I am a very independent person. I have supported myself for many years now, with no help from anyone. Well okay, I am not an island, I have great supports, but aside from helping me move a couch, I don’t think I had to lean on them too much since starting my grown-up life after university. Even through university, I was pretty good at making sure my own needs were met.
This year, that has changed, although I really didn’t clue into it until very recently. I kept going on about my life, getting some extra help here and there, all the time with the idea that this was temporary, that the way out was right around the corner and it was up to me to find it and figure it out and solve it all. This has decidedly not worked very well. There came a point where I realized I need not try to power on through alone.
When it came down to it, asking for help and support, which I thought I knew how to do, was really hard. I’ve come to realize that I have only asked for it for things that I pretty much had a handle on as it was, nothing that was still up in the air. Now that I actually had pretty good reason to do so, I felt so needy. Like I was somehow taking up people’s valuable time and whining. Like my problems weren’t big enough and I was creating drama where none should exist. Like I was hugely imposing on people who have their own worries, thank you very much.
The response was wonderful. Not only was there an, “Of course,” but there was also,”What took you so long?” and, “I’m so glad you’ve asked, you could have done so a lot sooner.” The support and good wishes have come in spades, which if anything, has been more humbling than the having to ask in the first place. It’s been truly lovely and surprisingly enough, freeing. I now feel like I have a small army at my back, watching out for me, asking how I’m doing, and not letting me get away with answering “Fine.” It’s been amazing.
I am still feeling a little odd about it, justifying sometimes to people that soon I will be back in a more helping position once again and then LOOK OUT, WORLD! There will be helpfulness! And no more taking! And! And! And then I remind myself of something very interesting I read a short time ago, which is that receiving is the balance to giving, not necessarily the opposite. Taking is not the same as receiving, or being receptive. That asking for help is not the same as demanding it. That allowing someone to give freely to you can be just as much of a gift to them as to you. And that as giving/receiving is a balance, it is not a competition; soon my time to be there for them will come (and when it happens, hoo boy, I will so be THERE!).
So thank you, Universe, for giving me the most incredible gift of being surrounded by people who are glad I asked for help, happy to give it, and to whom I will be only too honoured to return the favour sometime. Thank you.