This weekend, I worked very hard to help a friend and mentor out from a tough spot. And what I remembered about, and perhaps you have felt this one too, is the internal battle to ask for help. The struggle with our vulnerability and pride in asking and receiving.

 

The last time you needed to accomplish something, and you were overwhelmed, did you consider asking for help but then dismissed the idea? I don’t want to bother people with my problems you said. Maybe you never ask? Or do you only ask family members?

 

Why Not? Are we that unworthy? Or are we afraid of being turned down and suffering the double shame of this combination of unworthiness and rejection?

 

We humans are proud. We know we need to earn your respect, your devotion, and your support. We are human doings and we work hard for our life’s accomplishments. We expect to be judged through these same lenses by others.

 

Deep down, I think the root wounds of our unworthiness

grow deeper when fed by our pride to refuse to request help

Asking for help has been there for some of the hardest tasks I’ve taken on in my life. I can still feel the weight of filing a police report against my ex-husband. Asking for money to decrease my debts to buy a house. Asking to have my writing published and being rejected. In each of these instances of need, my worthiness was being called into question. But I was the one questioning it, not the person I asked.

What I will continue to point out is that most people have a counter need to actually be needed and to assist those in need. To be of use. It makes them feel good. People are altruistic as well as a little narcissistic. If we ask for their help, they’ll be flattered to be asked.

I guess this requires a matter of faith in our fellow human beings and in ourselves. Each of us will eventually find ourselves standing somewhere knocking on a door we don’t know and asking for help. If we can remember to get out of our own way and allow for the exchange, imagine the feelings of well-being for both parties, then we can build bridges in civility. We do not have to earn the love we need.

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