Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Help is yours for the asking

On my quest to recap the top lessons of 2011, I would be remiss if I didn’t spend some time on a lesson that is many years in the making…and I suppose will still need additional practice.  This is a hard one to learn, but this past year has forced me to surrender, let go, and allow myself to be vulnerable.  I’m even typing this piece while wearing a baby pink t-shirt, which should be proof that either hell has frozen over or I have mastered some softer skills.  Here’s the next lesson!

#5:  It is important to ask for what you need


Sometimes I blame it on my hearty, pioneer genes, and other times just on growing up in a family that was centered on being independent and self-sufficient.  In any case, I have always been the one that you ask for help, not the one needing assistance.  I’m not the girl pretending to be shy, clueless, or weak in order to get help.  In fact I’m the girl standing by frowning upon those ladies.  My Mom taught me all the basics of household work including sewing, cleaning and cooking.  In return, my Father taught my sisters and I how to change tires, use power tools, and mow the yard.  And in between I learned how to manage most any situation or encounter.

Even if I am stressed or sick, people still come to me for assistance.  I hardly ever think about asking for help on a daily basis, but I’ve come to recognize that instead of this being a strength it may actually be a weakness.  For some individuals, assisting others is the gift that they can give.  It is a gift of themselves, their time and their energy.  And, by allowing myself to be open to help, I not only receive a truly precious gift, but I learn so many things in return…for example, the fact that the universe will help you out when you need it.
My favorite example of this happened earlier in the year while I was pining away for Michael Buble` tickets.  However I could not justify spending that  much.  So, I sat solemnly…accepting that I would just admire him from afar.  I had dozens of friends point out that he would coming to Austin and asking if I had bought tickets, but I sat still and endured the tease of an appearance.  Until one day at work.

Who knows what was in the works that morning, but for some reason my normally reticent and subdued co-workers were chatty and kept interrupting me while I was listening to Michael on Pandora.  At one point I told them they had to be quiet…because they were spoiling my moment with Michael!  One co-worker asked if I was going to the concert and I provided my well-rehearsed and canned response on the cost of the tickets. 

She then commented about the fact that I, among everyone else she knows, was in the best place to ask my vast circle of friends for help on going to the concert.  I thought for a minute and realized that indeed, I had connections and without asking them I would be dreaming of the concert from afar.

Later that night, I asked the universe (in the form of Facebook) for some cosmic intervention, and within minutes received an email…discounts on tickets…literally minutes before the special expired…and proof that when you ask the right questions, you may find exactly what you need.  So, later that summer when I sat and enjoyed a moment with Michael (and yes…several other fans), I realized that asking for what you need may bring some beautiful experiences to your doorstep.

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