I've always been a fiercely independent type. I don't ask for help. I don't expect help. And if I can do it on my own, I'll usually at least try before I call a professional.
But I've been getting soft in my old age. I'm accepting help when offered. I usually feel guilty about it, like I *should* be able to do it. Or paranoid that they're offering because I'm not holding up my end of some bargain. But even those thoughts are falling away.
It snowed last night and today some anonymous person finished the shoveling job I abandoned because my arm and back were hurting and I felt I had done enough to get by. I asked the usual suspect, Ted, who sometimes cleans out my front gutters and even mows when I'm not looking. But he said it wasn't him. Then I saw some guy shoveling out a driveway that didn't belong to him up the road, but he said it wasn't him. So for now, my angel is anonymous. And it may stay that way.
When I do "good deeds" I like to remain anonymous myself. I'm not doing it for the thanks. I'm doing it for the service and, selfishly, as I said the other day, for the good karma and flow of good deeds. Today was special for me, because I didn't feel guilty or paranoid and, in fact, was really grateful and glad that someone helped me out. I feel like I "deserved" it. That's a crappy way of putting it, but I felt like it was my turn, so I took it without feeling indebted. And guess what? It felt really good. And I bet that will open the flow for even more good deeds coming and going in the future.
It's hard for me to be vulnerable, which is why it's hard for me to ask for help. You're probably thinking that I make myself vulnerable by all the stuff I talk about on my blog. And in a way, I do. I tell stuff on purpose to stretch those boundaries because I know I build my walls too high. As it is, I still keep a lot to myself, though.
But what I'm finding is that the more I open up and the more I accept help, the easier things are and the better I feel about myself. All those years of enforcing my walls and boundaries were harder physically, emotionally and socially...every which way. After all, wherever there's a wall, a flow is being restricted. Let the flow burst the dam and things start moving again.
I've always seen allowing and accepting and being vulnerable as weaker choices. But how can they be weaker when it take so much energy to fight against them? How are you with making yourself vulnerable or accepting help? And if you're the opposite way, how are you with enforcing boundaries and offering help?
I've found that there's a receiving in giving...you receive the gratitude and karma of helping another. And there's a giving in receiving...you allow another person to be there for you. There's an art in either way, but I'm learning that we need to learn how to do each way graciously and without judgment to fully understand what the exchange is all about. I'm already seeing I'm a better giver for being a better receiver. And now I'm wondering where else that same thing can be applied in my life. The more I see peace and balance enter into my world as I get older, the more I want to continue cultivating it in the future.