My son made a jarring statement in his usual matter of fact, six-going-on-seven tone, “Smart people don’t ask for help. They don’t NEED help. They can do it by themselves.”
Yikes! How did this thought sneak through?
Of course, I know that he is in his big-boy-I-can-do-it-myself stage. And that he is likely parroting a meme imbedded in popular culture. He refused to believe me when I told him that I asked for help all the time. But, hey, I have time to demonstrate this throughout the next few weeks and years. Not too concerned, but it definitely made me think about this old idea.
I am smart. I ask for help. I am smart BECAUSE I ask for help.
How much does our culture say otherwise?
Well, regardless of all that. I KNOW that asking for help when you need it is the single biggest skill that you need to hone as you go through life.
You need a balance, of course. Helplessness is not what this is about. This is knowing, after a certain amount of effort, that you need more than your own resources and perspective.
I asked a dear friend for help this morning and she gave me some solid advice and a book recommendation that is shifting my view of things to more positive territory. I was able to pull through this blip faster because of the help I asked for.
We humans are social creatures. As much as I avoid the memes of our culture, and as much as I have my own deep spiritual practice, I still need support, connection, and friendship. This is called ‘being human’.
And it is okay to be human!!!
Even the Buddha knew that the spiritual path is tough if you are going it alone. That is why there is the sangha, the spiritual community of others who can support you even as the road of life gets bumpy. Support is necessary.
Just for today… Ask for help.