Hump Day Headspace: accepting the help you deserve
September 12, 2018
How does that Beatles song go again?
If you're reading this, I'm likely singing off key to Lady Gaga as I drive a car that does not belong to me to Chicago—and that's a big deal (not the singing off key part, that's completely normal). It's a big deal because I said yes to borrowing the car. There was a time (not that long ago) that I wouldn't have been able to imagine accepting such a gracious offer as borrowing someone's car, despite needing the help. There was a time, a long time, that I'd have been more comfortable sitting in struggle wrought with stubborn self-pity than to just graciously accept assistance.
I get it. You're strong, you're independent, you're resourceful, and you can definitely figure this sh*t out. I believe you (just like I believed myself m) but what if you could figure it out with a little more ease? Maybe you've been led to think that you're supposed to do it all alone, or maybe you know you can't do it alone but don't think anyone has the time or space to help you.
You've likely heard (or seen on Tumblr) the popular quote from Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower that reads: "we accept the love we think we deserve." Chbosky isn't wrong there and, as a sixteen-year-old, that was a truth I needed to hear. But that was 16 and this is 24 so I’ve updated our favorite Tumblr quote to serve my 20s to we accept the help we think we deserve.
...and we deserve the help we need. Asking for help isn’t the same as asking for a handout. Even more, accepting what’s being offered to you isn’t a mark of complacency, it’s a mark of confidence. It affirms your belief in your self-worth, your abilities, and of the intentions of those offering to help (we show up to help others more often out of respect and love than pity). I know what you're thinking—you don't want to seem needy. More importantly, you don't want to appear weak or incompetent. But what makes you believe you're obligated to do and know more than everyone else? What is it that drives you to say "yes!" to helping other people yet keeps you from giving yourself the opportunity for support?
Over the last year, I challenged myself to start accepting my needs as natural and to do the sand things that I encouraged others to do. I’ve always believed people deserve support, I just often excluded myself from being one of those “people.” Viewing yourself as an exception to the human condition means alienating yourself the people around you. Alienation = isolation. So more and more I allowed myself to be unexceptionably human. I challenged myself to finally go to therapy, to ask my yoga teachers for extra adjustments, to speak up when I feel unsupported at work, and to stop feeling guilty when taking a friend up on their offer for an open ear. What started to become clear was that the extra struggle does not set us apart and that when we insist on holding ourselves to unrealistic "higher" standards, we're most often just holding ourselves to unnecessarily harder standards.
So the next time you're feeling stuck on the need to "#adult" and do everything on your own, remember this little truth, said by a very wise woman (hey, ma): It's also adult to accept a little help.
How can you allow yourself to be supported this week? Comment below 👇
Hump Day Headspace: A few words every Wednesday morning to get you over that little-but-big, big-but-little hump that comes mid-week. To shake up your headspace and to share mine.