Thursday, January 20, 2011

We all need a little help; someone to lean on, once in a while!

We all need a little help sometimes!

Someone to lean
on and help us get
our feet back
on the ground.

We all can and will need some help, at sometime in our lives. Having people in our lives that we can lean on is important to our over all sense of optimal well being. Consider the words of John Donne: "No man is an island".

We can learn to accept help or "lean" on family, partners, friends and/or the random acts of kindness from strangers. We can learn to welcome and embrace it without becoming dependent on it, (this is the fear or pattern of many).

Why is it that many of us either have such a difficult time asking for help and others of us, so easily expect and rely upon it? For many, disappointment in ourselves and others have formed a brick wall around us. Such negative experiences, events and feelings may have convinced some they need no one. In fact, others' support leaves some people to feel that they cannot negotiate life without others, leaving them uncomfortably vulnerable.

This has always been an interesting phenomenon to me. Maybe the answers lies in how and what we learned as children, how we integrated this into our adult lives and the cumulative effect of previous and more recent disappointments we have experienced.

I believe there is absolutely no shame in asking for or needing help once in a while, especially when it is needed. The real shame is in living totally reliant upon it or being utterly unable or unwilling to ask for and/or receive it.

We must also remember to seek the help we need from those who are capable of doing giving it. If not, we will be setting ourselves up for even more disappointment. We must learn to choose wisely. If we ask someone and they cannot, please leave yourself open to believing that another can and will! Trust me, we, (they), are out there.

As I often write and speak about, (as with many other issues), balance is always the key!

As a national and local responder for the American Red Cross: Disaster Mental Health Team, (in addition to being a licensed mental health clinician in private practice), I have seen thousands of people in need of help.

Let us consider survivors of disasters. Most survivors are willing to accept the material type of help offered; such as food, shelter and clothing, however, there are many less willing to accept, let alone ask for, assistance dealing with their emotional state of well being.

Feeling yourself to be strong is a good thing, however,"help" is not a dirty word nor does it mean the need for it equals weakness. The truth is, we all need a little help, someone to lean on, once in a while. It should not take a major disaster or life alerting event, to be open to the notion of requiring "help".

Lest us not forget....if we, ourselves, cannot ask for or accept help, how then can we be there, fully, for others when they do? Remembering "No man, (or woman), is an island" and be a person who helps others, as well as yourself.  This really is another route to being the best we can be!

Positive Adaptation's proposes that we 'Think Feel and Do' better, become the best you, you can be, live and enjoy life to the fullest.

Let us try to 'Think, Feel and Do' better at being more open to asking for, receiving and being fully present to 'help'. May we learn how to lean on others, (when needed), and become someone who can be leaned upon.


* Thank you to all of my "helpers". Especially DH, RRK, DRK and HK. I only hope I give back as much as I have received.