Five years ago, today, I stumbled into the local beauty salon where my neighbor worked as a receptionist.
“Can someone help me? Today is my son’s birthday – yesterday was my other son’s funeral. I need to separate the two. Today needs to be joyful. I need to not look like a wreck. Can someone please help me?”
Within two minutes, I was reclined in a chair, while someone soothingly rubbed my head and someone else assured me my make-up would look fabulous.
And an hour later, I was calmed down, looking fair and trying not to ruin my makeup by crying over the generosity of these angels who didn’t charge me and refused my insistence they at least take a gratuity.
I was reminded yesterday of the the times I asked for help and it was graciously given.
Joe Vitale has asking for help on his list of things to do for a more abundant life. I was somewhat unnerved to notice the first thought that entered my head upon hearing this was:
“Yeah – that works. You ask and get No’s and end up doing it yourself, anyways. Why waste the time/energy in asking in the first place?”
I hit the pause button on the interview, removed my headphones and walked outside to ponder just when and why I stopped asking for help.
As I worked back through my memories, I realized I had not often asked for help in my early adulthood, because A. I didn’t really need help and B. When I did, it didn’t occur to me to ask, because I had such faith in my ability to take care of myself and whoever else happened along the way.
When Life events started to snowball, I started asking for help and often the answer was No. I received so many No’s I finally decided toughing it through was easier than the heartbreak of asking and not receiving.
In order to soldier on with something of a brave face, I started making up stories to explain why I had received a No so often and justify my new decision to not ask.
Over the years, these stories became so rich and deep, they melded in so perfectly – I became the One Who Does Not Ask.
No’s weren’t the only feeding factor in this story – Around the time my life was unraveling, I was deeply immersed in ‘creating my own reality’ theology. I asked the Universe, gave thanks and then waited for help to show up.
When it didn’t arrive, but more calamities did, I told the Universe, “Thank you for nothing and won’t be calling you again.”
My mother refuses to stand near me on some days – she’s afraid the lightening strike meant for me may hit her. I tell her believing in an omnipotent being with poor target skills doesn’t sound very faithful to me…
So yesterday, I sat down and decided to remember all the times I asked for help and it was graciously given. Or the times I didn’t ask, but it was offered out of the blue, anyhoo.
And I realized that I’ve received a Yes and help much more often than I have gotten the big, bad “No”.
And it’s becoming more prevalent, here lately – –
My story explaining this reversal is: I’ve learned to be a more gracious receiver – –
I used to say all the platitudes that run rampant in polite society:
“Oh, you shouldn’t have.”
“No, I insist, I’ll get Lunch.”
“Thanks for the offer, but really, I should do this myself.”
Not anymore – Whatever shows up gets a resounding “Thanks ever so much” and that’s that.
All this musing led me to see that my psyche and body are still working through shedding the issues I lived through five years ago.
I awoke this morning, full of good cheer and with my best face on.
It’s my son’s birthday and he deserves the best me, everyday, but today, I awoke to a cheerful me, effortlessly.