10 december 2016

Sometimes you need permission

Permission to do what you want to do. What you know is right. Permission to trust yourself, to trust others, to try something new or tell someone the truth. The whole truth. Risk conflict or rejection. A nudge, a push over the edge to take the leap. Don’t be ashamed of your need, go get that external validation and support in whatever way you can! Friends, colleagues, family, therapists, blogs, books, talks, events, forums. Don’t be afraid of what you want. Fear and shame is a terrible anchor, a weight none of us should have to carry. Don’t be ashamed of your desires. Want what you want with your whole heart and ask for help, because the universe will always deliver to those who dare. More specifically, the people around you will deliver.

One of my main takeaways from this past year is this:
Needing help is profoundly human, and based on the assumption that we want to give back as much as we can, we all deserve all the help we can get.
Asking for help is scary, but if you do people will respond in the most spectacular way. Sincerity feeds on sincerity, and wanting to be of service, to be useful and make a difference in somebody else’s life is a deeply human trait. We love helping each other, but we rarely give ourselves the chance to. Be it fear, shame, getting caught up in the trappings of our own lives, or not wanting to be a nuisance, we often find reasons not to ask the really important questions. We stick to complaining about what isn’t working and plough on with what we perceive to be most important right now.

Despite being an observer, a Highly Sensitive Person who notices and remembers pretty much everything, I still struggle to take the time to really see the people around me, to be present. Ask the right questions, the important questions. I still get frustrated with people all the time, try to control my surroundings, or get caught up in if that person would just do this or do that things will be so much better for all of us. It doesn’t work like that, no matter how good your intentions are. Trying to control anyone but yourself is a futile endeavor.

Listening takes time, it takes energy, but it is one of the most important things you could ever do. If you really show up, bruises and all, other people will too - just like you would for them. We are often kinder to others than we are to ourselves - use that fact to all of our advantage.

Asking for help also leads to some unexpected and downright awkward as hell situations. People are unpredictable in the sense that you will never get exactly what you expect or think you need. Instead you will get so much more than what you imagined possible. What it comes down to is this:

Which option is the most scary?
  1. Taking the leap, risking the humiliation, tackling the fear of ridicule and the potential social and psychological consequences, or
  2. Continue living in fear and worry over this seemingly significant defect in yourself or your life, or that thing you wish you could do, ashamed of your fear of asking.
Taking the leap always wins when I ask myself this question.

Daring means doing something about it, taking action, moving forward. Being a chicken shit means nothing will change, that you will continue acting and feeling this way. Moreover, you will continue to be ashamed of being a chicken shit, and that’s no way to live. Somewhere in the middle lies complaining, which in itself leads to nothing but hurt and draining of energy - both your own and others’.

What are you afraid of, worrying about, analyzing to death, dwelling on, fighting about, wishing could be different? A feeling is just a feeling, but it is always a sign of something. Try to examine it rationally. What can you do about it? Is it worth bothering with? If so, who and what can help you get where you want to go?


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