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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Reaching Out

"Trouble is part of your life.  If you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough."  -Dinah Shore

For the majority of my life, I have operated in a very specific modus operandi.  It went like this:

  • Live life the best I could, mostly alone (I did a lot of my living inside myself)
  • When the really bad stuff hit, go deeper inside myself and dig really deep, trying to pull myself back out
  • Once the bulk of the problems had past, let people who cared about me know that it happened (usually a sugar-coated "no big deal" version) and that I solved it, and that they wouldn't need to worry about me.
  • Rinse. Repeat.

I just could not reach out for help when life was hard, or when I was overwhelmed under the weight of all I had to do.  Dr. Phil has a phrase: (I'm not a big Dr. Phil fan, but I love this phrase)  "How's that working for you?"  Well, it wasn't working very well at all.

When you are in a big hole, the last thing you should probably be doing is grabbing a shovel and digging.  You're only making the hole bigger!  Instead, sometimes you need reach out, ask for help and let someone reach down and help pull you out.

It's taken me a long time to realize this and be okay with it.

I think I've figured out why I did this (and still tend to lean this way.)  I think my self esteem was so low I was petrified to show weakness or vulnerability.  I didn't want to be judged as being bad, or stupid, or incompetent, or needy, or.... (you get the point.)  I was a rock; I was an island.  (And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries, right?)

The past few years, however, I have come to understand so much more about life and how I fit into it all.  For starters, the only person really judging me as harshly as I thought was ME.  Another thing I am learning is that when I completely shut down and blocked people out of my life (sometimes for years while I struggled  to become "acceptable"), I was being very selfish and focused on my own needs.  I wasn't allowing them to show up for me and love me perhaps the way they wanted to.  I kept them at arm's length.

Well, things are a lot different now.  If I need help, I ask for it.  If I'm having a bad day or week or phase, I reach out and let my friends know.  If I'm overwhelmed with all my responsibilities (single family home owner and single parent with a commute and full time job can get a tad overwhelming), I call in the troops.  I have an organizer, someone to mow the lawn, a landscaper to weed the garden.  Whatever it takes to get back on top of things.  Whereas I may have felt in the past there was something wrong with me for not being able to do it all, today I realize, NO ONE is designed to perfectly do it all!

Anyway, in this fitness quest I am finding the same thing.  I have reached out to those who know so much more about fitness and health than I do and am drawing on their experiences to help increase my own understanding and awareness.  And I have a trainer because at this point in my life, that's what I need.  Without having to figure it all out on my own and from scratch, I am moving forward at a really good pace.

My thought for the day:  If you need help, ask for it.  If you don't know how to do something, ask someone.  If you are sinking under the weight of your responsibilities, get help.  If you don't reach out, you are going to make life needlessly harder.  I know.  It's how I rolled for decades.  ♥

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. Oh yes! About 8 years ago I came to the same conclusion. I realized that I wasn`t a very giving person and I did not understand why.` My theory - it is because I can`t bring myself to receive. That is what missing. We somehow fool ourselves into thinking that not `taking` makes us stronger. We need to be able to recieve to give. That`s what a relationship is - give and take. Strange but true for me.


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