Have you ever thought about all the different facets around the concept of “help”? When I bring up the idea of asking for help, what emotion does it spark? Are you able to easily ask for help or is it a fearful process? Have your requests for help often been met or have they been refused? Do you feel guilty or grateful upon receiving help?
How about when someone asks you for help? Do you feel obligated and resentful, or honored and energized to have the opportunity to contribute? Do you have the personal power to decline if the help is not in alignment with your needs?
The giving and receiving of help can be a magical process. It can produce great feelings for both the giver and the receiver. It can propel a desire to “pay it forward” and help others in a positive and joyful way. On the flip side, it can also create feelings of abuse, obligation, guilt, vulnerability, rejection, distrust and disappointment.
So, how do we create a circle of help in our lives that allows for asking, giving and receiving of help and produces all the positive side effects that helping can offer? Here are some thoughts on how to create your own circle of help.
The ABC’s (and D) of Help:
- Awareness: awareness is always the first step in creating anything. Pay attention to the role that helping plays in your life. How do you feel about it? If it isn’t feeling great, what about it is out of alignment for you? Are you helping too
much? Are you asking for too much help? Are you giving help and never asking in
return therefore robbing your circle of the opportunity to give? Are you expecting help without asking for it?
- Boundaries: one of the most important (and sometimes difficult) aspects of self-love is the ability to set and honor personal boundaries. Take a look at your help
behaviors. If you are giving out of obligation and fear of saying no, it may be
time to look at how you’re treating yourself.
- Communication: creating a circle of help requires authentic and honest communication. We learn from each other, support one another and deepen our relationships when we really talk about how we feel about situations.
- Don’t take it personally: everything that others do is about their journey – not
yours! Everything you do is about your journey – not someone else’s. Becoming
proficient in this belief changes everything. Asking for help is easy. Giving
help is a choice and done from love and joy. Receiving help elicits gratitude.
Being unable to help does not produce feelings of guilt. Being denied help is
not a rejection of you or your relationship.
What are your help beliefs? This week, I invite you to pay attention to the role you play in the circle of help. How you can help yourself grow and evolve in this area? I welcome your comments and thoughts!
Post originally written 5/2/2010 by Jill Baake.