Welcome to the middle path
- Jana Svoboda, LCSW
- Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Resolution #17: Ask for Help When You Need It
Most of my close friends work in some sort of caregiving profession. Great at offering assistance to others, we are considerably less comfortable asking for it ourselves.
But a few days ago after another "what, this too?" evening, I felt completely tapped. I thought of my friends, nearly to a one having recently experienced a life-altering crisis or loss. And out of the blue, I called a Native woman I had met years ago, who I knew to be a healer and a person of profound compassion and wisdom, and asked for help.
I didn't know what to expect. I had only been in true conversation with her once, over 15 years ago. I've seen her in crowds a few times since, but I doubt she saw me. We had no personal relationship. I wasn't even sure what I was asking her for, except help. I explained to her that my circle had been impacted over and over in the past few months. That we were all "ministers" in one way or another, putting out energy for others, but we were now in need of receiving, of being ministered to. That we were from diverse spiritual backgrounds, some with formal practices and some with none at all.
With no other information, and not even knowing me by name, she said yes. She offered up dozens of possible times; without hesitation my group opted for the earliest one. She drove a long way to be with us (as did some of the group) and led us in an evening of deep reflection and community.
We were to a one profoundly affected, cared for, and grateful. It was a very powerful experience. She was also very moved, she said, to be asked, to be respected and trusted for her years and her wisdom. It was a win-win.
And all I did was ask.