I have just come out of a season of healing from a bad fall last August and a head injury. For months it was hard to think clearly, to focus for any length of time and I was exhausted. I felt extremely vulnerable, and I knew I had to ask for help. I did not want to be a burden or high needs to my family or circle of friends. I didn’t want to appear emotionally weak. Yet, I knew I couldn’t heal on my own. There was a tension between wanting to be independent and my dependence on my peeps.
I am sharing this with you because I had an epiphany this past weekend. I was watching my 18-month old grandson yesterday. His leg got stuck on the rocking horse and he couldn’t get off the horse by himself. He looked up at me, and then signed, Help! It was so natural for him. I helped him unhook his leg and he was on his way! It was if he was saying to me, “No biggie Mimi. Just a bump in execution, that’s all.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new.” Barack Obama
Often times our default is, I can do this myself, I can figure this out, I just need to dig deeper… All those unconscious mind loops can keep us:
Showing our vulnerability is seen as a weakness. More proof of our not enough-ness or in-adequacy.
To create a new mind loop to replace the one that was NOT helpful, I worked on being resourceful. Shifting my thoughts from feeling like I was weak to looking at asking for help as a strength. My family and friends could help me in ways I couldn’t at that time. I needed to lean on them due to my mental limitations. Oddly enough, it ultimately made me feel more empowered and confident, I had a sense of well-being as I rested and healed. It made me realize that I needed to receive, graciously. Many of us are over givers and not very good at receiving. One dear friend brought countless dinners, I couldn’t reciprocate…. Truthfully, that wasn’t even the point! This gal pal was giving of herself, it wasn’t tit for tat. Another important lesson, learning how to just say, “Thank you!”, and to receive in the vein it was given. More on that subject next month.
Over the last several months, mercifully I have healed a great deal. This experience has been humbling and I am “awe”mazed at what emotional strength really is. It is embracing our weakness, asking for help and trusting the process of healthy interdependence. I know in the moment that is not the most satisfying answer, yet vulnerability is closely related to being courageous. Courage builds confidence and lets us see how capable we are, usually that is found during challenging times. To feel the feels and deal internally with our emotional experience, on our own terms. This awareness of the pleasant/unpleasant experiences you understand you can tolerate more than you realize. This can lead to more self-acceptance and confidence as you are more “willing to try” (Mel Robbins’s definition of confidence).
Emotional strength, resourcefulness and acceptance are critical to living a full life in the midst of the ups and downs we each face. Stay open, lean on those whom you love/trust and know you are stronger than you realize!
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Enjoy the newness of Spring all around us!! It is a time of renewal.