Yesterday in DC I had magical moments. I rode in a limo for the price of a taxi. At dinner, we pointed out to the server that he forgot to charge us for our cocktails and he smiled and said, “No I did not forget.”
It was that kind of day; the Universe opened her doors and gave us what we wanted, all we needed to do was ask.
Asking takes a lot of practice, it’s not easy.
When I was a kid I asked for few things. I did the math, there was not much money for extras therefore I asked for nothing. We were also taught to “do things for ourselves”, “do not depend on people” and to seal the deal, “God helps those who help themselves.” We were even cautioned, “Be careful what your ask for”.
These lessons of self sufficiency and self dependence were drilled into us, at home and at school. The intention was to make us independent and contributors to society and not a drain on the economy.
As I grew older, I asked for less and less since I could do more for myself. When I started to earn money I became truly “independent”. I could buy the things that I needed and there was no need to ask anyone for anything. I convinced myself that I needed nothing from anyone and that I could take care of myself.
Slowly, over time, asking became an admittance of a need for something or someone, asking suggested failure and that I could not figure it out, it carried a smell of desperation.
There I was navigating my rocky boat through the storms of life, drifting further out to sea until I was tossed to crash on the rocky shores. What a relief! From that position I did not have to ask; help was sent.
From a position of need, and realizing that I could not do life by myself I learned to ask for help.
That was a long time ago. I have felt the sadness and the loneliness that accompanied me at that time. Now, I understand its origins and I have joyfully let it go.
I now boldly and honestly ask for what I want. It still isn’t easy, but it gets easier, the more I practice. It is easier to ask for tangibles since someone either has or has not, can or cannot. It is more difficult to ask for the intangibles – respect for a boundary or a decision, to be treated in a particular way, yet I owe it to myself to ask and to keep asking.
What were you told about asking for help? How did you learn to ask for help?