Help – Some Courage Required

ImageThis month I was advised by my horoscope to stop thinking of myself as such a master problem-solver and ask for some help. I don’t really enjoy asking for help. I do manage to solicit it through deceptive, manipulative ploys called, “coffee dates” with friends, when I need to escape my revolving perspective. The ability to ask for help does not have an easy on and off switch though. I haven’t asked for more of it I would say, than usual. I have managed to ask for a bit more leeway, which can feel similar to help, but is really just more like permission to care for myself (why do I feel the need to ask for that?).

Today on my walk I ran into a friend. He reiterated to me just what I needed to hear. I’ve been ‘stretched a little thin’ lately, and wondering how to manage that. Everything I have going on in my life right now is so positive and so good, and the thought of dropping any of it just makes me feel like pitching a fit. That said, with each new thing I get excited about I can feel my energy becoming more scattered and am less able to fully sink into any of it.

My friend was talking about all the different projects he’s invested in, how rich they are but yet how hard it is be patient as they come to fruition. He recognized that he was being pushed by himself and by others to jump too far ahead. He knew he needed to be taking the first baby steps instead of letting his enthusiasm carry him straight to step four or five, when he hadn’t yet laid a foundation. What a strong affirmation to maintain, what a beautiful lesson in dedication. To be willing to do the not-so-fun, to lay the groundwork required to build something big, even after the initial infatuation wears off, that’s love.

After parting ways with this friend I ended up slowing down enough to enjoy what was happening in front of me. I told a man that his fur coat was ‘awesome,’ a word I’m am not proud to use as frequently as I do. He offered me an apple from the box he was carrying. I took it. I was surprised I took it. I do love apples and eat them everyday, and yet, usually I decline things offered to me for free. I mean, I could buy my own apple and it’s not like I was walking down the street thinking how much I wanted an apple. But this morning I had been. I’d forgotten about that loose intention.

I ran into another friend. His name always reminds me of the word “give.” We spoke, and when we were done speaking, we both went our separate ways.

I decided on a coffee shop (hard hard hard for me!) and for a change, thought that I would proceed with complete confidence that my coffee shop choice was ideal for the day. Went for it.

Embarrassing admission: I hate parking lots. Even if there is a free parking lot to park in I would rather parallel park and pay than use it. So I did. Parallel park. And then rooting through my purse I thought, “Why did I give my change away, why didn’t I get more.  The thought blew away.  Change should go to those who play music on the street in 10 degree weather! That’s why. 

Last dime. I found it on the street (in a parking lot) last weekend. Man walks by, stretches hand out to me. He has on a chapeau and a scarf and he has a palm full of change. And I…feel a lurch in my heart as I take a quarter. I felt like a sparrow picking muffin crumbs from a warm hand. I felt, like I was on the verge of something big. Like I’d opened the door to help, and it was different than I thought it would be on the other side.

Maybe it counts as asking for help, if you are living with the faith that help will come. Maybe it’s enough to start the journey just by releasing the fear of not having enough, not planning enough, not being enough, knowing that we are not in this alone. Even when we are uncomfortable with the idea of someone else giving to us, supporting us, because it makes us feel dependent. Maybe we would all have more to give by opening to help, and feeling secure that although the time-line isn’t up to us, it is always on its way.


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