19 Oct Help…Who Needs It?
This week I’m thinking about how much we need other people.
This is coming from me, a person who likes to think of herself as an island capable of taking complete care of herself with a history of being more or less unwilling to let anyone help her.
Mostly because it’s hard to be vulnerable, but also because of some carnival-mirror idea I have of independence.
As if being an independent person meant being an isolated person remote from the interdependence of living in a society and doing things like, I don’t know, shower with water that comes from a pipe I didn’t lay. Or eat food from a grocery store.
As I muster the courage to receive help, I find it’s been really life-supportive, and always a two-way street.
I’m not just talking about mental health and personal stuff that’s too often taboo and swept under the rug. I’m not going to subject you right now to the trauma healing work I’ve been doing with my text-message based therapist, although one day I will tell that story.
No, I’m talking about receiving help doing things like: Rebuilding my website. Figuring out my vision on how to be in responsible service to people in collaboration with others. Building honest, emotionally vulnerable friendships. These are three ways I’ve recently received help.
And like I said, these helping relationships are two-way streets. Not that I’m giving back the exact same help I receive. But the more these relationships grow the more we are both able to express what we’re getting from it.
The gratitude bit. The “thank you for helping me do _______” part. The answer I hear when I ask the question “Are you getting what you need out of this?” Because deep down I don’t want to be a burden.
Lo and behold, we’re all just helping each other out.
Not because I show up with all the skills and the right plan of action to help you. Rather because we show up together not really knowing, but willing to collaborate to figure it out.
Willing to share our individual know-how and willing to learn from the other. Willing to keep trying even if it seems like we’re speaking two different languages.
Willing to trust the feeling of trust, even though it’s scary. For me, anyway.
Last week my message was clear: no one can know your body and mind better than you.
This is true. What I’ve found is that people, not even knowing they’re doing it sometimes, help me know myself a whole lot better than I did before I had their help.
I really can’t believe I’ve resisted that for so long…
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