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Ask for help? Yes but ask who?

» Posted by on Jul 6, 2011 in Blog | 1 comment

Ask for help? Yes but ask who?

When my daughters were 6 and 3 and I was working hard to set up my business, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. She and my father-in-law came to live with us for 6 months and she died with us. Although my father-in-law was actually her 24 hour carer, she looked to me to prepare for her, and eat with her, the totally tasteless food that she thought would cure her cancer. My husband was stressed and also running his business, and I couldn’t explain to my children that she was dying because she never accepted that she was and I couldn’t risk their reaction in front of her. Worse – there was I willing to talk to her about dying but I couldn’t because she would only talk about getting better so I had to play it her way (of course). It was an extremely stressful time. So where were my friends? Where were all the women I had helped when they were stressed? who I had given my time to when they needed support? They were nowhere and I felt incredibly let down.

Much, much later when I spoke to them about this they said things like “but you seemed to be coping so well” and “but we didn’t realise you needed help” and “why didn’t you ask us?”.  Now there’s the thing – why DIDN’T I ask for help? It was because I felt I shouldn’t have had to ask. My situation was inherently stressful – surely they should have seen that?

I learned a very important message – if you don’t tell people you need help then you won’t get it. But what about when you want to ask for guidance about life decisions? Who to turn to then? Friends and family can all give us different answers. Is there a higher authority we can ask? Or do we just have the same expectation that some Being called God will notice what is going on and step in? It’s when we really want something we turn to prayer. Prayer is usually when we ask for something in particular – someone to get better, me to get the job I am going for. We think that if we pray hard enough our prayers will be answered – we’ll get what we want. Same principle as The Secret – put your intention out and you will draw it to you. I think there is a flaw here though.

While I do believe that energy follows thought and what we focus on will magnify, suppose we are focusing on something that isn’t part of our Soul plan? How do I really know that what I think I want is what I really need – for my spiritual growth? If I know what I want then that clarity is surely coming from ego and related only to my human life. And who are we asking anyway? The one who DOES know is my own Higher Self – my Soul. Thank goodness my Soul has a handle on what’s going on and a plan for its own evolution. I see my job as tuning in to that plan and keeping the channel as open as possible so that the impulses that guide me will be soul impulses not ego impulses.

When running my business I started to deal with tender documents differently. Instead of doing some immediate calculations as to whether to submit the tender (how much work? have I got the staff? what are the profit margins? can I do it in the timescale?), I would just read through the tender then ‘go inside’ and ask ‘is this something I should be engaging in right now? will this be for my highest good and the highest good of everyone involved?’ And then wait. Within minutes, sometimes seconds I would get a clear answer yes or no. And sometimes I would argue with the answer! I would get the answer ‘no’ and I would argue ‘but I think I’ll get this job and it won’t take me anytime to do the tender and it would be so easy’. Or I would get the answer ‘yes’ and argue ‘but it’ll take me 3 days to do this tender and I’m supposed to be going on holiday’. Every time I paid attention to the answer ‘yes’ I got the job and it turned out to have benefits I couldn’t possible have foreseen. Conversely, if I ignored a ‘no’ answer I would end up with hassle after hassle. I learned to trust that inner voice.

And what of God? I think that God, the Gods, the Deities, the Goddesses – are not in the least interested in the petty stories of my life. They are interested only in how I LIVE the stories of my life and  whether I am able to use all circumstance and situations as  opportunities to express my Soul’s divine essence.

So in human terms I will ask people for help when things get tough. In terms of my spiritual development I will ask for what I need to further my growth and ask for guidance to make the choices that will best serve my Soul.

1 Comment

  1. I remember this time in your life and yes I was one of the women friends who didn’t reach it. Because you always seemed to be so self-sufficient. It takes one to know one! I find it hard to ask for help too as if it’s a failing not to be able to ‘do it all’. And I sense that people sometimes find it hard to help me. Perhaps I don’t articulate the need that well. As for ‘the source of the answers’ I expect they are always staring us in the face but we look for complexity and miss them. (What was that quote about ‘At the end… you see the answers were all there at the start’ or something like that). We spend a lot of time trying to do God’s work for her instead of listening. The Ignatian process of ‘discerning’ based on how potential decisions make you feel is a good one. (Probably summarised that clumsily). But I have come to the conclusion that it’s the hardest thing in the world to know what you really want. Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions.

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