Happy New Year everyone! Phew...2012 is history and 2013 is present; a gift!
Aha moments...they come at the funniest of times, don’t they?! But when they come...do we always recognize them? Do we stop to really contemplate them or do we simply say, “hmm interesting” and dismiss them?
During one of my regular morning activities, and as I was reflecting on 2012 – looking into what 2013 might bring, I could almost see the glow of the light bulb that had suddenly illuminated intensely above my head.
HELP ~ asking for, accepting and/or giving ~ Help!
Every experience we go through is a learning opportunity. The more challenging the journey seems; the greater the growth will be. And the truth is...sometimes – whether we are giving or receiving; the act of help is essential.
Definition of help:
1. To give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively2. To save; rescue; succor: as in Help me, I’m falling
3. To make easier or less difficult; contribute to; facilitate
4. To be useful or profitable to
5. To refrain from; avoid (usually preceded by can or cannot)
Don’t just ‘skim’ this definition...read it. Look at the words and consider their meanings. Help is not about pushing your agenda or forcing a reaction but being gentle, providing aid or recognizing when you can’t.
Lovingly and very respectfully, I say I grew up in a functionally, dysfunctional family like so many others. My childhood was a montage of excitement and disappointment. At 15 I was raped; but that’s a story for another day. The point is, in surviving the rape – I learned a lot about myself and others. The two main things I learned and have carried with me for many years are these: First, I’m a survivor. Second, the only person I can ever count on is...me.
This may sound harsh, detached and cynical but they are lessons I’ve come to find comfort in. These attributes have become my strengths on many levels of my life’s journey. A small example of how I implement them; do you ever become so nervous about something that you self sabotage and/or lose out on an opportunity? When I find myself in that situation...I can pull from my ‘survivor’ and ‘count on me’ skills to get myself through the nervousness so I can experience the opportunity that awaits me. These skills...have seen my zip line, cross bridges, meet new people, speak to people, return to school, face my rapist, walk 111km across Spain, fall in love, become a mother and grow every day of my life. Over the years, I have changed how I use these skills but...they are ingrained in every cell of who I am and how I interact with others. They give me courage and continue to inspire me to move forward confidently and compassionately.
As many of you know, 2012 was a HUGE year for me with MANY changes. What is so interesting is...that while I am alone now, my life purpose seems larger and clearer. I’ve spent months wondering ‘how will I get through this’, ‘what am I going to do’, and I start to worry and become scared. The truth is....I have no idea what lies ahead but I do know, I don’t have to do this alone. I’ve so many compassionate people in my life, on so many levels; people who lovingly share their strengths with others and without condition or an expectation of ‘you owe me’. It truly is a “pay it forward” life style they strive to live; which compliments me; my hopes, my dreams, my ideals, philosophy....my life and life style.
Every day, I receive a message in some form or another from a least one person that is powerful, yet simple; such as, “Thinking of you.” By them sending such a simple message, they are helping me get through that moment. By receiving and accepting their message I am inspired to look forward, keep my faith, keep my hope, and maintain my courage to stand confident in my truth.
Asking for and accepting help is not a weakness but rather a strength. We do it every day and most often don’t recognize it. When we ask the person across the table, ‘pass me the pepper, please’, we’ve asked for help. When someone steps aside to allow us in, we’ve accepted help. When we’re lost and we need direction...we need help getting our bearing back and that’s ok. Sometimes what ‘survivors’ and ‘count on me’ people need to notice is...when the impact is goes beyond ‘me’, asking for and accepting help is an even more beautiful gift. If we are the one’s offering help....it is VERY important that we first ask ‘may I help you’, ‘how may I help’. You may find that you can’t help or that’s not how you want to help. Recognizing that and then choosing not to help may be the best help you can give.
For me, on many levels, Help will be my joie de vivre in 2013.
Wishing 2013 gently showers you with abundant gifts of love, health, peace and.... help!
Love and laughter... Carleana