Learning to ask for help is like learning a new language or a musical instrument. It’s an art form. And it takes time. We stutter, we stumble, we sometimes cock up royally, but we’re always learning and we do always get there – wherever ‘there’ might be. It’s a constant journey, and just like with a language or with an instrument, you can never stop learning, you can never stop learning when it comes to asking for help. Partly because, what you’re asking for help for is constantly changing – sometimes only very slightly, sometimes dramatically – every single day.
Watching this beautiful TED talk below I felt like I connected with so much of what she said, in a direct and indirect way. Since having my two slipped discs arrive on my body’s doorstep, it’s like I’ve been handed a new text book on a new way of living, I just haven’t learnt the language properly yet – I’ve been on the beginners course, until now. It’s a text book in which I’m learning a new kind of life. One I need to learn to lead to help my body heal. And one I’ve been thrown face (or back) first into. Literally. It’s a life my body’s been trying to get me to lead for a while now, through various things – chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, viruses, ptsd, etc, and I have been getting there slowly and brilliantly, compared to how I used to be. It’s a life of gentleness, love, calm, compassion and not STRESS…and a life led with support. The latter has been the hardest thing to get my head around. Actually no, it all fucking has. When I first started learning about all this stuff – gentleness, compassion, unconditional love & care, calm, slooooowness, safety, comfort – it was like a foreign fucking language you only heard spoken on the movies. The idea of it actually existing and being a possibility for me, was like a hilarious joke that I didn’t ‘get’…except eventually I did get it, and I did discover – and am continuing to discover – that this life can be for me. And is.
My back has meant that I have to learn to ask for help, to ask for support, and in ways I never knew how to before – because what I was asking for help with, was different. I was on the beginners course of learning the asking-for-help-language and that
probably definitely helped bring me here – to the intermediate text book stage of asking for motherfucking support. This support is for daily physical needs. Basic chores. Basic. Stuff. But essential stuff. Stuff we all need, and when I pretend I don’t and throw my text book out the window, it all goes to shit. It’s stuff I’ve always been able to just do before – even if it was with a bitch of a struggle, I could still do it – but right now this is where I’m at. And yeah I need people to support me in these ways, but I now am able to support myself in ways I wasn’t able to before. In ways I used to ask for help with/for…I can now love me, whereas before I desperately needed other people to love me for me. I still get that – obvs – but just not as deeply.
It’s swings and roundabouts this asking for help/support, and this self love, journey. Sometimes I love watching myself unfold along the ride, and sometimes I motherfucking hate it. But I am cultivating the ability to have compassion for whatever I’m feeling – hatred or appreciation – and a compassion that’s unconditional, a compassion that is observing, rather than judging. I still feel very much at the beginners stage of this cultivation, but sometimes I catch glimpses of myself and I feel like a fucking pro. And I’m guessing that’ll keep on happening.
That’s pretty beautiful.