need itI don’t know about you but at times asking for help feels like peeling my skin off. I don’t want help, I will soldier through whatever it is I have on my plate and I will do it on my own.

Except some days I can’t; sometimes I need help.

I feel like a failure because I struggle with even asking my kids to empty the dishwasher.

What’s wrong with me?

Asking for help is hugely vulnerable…we all want to be seen as independent, self sufficient and needing help can feel like weakness. Sometimes it’s also a way to avoid rejection or hurt, when what we ask for help with isn’t met with the openness and cooperation we long for.

I went to a workshop a few weeks ago and was going through the journaling prompts about creating the life of our dreams and to answer the following question.

What stands in the way of living out your dreams?

The first thing that hit me was “asking for help”

I tried to put it aside and listen more deeply – it just seemed to get louder.

I hate these moments – Blech

I like to blame it on my culture, child of Dutch immigrants, we’re fiercely independent and don’t ask for help EVER.

To the point that in my early twenties I felt terrible for calling an ambulance for my very unconscious mother, as I knew she’d be so mad for us calling for help. Even then it took my sister and me close to 30 minutes trying to find another way to sort this situation out on our own.

What’s up with this?! I put someone’s life in danger to avoid asking someone for help.

Even paying for help can come with its own bit of shame.

Independence and getting help are not binary – they can work together, or so I’ve been told. Ahemm. I’m still struggling with this.

What have we made up about asking for help or allowing ourselves to feel like we need help in the first place?

What if asking for help is our way ‘home’?

What if the fullest life requires that you ask for help and allow others to help you?

What are those those sticky areas that you feel too exposed to ask help with?

Maybe its:

  • Getting someone to clean your house
  • Asking someone to watch your kids so you can have a break
  • Asking for volunteers so you have less on your plate
  • Asking your partner to take on some household responsibilities
  • Accepting money when things are a little tight

What the heck?! Insert sound of needle scratching straight across a moving record – STOP THE BUS!!!

It seems that financial independence is held in even higher regard than anything else, there’s a feeling of such shame to accept money in a tough time.

No way – not me! NEVER!!

I’m talking about losing your job, getting ill and bills – the regular ones like food, heat, shelter, pile up and we would rarely even let someone know of our troubles, never mind allow them to cover a bill for us.

What if that’s actually holding us back – holding us back from being loved by another or being cared for as part of a bigger community?

What if we’re so deeply ensnarled in the grip of fierce independence that we’re not allowing ourselves to rest in the nurturing, provisional arms of another; whether that is another person or a community?

What if we are holding back some mysterious and delicious circle of life that we’re made for, that brings us home, home to ourselves and home to a deeper sense of purpose and helps us to access the life of our dreams?

So with that in mind, not wanting to miss out on anything because of fear and my desire to avoid vulnerability, I reached out to 4 people I admire and respect and ask them to help me to create a Joy Sock footed world.

It wasn’t comfortable to ask, but in hindsight, sitting around my kitchen table this week – was one of the best things I’ve ever done. And shockingly for me, people felt joy in being asked – who knew that my need brought them joy.

If getting help is the way home, the way to dive more deeply into our dreams and the divine nudges that whisper to us all in a unique way, then I’m in – like it or not.

Will you join me?

Leona deVinne