Ouch....is it OK to not be quite so independent?
So....I am the original Ms Independent!! I like to believe I can do it all myself and I just hate asking for help. I rarely use that word - but I actually feel really nauseous if I have to ask for help...and will try to do it all myself and will try every way I can and then only as a VERY last resort, will I ask for help.
It started at an early age. I clearly remember at the age of 3 and a half, my parents picking me up from hospital after having my tonsils out. (In those days, parents were not allowed to stay and only had set visiting hours). My dad went to pick me up to carry me and I can remember saying in no uncertain times - I am OK, I can walk.....and yet I can also remember that I didn't actually feel that great and would have loved to have been carried out. So I wonder why I was born with that fiercely independent streak?
Some of you may identify with this too - others not...but with working with lots of coaching clients, sharings in yoga retreats and conversations with friends, I know I am not alone in not wanting to ask for help.
What do we make it mean when we ask for help?
Do we see it as being needy?
Do we see it as being not worthy / not good enough?
Do we see it as being weak?
I wonder if as women who have grown up believing we are equal to men and having a whole world of opportunities open to us.....are we scared to ask for help? As part of the Heroines Journey, it is a natural stage for us to disconnect and split from the feminine. In doing so, we can over identify with the achievements, courage, competitiveness of the masculine (to get on in the world) and project all that we perceive as the negative feminine onto the mother.
So instead of asking for help....we continue the myth in our psyche that to do so indicates weakness or shows we are not worthy or equal.
What if I was to suggest that it takes incredible strength to ask for help?
Or the unwillingness to ask for help can be a weakness?
Allow that to settle for a moment.
It is not very comfortable is it? No! I have sat with this for a few days as I have reflected how I have been resistant to asking for help, or even rejecting the many offers of help I have received recently.
So to give you the story (and as well as not asking for or accepting help offered), I am holding my hands up to acting off-brand last week. I made a mistake, I got it wrong. But I won't do it again.
I moved home. I didn't want to pay for removals - it was too expensive and besides I thought I didn't have much to move! Oh how wrong was I? Even once I decided to do it myself, at least 5 wonderful friends offered (and repeated their offer of help).....actually as I write this - it was probably nearer 10 friends who offered to help! But Ms Independent thought I could do it alone and I didn't want to be a burden to anyone.
I am squirming as I write this as I know I have said to SO many people over the years about asking for help and how looking after themselves (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) is a very unselfish act, I encourage others to do so and here I am not taking my own medicine!!
So another bit about me that you may or may not know.....I am deeply spiritual and search for the deeper meaning in life and I love the finer things in life too - I particularly like handbags and I love having a facial and my nails done. So a few days before my move, I had a lovely pedicure and manicure and had some bronze / gold (but classy you understand!) nail polish on. All fitting in with my brand and who I am - boho chic........but then I started doing removals. Whilst I have immense gratitude for my strong thighs and shoulders (thank goodness for all of those Warrior 2's and chatarangas)......and for my incredible energy levels that allowed me to get through about 3 days of removals from a 1st floor apartment to a 2nd floor apartment (if I had been wearing one of those step counters, the amount of stairs I did would have been very impressive) with very little sleep.......my fingers no longer look boho luxe - they look like workmans hands, scratched, red, broken nails and very badly chipped nail varnish!!
How far I have fallen :)
I write this in jest as it did make me laugh as I fell onto the sofa on Sunday - exhausted and looking rather rough!!
Why did I make it so hard for myself?
Even though I have done SO much work on myself over the last 10 years or so ........and how many changes I allowed in in 2017......I had slipped back into an old habit.
I made a promise to myself then and there that I was done with this pattern of having to do it all alone and being so ridiculously stubbornly independent. I am a strong, vulnerable capable woman, a goddess even - and now I am ready to ask for help to make things easier.
So I thought I would write this blog post as an amnesty for all of my other independent sisters out there.......you know who you are.
So hands up.......who else is ready to throw this pattern away (we can still be capable independent, strong women - but when we take any trait to the nth degree it becomes our weakness not our strength). Please share below - even if this habit is not one of your patterns, if there is another, that despite years of work and self awareness, you have recently caught yourself doing and now you are ready to call time on it!
Let's do it (or NOT do it!!)
(In my next blog post I will be talking about co-creating with the Universe - doing as much as we can and then surrendering)