I'm really struck by the U.S. Government shutdown and the display of arrogance and debauchery going on. But because this is not a forum to discuss the politics side of it, I would rather talk about what has come out of it, so far.
It’s amazing to see the response by people who want to help those that are being affected by this. There have already been many examples of the goodness of people. The humanity of people supporting and helping others. It's actually the one shinning light out of this whole fiasco.
But the I'm shocked by the number of people who are getting the help and feeling ashamed that they have to ask for support! Support because of something they did not ask for or do to themselves.
I’m talking about the ones walking in and getting supplies of food. They are so worried about their utility and phone bills getting paid during this shutdown that they are resorting to going to shelters or places of business that are sharing their generosity. And not because they want to because they have to. They are only there because they must feel a sense of urgency over something they have no control over. Their paycheck.
And the ones being interviewed, by the news, keep coming back with the one resounding theme: the shame they are feeling because they are asking for help. They feel badly that they are put into a position of not working and then being strapped to the point they have to get food from a shelter or a kind restaurant establishment.
Even in this instance where life threw them a curve ball.
So it got me thinking…Why is asking for support so hard?
What if the set up was different?
What if we learned to create Abundant Support for ourselves and not feel shame?
What if asking for support wasn't so hard?
If we were in the habit of creating a support team around us for whatever was coming up for us in our lives, maybe we wouldn’t feel so ashamed when something that is completely out of our control forces our hand to ask for support. What if the habit of asking for support came easy, without the shame, because we knew it was ok to lean on another person in our time of need. No matter how great or small.
For example, when a woman is about to have her first baby she has more than enough volunteers who want to help because who doesn’t want to hold a cute newborn? But if she’s on her 3rd or 4th, the same people may think she’s got it all figured out now and she doesn’t need the help. But, truthfully she has so much laundry it’s coming out of her ears and she only sleeps 3 hours a night. She ends up feeling bad about herself because she’s having a hard time “doing it all” and wonders how Gina down the street with her 4 kids seems to have it all together. And then come to find out, Gina has someone who cleans her morning dishes and does the kids laundry 3 days every week! And she’s definitely not letting anyone know about this little gem she has. It’s the shame secret she doesn’t dare tell anyone because it might seem lavish or spoiled and you can’t have that either. So they both feel shame, but it different ways.
Wouldn’t be great if they felt no guilt or shame in enlisting a team which could look like a housekeeper or a neighborhood teen? Or even a nephew or niece that she supplements by giving her one of her favorite shoes she's been eyeing?
It's the foundation that needs repair. We don't learn from a young age how to support ourselves in a way that truly fills us up. We learn to feel shame in asking for help. We feel shame in not knowing how to do everything. We feel shame in being to “rich” because we can afford help, but we shouldn’t have it. We feel shame for having too much help, because we should be able to handle it. We feel badly when we ask our friends to help us out, for fear of being a burden or annoying (yes, there are some people who totally milk this, but if you related to this shame piece in any way then most likely that's NOT you.) We don't learn how to step into a place of feeling abundant in our support because it seems counterintuitive. If you are feeling abundant then you shouldn't have to ask for help.
But it's exactly opposite of that.
In order to feel abundant, it requires you to BE in the abundance before you get what you think makes you abundant. You have to emulate the abundance first and that can feel strange.
3 Blocks that you need to remove to create abundant support.
#1 Remove your shame
Sometimes life happens, the crap hits the fan and life explodes. Put your ego on the shelf, in the back corner and tell it to shut up! You are not meant to feel like crap because you are asking for support. It kinda negates the support. Instead realize you are here at this moment maybe because of your own doing or not. But accept the support with open arms and without guilt and shame.
#2 Accept the support
Truly step into the acceptance of your support. Meaning take a breath in deep into your belly and repeat the mantra, “ I whole-heartedly accept this gracious support from ________. I deserve it and am worthy of having abundant support in my life." When you can accept the support in this way not only are you getting something you needed, but the person who is doing the giving receives something as well. They in turn get filled up by you being filled up and the cycle goes around and around. Don’t deprive the other person.
#3. Love yourself
When we truly love ourselves like we do our children or your BFF, you start to see how you may be lacking in the way you treat yourself. Wouldn’t you give your child the shirt off your back? Well, start giving yourself the same love and generosity. If you are so strapped of energy and joy, it’s because you aren’t loving yourself enough to give yourself the support you need. That may look like community, friendship, health, or even just someone to come clean your house 1x per month. Start to see how your energy shifts when you treat your self to so much support that you feel filled up to the point of overflow.
It’s when we start treating ourselves with so much respect and love that asking for support becomes something we can embrace because not only are we worthy of it but we know we deserve it.
Take these steps on in some way this week. Let me know how you shifted your mindset to see support in a whole new way!
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