HELP is a four letter word.

HELP is a four letter word…

I can’t claim to know what percentage of people suffer from this affliction, but I know it isn’t just me. The affliction that through some warped logic would have us bleed to death before asking for a single Ba...nd Aid, starve to death before asking for so much as a pack of Skittles, or exhaust ourselves physically, mentally or emotionally before we would utter a whimper for anything that even hints of help from others. The irony is that often times those who are most averse to asking for help find the greatest joy in offering it. Perhaps it is the fact that it has great meaning to them. Perhaps it is a nature that defines sharply around giving and “taking.” Admiring the former and condemning the latter. Is our uneasy relationship with help just pride run amok? Perhaps. But I’d like to think it is more complicated than that. At this point I relatively, sort of, kinda firmly believe that personal temperament, upbringing and culture are all part of a somewhat sinister triad that leaves many of us with this ridiculous disorder. And yes, most of us who are plagued with an aversion to assistance can be solidly classified as ridiculous.
Why? Because the last time I checked I didn’t have a red cape tucked away in a phone booth, a closet or anywhere else I might care to look. I don’t have super powers, a magic wand, pixie dust, a bat mobile, bionic body parts or any other hocus pocus that might negate my need for help. In other words, I’m human. Frustratingly, humbly, wonderfully human. And that means that none of us was made or meant to go it alone. We are designed for connection and to care for one another, but our overall admirable, but occasionally errant culture has, I believe, led us a bit astray.

We place such regard on independence, self-sufficiency and the lingering frontier spirit which shaped us, that it is hard to separate these notions of strength, self-sufficiency and independence, from the qualities that nurture our spirit and connection to one another. Add to that a relatively modern ideal that equates help with weakness and we’re more or less doomed. Doomed to suffer in some level of self-imposed isolation because of our refusal to reach out, and allow others in. . As such, my self-defined virtue of being an exceedingly giving person was abruptly taken to task when I read in a Brene Brown book that we cannot GIVE without judgment of others if we cannot ASK without judgment of ourselves. What!?! Do you mean that I am judging others that I “help” because I would judge myself for “needing help?” Yep. And allow me to save you the time of refuting the claim or arguing its truth. I’ve tried…and failed.

To some degree I have passed on the burden of my wiring to those around me. Literally telling people, “you know I won’t ask, so don’t make me.” Suggesting that they intuitively know what I need and respond of their own volition rather than require of me a nearly impossible to utter request. Now, I firmly believe that when we truly care for others, we instinctively know their need. But mind readers we are not. And I would love to arrive at a place where we ALL view care and compassion as a gift which is required to be both given AND received. As a result I have personally chosen to expunge the world HELP from my vocabulary. I don’t HELP anybody. Instead, I am allowed the JOY of being part of their lives. If I am watching my little “granddaughters,” I’m not helping their mom, I’m being allowed the spectacular gift of time spent with them. If I am allowed the opportunity to lean in and “help” a friend, I don’t see this as anything I am doing for their sake, I embrace it as something they are allowing me to do for OUR sake. Because the more I am allowed to DO in the relationship, the more we receive FROM the relationship. Is this terminology ban necessary for all? No, but my condition is excruciatingly severe.
Personally I think this is especially problematic when it comes to raising children. Sociologically we were never meant to live in nuclear families. We were meant to be part of tribes, clans and extended support systems where work and responsibilities were shared. And without that framework we are fated to be exhausted, overwhelmed and miserable unless we allow other people to pitch in and be part of our world, our rhythm and our lives. We are all better for relationships being bound to our hearts and lives and true connection with others requires both the ability to give and the courage to need. As a person who has lived my entire life being fiercely independent, it is a tremendous but necessary leap for me to discard my view of needing “help” as revealing some weakness or shortcoming on my part, but to rather see it for what it is. A beautiful, vulnerable, and utterly necessary part of any true, deep and intimate relationship. Are there people on the other side of the spectrum? People who will ask you for everything from a loan to doing their laundry. You bet. There are givers and takers and the best of all are those who are at ease with and understand the essential nature of both the give AND the take.
In short, “help” is not a burden we heap upon people, it is an honor we unravel when we are allowed the blessing of being part of one another’s lives. And I am forever grateful to those lovely souls who have “helped” me to understand the difference.

Comments

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January 22, 2017

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Semra said

June 24, 2015

Here is my take on the Condor and the Hummingbird, The Hummingbird is desire/ Ego the iesnnte vibration in the conscious mindThe Elders is the subconscious mind, and the Condor is the transmutation of vibration to the superconscious mind. The natural order of things is a thought that is produced by incoming signals via the five senses, it is then referenced to the subscious mind , if it thought/ feeling is in alignment with the subscious mind it is processed and sent to the superconscious for action and delivery. In a normal day to day life this happens on about 98% of the time without question, results happen automatically cause it is refenced to our memories, beliefs.It is when , we get excited about something, and we have a desire to do things , that isn’t in line with our current memories, beliefs in our subscious mind, that a wall goes up, a block , a vibration is sent to the superscious for clarification and a reply comes back and says NO , cause it isn’t in alignment with what is right. Some may call this will power, elastic band effect, desire, it is something that can be produced but isn’t inline with us and in the long term isn’t sustained.Back to the story, For me the hummingbird relates to desire, the wish list. You can manufacture desire and go for a goal depending on the will and your Ego you can make it last and after a while you can obtain whatever you desire. But the feeling at the end is empty, unforfilled, because it is totally against who you are. The Hummingbird has the guts, has the tenasity to succeed, but any riches are short lived, and unable to be enjoyed.The Condor is the messanger and respects the natural order, the reason he gets mad is that , because the Hummingbird goes against every thing that was right, tried to short cut the process, and got slammed.We all need the hummingbird, without it we wouldn’t get to the next level, we need its drive, its ability to get things done. But more importantly we need the Condor to show us what is right for us. Rather than going from point A to Point B in 2 moves as per the Hummingbird , with the Condors help we can go from Point A to point B in 10 moves but we enjoy the journey, the experience and the reward at the end is more forfilled and long lived.The trick is to get the Hummingbird’s desire or vibration pass the elders and onto the condor for delivery. That’s my question on life.Thanks for letting me share this with you all.HavagoodonePeter

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