Why is it so difficult to ask for help? When did we start believing that we have to do it on our own? When are we asking for too much? How often can you ask for it?
So many questions can come up around help. I, myself, have difficulties asking for it. Funny enough, it isn't always the same resistance.
Sometimes, I know I can do it, and it would take more effort to explain what and how I need it.
Other times, I don't realize I could use some help, and only when it's done, I wish I had some help.
And on other days, it's because the other person who could help me has their own challenges. Can you relate?
When I visited my parents and brother for a week a couple of weeks ago without my significant other and son, I relied on my partner's help. If he hadn't been open to me leaving for a week, I wouldn't have been able to go, or I would've felt guilty and filled with shame not providing the support I usually do as a wife and mother (watch our panel discussion around shame, guilt, and judgments).
My greatest learning from this experience is that we need each other's help. We need to get comfortable asking for help, obviously in a compassionate and caring way, not in a demanding or expecting way. It also depends on what kind of help we are asking for. Asking for a favor or a hand might be easier to receive support. What I find more challenging is when we require emotional, relational, or extended help. How do we do that?
If we know help is needed, I suggest holding a conversation about how we are doing. Ensure that the other person or group of people we want to connect with are aware and create a heart-to-heart relationship. When we learn of someone's experience, we are more likely to be open up and want to offer our help.
Also, if we are in a vulnerable situation, acknowledge that other people want to help and support us, not shy away from accepting help. The thought around receiving help is that we feel needy, taking advantage, or ashamed of our experience. Notice what comes up for you. What are you avoiding, resisting, not allowing? The way our society has taught us around help and support is that it's a weakness. It makes us believe that we are not strong, others have it worse, and I shouldn't need help. All these thoughts have an underlying story that only you can figure out. And yet, it is everything but. It's you expressing how you are feeling and being honest about your experience.
Another reason I need your help is that I am holding an introduction to mindfulness workshop in March 2022 online and a one-day retreat on April 21st in Sleepy Hollow, NY, where I need a minimum of 6 people. So if you want to practice asking for help, communicating your experiences, and using mindfulness practices to support your daily life, join me in these free sessions. Questions? Comment below or email me directly.