"Do you want me to drive?" I heard from the man sitting beside me. I turned to look at him, ready to say; "No, I'm fine", and heard the words, "Yes please", come out of my mouth. I took a few days off last week. I haven't really taken any time out this year so I hopped on a plane to Portugal to check out a space, walk through pine trees, relax and surf the stunning coastline. It didn't get off to a great start. While we were out surfing, the car was broken into and my bag was stolen. I initially thought I was pretty chilled about it and it was only when I got into the car to drive that I realised I was shaking. So I handed the keys to him and allowed him to take over. Such a simple thing to do, allow someone to support me and yet inside I felt awkward and uncomfortable.
On reflection I realised I find it hard to accept and to ask for support from people and I feel it's something that's inherent in a lot of us. We want to be seen as capable, strong, fit for anything and able to deal with all situations in life. It stems from the media and what they feed us every day. Articles on how to be skinnier, richer, fitter, stronger, more loveable, more satisfied with life, the perfect woman for your man, the perfect man for your woman, the best mother, the great dad and on and on it goes. They have us reading and believing we have to do all these things, acquire all this stuff in order to be all things to all people, and then we will be content. Life will be perfect! We will be at peace when we can do everything ourselves. It will make us a better person and we will be seen as a competent human being.
I don’t believe this is true. I have come to realise that by NOT allowing support we push people away, we become lone rangers out there ready to do battle for whatever comes our way and at the same time complaining about how busy we are, how we have no time for anyone, for anything and we burn out. We become hamsters on a wheel running in circles and wondering why the same challenges seem to appear on a regular basis.
Allowing ourselves to be supported means allowing people IN. It allows for a connection to happen whether it is for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year or a lifetime. It can feel like taking a leap of faith, a risk and it doesn't always feel comfortable. We are protective of our place in our world and to ask someone to help could mean that things change. It's no longer just "I" against the world and there is less control.
And I got all this from a guy offering to drive, I hear you say. It was more my reaction to the offer that I was interested in. I'm independent and have been doing things on my own for a long time. Relationships have come and gone so I have found that it has been easier to rely on me and I am comfortable in that space. I have more control over what happens and it has benefitted me in a lot of ways.
Living back in Ireland has given me the gift of being more involved with friends and family and in turn the support that has been offered has transformed how I work and live in my world. I've had to be vulnerable and ask for help over the last two years and I have found that asking is just as hard as allowing. There is the part of us that asks for support and promptly rejects it when it arrives. If it doesn't manifest in the way we want it we push it away. We might need the support but it has to be on our terms. Sounds strange, after all we did ask for the help and it was offered so what is it about this that suddenly puts us on the defence? Yes there are times when it isn't right and its better to say thanks but no thanks and walk away but there are the moments when it is actually exactly what we need.
Sitting with it this week, I came to realise that for me personally it means showing my vulnerability, my softer side, the feminine place inside that shows someone the OTHER me; the one who doesn’t have all the answers, who doesn’t always have everything together and who needs a helping hand. It also means trusting someone else. And that's a tough one especially if we don’t really know the person or what the outcome will be.
“What you allow, is what will continue.”
When we allow our softer side to show it isn't a sign of weakness, it's an invitation. Of course there are situations in life when it isn't safe but there is also the the beauty of connecting in a deep way when we do feel safe, when we are supported and when we trust. It allows the support to come from a place of compassion and love. It allows for creation and growth. A plant doesn't grow from us placing it in the earth and leaving it there. It grows from the support and attention is receives from us, from the earth and from the heavens. It needs support to become its most abundant and beautiful self just as we need support to build our dreams and create the lives we want. And the support is always there, if we can only allow it in.
My year long Forrest Yoga Mentorship ended this week and the parting words from my mentor, Sandra, were words I have heard many times on this journey but never meant more to me than when she said them at the end of our last call together:
“If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Walk in beauty and ask or allow someone to hold your hand this month… you never know where it might lead.
Previous Blog Posts...