Bullying, teen suicide, school shootings….it’s the epidemic we’re dealing with right now and it’s the saddest one ever. It makes me so sad when I hear what’s going on in the world, especially with children, teens and young adults. We are here to help one another, heal and deal with life’s twists and turns, not demean and criticize someone for not acting or looking just like society expects us to. We are ALL different and the same wrapped in one. We all feel pain, we all know what it feels like and how alone it can make you feel. We all want to fit in and be accepted. NO ONE wants to be excluded. When we treat each other from a place of pain we spread that pain, in the end we ALL suffer.
World Mental Health Day is tomorrow, October 10th. Many of us, myself included, get a little funny about asking for help. While we’re all different and we each have our own unique perspective, reaction, and process as it relates to reaching out to others, it seems that this can be quite a tricky exercise for most of the people I know and work with.
In a culture of pleasing and achieving, we have been socialized to put others first, before our own needs. Because of that, it can sometimes be challenging to get our needs and wishes met without feeling guilt or shame. Some of us were taught to suppress painful feelings and emotions, not feeling safe to express them. We’ve been taught not to “get a big head” or “think too much of ourselves”. Some of us feel if we ask for help we’ll get the response “Who do you think you are?” or even worse to keep it hidden because of what others may say or think. That shame makes us put those feelings back into a deep place, a place we hope to never encounter them again. Ignoring those feelings and emotions don’t make them go away, they just grow in that secret place until they surface, usually like an explosion and it takes over.
Society has taught us it’s not OK to be unique, it’s not OK to be different, it’s not OK to disagree without being criticized for it. It’s taught us that weakness means we’re lesser beings and that we need to hide when we’re struggling so that no one finds out. The truth is we ALL struggle at some point, we ALL, at some point face demons and darkness, we ALL have those days when it’s a chore just to get out of bed! And that’s OK and you don’t have to feel so alone because you feel this way. Those moments are when we NEED to know that it’s OK to lean on others, it’s okay to ask for help and love outside of ourselves.
Requesting support can often make us feel vulnerable. We usually think that we should be able to do everything ourselves or that by admitting we need help, we are somehow being weak. In addition, many of us are sensitive about being told “no” and by asking others to help us we put ourselves out there and risk being rejected. What if we had more freedom to ask for what we wanted and for specific support from other people? What if we could make requests in a confident, humble and empowering way? What if we remembered that we are worthy of other people’s help and that our ability to both ask for and receive it not only supports us, but also gives them an opportunity to contribute (which is what most people really want)?
There is immeasurable strength within you, but that is not the only source. Strength comes from surrounding yourself with people who love and support you, it comes from your faith, inspiration, guidance and from people and resources outside your knowledge. There’s strength in being vulnerable. It takes a strong person to stand up and say “I need help” in spite of the fear, guilt and shame. In spite of what others may or may not say or think about you. It’s being TRUE to yourself. Strength is standing in your power, owing who you are and letting the world see your authentic self no matter what. Sometimes we need help outside ourselves to get there and that’s OK!
It doesn’t make you weak to ask for a little guidance, a bit of advice, a helping hand, a doctor, a coach, a mentor, a buddy. It’s OK! It’s OK to need people. It’s OK to need help. It’s OK to not be able to fight through the world’s chaos alone. As humans, we’re not meant to go through life alone, we’re meant to lean on one another, to love, to hug, to have connections outside of ourselves. Humans are social beings.
So PLEASE, promise when you feel lonely, when you’ve reached the end of your rope and can barely hang on, when you’re surrounded by dark clouds and need a reminder of who you are and where you’ve been, you’ll reach out to someone. Promise you’ll let people in.
Be assertive when those dark days kick in. Promise you’ll ask for help. Because it’s OK to ask for help. And that, my beautiful friend doesn’t…not the tiniest bit…make you weak!
Always remember that people do care about you, you are here for a reason, and the world would not be the same without you!
When you are ready, here are some resources to help you along your journey or if you’re just looking for a supportive place where people understand what it is that you are going through…
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Accountability Goddess: My facebook group, a safe, sacred community dedicated to self-help and support. (we do not offer medical advice)
Love & light,