I wrote a piece for Postpartum Progress years ago about getting more help than you think you deserve. I wrote it as a love note to new moms, but I’m realizing that this mantra might apply to lots of other times in our life as well. (Like for me, now!)
Because what we think we deserve is not enough.
Because what we think we deserve is just the tiniest slice of what we actually need.
Because needing help, support, company doesn’t make you needy, it makes you human.
I’ve been practicing this lately and it’s vulnerable stuff. But honestly, I was in such a place of despair last week I really didn’t care. In addition to calling for support from my virtual community (oh my goodness. thank you) I also sent an email out to some local friends. It went something like this:
Hey sweet friends,
I’m not doing particularly well.
And I have the kids all weekend by myself.
I’m thinking having company would make a world of difference! If you have any pockets of time this weekend, or if your kids want to play, let me know.
And then a wash of shame came over me. And some thoughts: What’s your problem? Why are you so needy? Are you ever going to have your shit together? And I remembered that mantra again – Get more help than you think you deserve.
And then there’s the other side… and I remember how honored I feel when a friend comes to me with the real deal of her life. How it feels like a blessing to be included and to be able to offer my support.
And that’s soul food for me. I’m guessing it’s soul food for you too.
So can we just make a little deal here?
Can we just declare right now that it’s okay to not have our shit together?
That it’s okay to feel lost.
Or in need.
Let’s decide that it’s actually a gift to include others in our (sometimes messy) process. That by showing our own vulnerability, we make space for others to do the same. Let’s create that kind of world for ourselves, shall we?
Some years ago a friend of mine was telling me about an icky procedure she was going to have to do the next day at the hospital. “Do you want me to go with you?” I asked. Tears welled up in her eyes. “That would be so nice,” she said. “I didn’t know I could ask for that.”
And I LOVED being there for her. I felt so happy to be the person that got to give that gift. It was good. It was her medicine and it was also mine.
Yes. Yes. Yes to this.
We can ask for this.
We need to ask for this.
This is how we are going to survive the messiness of life. This is how we are going to thrive.
We stay connected. We stay real. We stop pretending. We tell the truth.
When we do this, we are shining a light in the dark places for each other. When we offer the light of our heart, our attention and our compassion we help each other move through to the other side.
And when YOU decide to be the brave one, the one that reaches out first… you give your loved ones permission to do it the next time. You create a loop of mutual support + connection that will not only feed you, but save your sanity. This is a crazy ride folks. We need each other. Let’s be brave together.
P.S. Ready to do some Brave Blogging with me? The class begins on September 5th. More details here.