I have been thinking about my childhood a lot lately. Thinking about all of the wonderful memories, the challenges, the days I thought "nothing can be worse than this." Looking back now, there was a lot that happened, but there wasn't anything I didn't make it through---obviously here I am today, writing about it all. At the time it can be really difficult to see the lesson or to even begin to imagine life will get better. It can be so hard to try and realize that each interaction can really be treated as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Each tear shed, each fight, each rolling of the eye, was brought into your life for a reason. Maybe you learned how to deal with difficult people, maybe you realized you are stronger than you think, or just maybe you learned a new joke or a great book to read that you were then able to suggest to a friend who really needed it at that time. It isn't always clear why life goes the way that it does. I just have to continue to believe that each struggle, each moment of confusion, each difficult and tension filled situation is an opportunity. It is an opportunity for you to learn, and opportunity for you to grow and most importantly and opportunity for you to pay it forward. Maybe the difficult experience you had, has uniquely equipped you to be supportive and empathetic of those around you dealing with a similar situation. While I do not think there is some master plan out there being controlled by anyone, I do believe that certain people and experiences are brought into and out of your life for a purpose. I do try and remember in the worst of times, that there is something to be learned here.
As Gabby says often in "May Cause Miracles," if you feel helpless, help someone else. If you feel like you are having an awful day, reach out to someone else and make their day better. You have the power to not only impact your day, but to impact the day of those around you. If you are in a terrible funk, buy a friend a flower, or send them a touching e-mail. If you are feeling crappy in the morning, wake up a few extra minutes early put on some make-up and your favorite outfit and a fun pair of shoes, or earrings--or for you guys, your favorite tie. There are ways to help you get out of your own way. There are ways to help you remember the importance of other people. Sometimes I get so bogged down inside my own head, it makes me sick. So sick of myself, that sometimes I cannot stand myself. I actually had that as a status on Facebook the other day, "so sick of myself."
It is so true, when I get stuck inside my own head I honestly cannot stand myself. It is also most often when my panic attacks occur, when I am so self absorbed and just cannot get out of my own way. I focus so much on myself, whether it be my stomach, my heart, my head, my tongue, my throat, etc. I start focusing on myself to a point that is not healthy. This is the moment, I am realizing that I need to solely exist for others. I need to find someone to connect to. Find someone to reach out to. When I feel my most helpless I need to help someone else. I need to help remind myself that there are people outside of myself functioning daily that I can call on and ask for help.....and just talk to.
As I know, but needed to recently be reminded, asking for help doesn't make you weak. It makes you intelligent!
As a child, it was so easy to ask for help. As a child you were so dependent on those around you. You needed help to eat, drink and watch t.v. Often times you weren't tall enough to reach whatever you wanted, so you needed to be willing to ask for help. For awhile, you couldn't even tie your shoes or zip your jacket, so you were pretty stuck where you were. As a child, you were so dependent, that you couldn't be afraid to ask for help. You would be shoeless and food less on the ground, for sure. Whether you were on a swing or really wanted your favorite toy on the top shelf you needed to be willing to ask for a push, you needed to be willing to ask for help.
As we got older and we try to gain our independence, we are taught to not ask for help. We are taught to be strong and that we should be able to handle it on our own. A big girl, or big boy should be able to do that by themselves. As a teenager, you shouldn't need help and certainly as a thirty something you should be completely fine on your own. Whether it be trying to write a 12 page research paper, trying to deal with the death of a parent or child, trying to figure out how to ensure your newly born baby is kept alive or just realizing you deal with depression, one of the biggest things you can do in these moments of feeling helpless, defeated and sad is to try and remember the most important words you ever learned as a child...."Can you please help me?"
There are so many people out there who are looking to help. Whether it be your friend, family, husband, wife, doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, teacher, student, vet or neighbor, don't be too proud, ask for help. Some of them paid and some of them just caring and wonderful.
Possibly more importantly, when you are in a position to then help others, help them. When you are feeling pretty good and are having a good day and sense that someone around you isn't, pay them a visit, give them a sticker, pay them a compliment, buy them a candy bar, make them a sign for their desk.
If we are all willing to work together, step up to the plate when we can, and step back to receive help when we need it, the energy and power of us all is unstoppable. No one is better or worse than anyone else, we are all just in our own cycles of giving and receiving. Sometimes we are in a place to give and help others and sometimes we are in a place where we need to ask for help and receive and get our energy and power from others. If we can all begin to recognize when we temporarily have more than someone around us and be willing to give that little push, we can all really help and support each other.
Gabby talks alot about this, she also talks about the importance of moving from a "me" culture to a "we" culture. I couldn't agree more. I honestly believe that we rise and fall together. I honestly believe when we can find a way to look out for others, we all move further ahead in this game we call life. I try and remember this in my moments of self absorption. I love myself dearly, but I feel like we can accomplish so much more together than I could ever do on my own.
Granted, this isn't to say that I don't believe in Independence and that I don't believe in the importance of making your own name for yourself, all I am acknowledging and trying to remind myself and everyone else, is that it is ok to ask for help!
Whenever I struggle with things like this, I try and picture what I would say to my child. If my child ever came to me, asking for help with anything, what would I say to them? I would of course want to help them, I love them. Why would I expect anything less for myself. You may have a few strikeouts of people being too busy and not really focusing on what you need help with, but I promise you, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Don't be afraid to share with others if you need help. The universe will eventually put you in a position to get what you most need. Don't be afraid to put it out there. It is amazing how things can just fall into your life when you need them. Don't doubt that it is out there and don't doubt that I am here for anyone who needs it.
I always feel my best and my most genuine self when I am helping others. I always feel my most fulfilled and happy when I feel like I am helping someone else. Whether it be talking someone through a challenging time, supporting someone in a time or need, or getting to actually do direct service for someone around me, I feel my best when I help others. It helps remind me we are all connected, and for someone who can get stuck inside her own head way too often, it comforts me to know that when I am struggling, I am connected to millions of people who aren't struggling in that moment. It inspires me to lean on them a bit, to try and get some of their energy and then to promise the universe that I will pay it forward as soon as I am in a position to do so.
Thanks to everyone out there for letting me lean on you, I honestly believe if we can work together and step up when we can, and back when we cannot...it will make all the difference....
Thanks and don't forget it is ok to ask for "just a little push", when you need it and know that I am waiting to pay it forward and serve!
and that's all she wrote....
"Today, I prepare to shift my focus from a "me" mentality to a "we" mentality. When I am of service to others, I get out of my own way and stop focusing on my own inner turmoil. Today I choose to shift my attention from my internal dialogue by consciously paying attention to others. I will listen to those who want to be heard, help those who are in need, guide those who are lost, and serve those who call for love."
May Cause Miracles
Day 38 Morning Reflection