October 21st, 2009

I have a hard time asking for help, because I don’t want to be a bother or cause an inconvenience. I’d rather do things for myself so that I don’t owe anyone or I’m not obligated. I don’t think I became independent by choice. First my dad skipped out on my brothers and me, and then my mother checked out, making sure we had everything we needed to survive except for compliments, physical affection or laughs. Soon after, I found a boyfriend who was like my parents in the sense that I was just an extra in his drama. Add to that his penchant for beating me like a drum, and I stopped expecting much. Hoping, always hoping, but too proud and at the same time, too unworthy, to ask for help or favors unless I scrupulously paid them back. This week I’ve been sick with some sort of trash flu. Along with praying that I would someday be able to breathe through both nostrils again, I obsessed about tall glasses of cold fresh-squeezed orange juice. When I was blowing my nose or using the neti pot, I had visions of that OJ in a tall skinny glass etched with leaves that I use for Champagne. It symbolized wellness, sunlight, health, Vitamin C and Vitamin Hope. So I had to ask a friend to go to the grocery for me. An ordinary favor, not out of her way, and yet how embarrassed I was to need help. Today I ran out of soup and had to turn to another friend. Why was it so hard to ask for help from my loyal, tenderhearted friends? I could ask my therapist about this, but it seems pretty simple: In the process of being frozen out by my family, I gradually froze over. Old habits that once protected us can end up turning into strait jackets. I don’t want that to happen to me, but I know it’s easier to recognize patterns than it is to break them. I’m going to make a start by simply being grateful when my friend drops off the soup, instead of trying to figure out the cost of a can of soup with tax added in and apologizing over and over for putting him to all this trouble. I’ll put my palms together, bow and say thank you. For teaching me to receive.

5 Responses to “Namaste”

  1. Isabel says:

    I hope you feel better soon, Nikki.
    Just think how blessed you are to have friends that care 🙂

    The flu can be so debilitating.



  2. renovatingrita says:

    I also have a difficult time asking for help. An older well respected woman once said to me… "The greatest gift you can give is to allow others to give to you. Everyone needs to be able to give to others in order to feel good about themselves." When I have a difficult time accepting help I try to think of it as a gift exchange and I accept the help as graciously as I would an elaborately wrapped present. I hope you feel well soon.

  3. anna maria says:

    I hope you get better very very soon and that in the meantime you get all the OJ and soup you need!

  4. rebecca says:

    i have only found you recently…and have returned daily to walk beside you. listen with rapt attention to your heart. breathe your words which are always paintings straight to the heart.

    right now i am launching myself into a busy day..and truly would choose to wait to write, for the gift of more time…to string the right words together and offer you a beaded, thoughtful response.

    but i must put aside such "perfect longing" for the importance of being here for you right now. in this moment of discovering your need.

    sending you love. knowing you are worthy. sharing my homemade soul soup from afar…

  5. V-Grrrl says:

    I have a friend who keeps score of every kindness received and must immediately plan the "payback." She is lovely and generous but that habit makes me crazy.

    Yes, learning to accept and receive kindness and care doesn't come easy for everyone. We're all taught to give freely but not to receive freely.