“It’s a priv- pleasure to assist you. Help is on the way,” she says in a thick, southern drawl. I almost cry when I hang up the phone. A privilege/pleasure to help, but not always to be helped.
I am not good at it.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about looking for the lesson in the disasters.
More of them kept coming. Small ones. Persistent trouble that has compelled me to surrender, a place I’m usually forced to arrive.
And I think I get it now.
It has to do with help.
I’m not good at it. Asking for it, that is. Oh, I’m practiced at offering. Perceiving the slightest hint of need and folding myself over it, encompassing it until it has to call itself by a new name.
Through my travels I’ve learned how to receive many things. Hospitality and shelter. The open armed kindness of strangers. Assistance, sure. Advice and wisdom, definitely.
I cringe at it. At being the one to say the words out loud with the pronoun “I” placed before the word “need.” Isn’t that how we’re trained? In this culture of self– sufficient, serving, absorbed, reliant humans, we’re not supposed to need (or at least not admit or blatantly ask for), help.
And I believe it. That it’s a one way street.
Let me help you, always. But never be the one who needs it.
Because what if we ask and it doesn’t come? What if the way it comes isn’t how we wanted it? What if it’s not from who we want? Or, even worse, the last person or way or shape we want?
Asking is a form of surrender and that shit is scary. More than needing help itself.
But I am learning. Not from choice, as usual, but necessity.
And what I am learning is that my life is replete with beautiful humans who care for me and not only want to help, but think of it as a privilege. A pleasure. Who love the feeling of being needed just as much as I do.
And loves, we need each other. It is absolutely a two-way street.
Help might not come how or where you hope. In fact, initially you might be disappointed. You might feel so ashamed at hearing that first “no,” that you resolve never to ask anyone for anything ever again.
It hurts, I know.
But that shame is a lie. And people will help. The right ones, even if you don’t think they’re the right ones at first. Your higher power, (whatever that looks like for you) will show up in spectacular ways. Surrender will lead to synchronicity and surprise and a serenity you didn’t know you were missing when you thought you had to do it all on your own.
Or maybe the lady from road-side assistance will read something from her script but in the sweetest, kindest way. And you’ll believe it because you need to and it’s true.
Help is on the way.